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May 26, 2019

MLB’s new changes to pitcher rules, roster size aren’t worrying the Yankees

March 14, 2019

DUNEDIN — While baseball is making dramatic changes to the game on the field and off over the next two seasons, but Aaron Boone wasn’t too worried.

MLB and the players union announced Thursday that they have come to an agreement on rules changes that include a three-batter minimum for pitchers, roster changes and the elimination of the August 21, waiver trade deadline. The majority of the changes are aimed towards speeding up the game.

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The most dramatic-on field change would be the requirement that pitchers must face three hitters minimum or pitch to the end of an inning, which will not be implemented until 2020.

The change will have the biggest effect on lefty specialists — and the Yankees don’t have one of those. So Boone wasn’t too worried about it for now.

Boone doesn’t think the changes will affect the Yankees much (Lynne Sladky / AP)

“I am OK with that. With our club, I don’t feel like we have a lot of match up guys anyway. There’s not a lot of times I am going one-hitter at a time or two hitters at a time with our guys,” Boone said. “Usually I am trying to stay away from a guy, especially in the regular season and our dudes are usually out there for an inning. So I don’t think it would have that much effect on us. It’s next year, so who knows what we will look like exactly, things change, I am OK with that.

“And I like the roster ideas.”

The roster changes in 2020 would increase from 25 to 26 through August 31, with a provision for a 27th player on planned doubleheaders. After Sept. 1, the roster would decrease from seemingly every healthy player on the 40-man to 28 players.

“I like the 26th man, definitely like that. I think I am OK with 28. Maybe in a perfect world you have a couple more options,” Boone said. “We should be able to figure it out with 28.”

This season, the biggest change will be the elimination of August trades. The trade deadline will remain July 31 and while players may be placed and claimed on outright waivers after July 31st, they may not be traded after that date.

Also this season baseball will reduce the time of between-inning breaks, subject to “discussions with broadcast partners.” They have cut down the maximum number of mound visits from six to five.

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