MLB and Atlantic League Announce Rule Changes

Last week, the Atlantic League and MLB announced a three year partnership that would include experimental rule changes.

Today, those rule changes have been released for the 2019 season.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              March 8, 2019




Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced today the experimental playing rules and equipment that will be in place during the 2019 Atlantic League Championship Season.  The list of changes is as follows:

  • Home plate umpire assisted in calling balls and strikes by a TrackMan radar tracking system
  • No mound visits permitted by players or coaches other than for pitching changes or medical issues
  • Pitchers must face a minimum of three batters, or reach the end of an inning before they exit the game, unless the pitcher becomes injured
  • Increase size of 1st, 2nd and 3rd base from 15 inches square to 18 inches square
  • Require two infielders to be on each side of second base when a pitch is released (if not, the ball is dead and the umpire shall call a ball)
  • Time between innings and pitching changes reduced from 2:05 to 1:45
  • Distance from pitching rubber to home plate extended 24 inches, in the second half of the season only; with no change to mound height or slope

MLB will analyze the effects of these changes before deciding on potential additional modifications during the 2019 ALPB All-Star Break and in future seasons.

“This first group of experimental changes is designed to create more balls in play, defensive action, baserunning, and improve player safety,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Senior Vice President, League Economics & Operations. “We look forward to seeing them in action in the Atlantic League.”

“Players sign in the Atlantic League for the Major League Baseball showcase opportunity it offers,” said Rick White, ALPB President. “We are excited to see that showcase grow exponentially, while working with MLB on initiatives critical to the future of the game.”

The experimental playing rule and equipment changes are part of a new three-year agreement between MLB and ALPB.  The agreement covers the transfer of players from ALPB to MLB and enhances MLB’s scouting coverage of ALPB games.  MLB will provide statistical and radar tracking data from ALPB games to MLB Clubs.


Players interested in playing in the Atlantic League can check out our Tryout/Showcase information here: Atlantic League Player Showcase.


3 thoughts on “MLB and Atlantic League Announce Rule Changes”

  1. I don’t think all are awful but many of them are. I wonder if moving the pitching rubber back will contribute to more pitching injuries as pitchers have to adjust their velocity and arm angles from what they are used to in order to get the ball where they want it. With the tracking system and the larger bases, it seems like the Atlantic League is moving more in the direction of a gimmick league than actual baseball.


  2. As a pitching instructor and coach, moving the distance 2 feet further will create injuries to pitchers who have played most of their careers at one distance and to make this adjustment mid season is asking for problems. The whole point of visiting the mound is to help the pitcher out and set up defense for situations. I think these rules will make the game less enjoyable to the fans. Just my opinion though. Leave the game alone!!


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