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Rule Updates for 2019 in Minor League Baseball

Per a press release from Minor League Baseball on Friday, new pace of play initiatives will be in place for the upcoming 2019 season. 

Double-A and Triple-A levels will now require starting pitchers or any substitute pitcher to face a minimum of three consecutive batters.

Mound visit limitations will also see some refinement as will the second base runner to start extra inning frames.

See complete details below.

PITCHERS TO FACE MINIMUM OF THREE BATTERS 
 
- At the Triple-A and Double-A levels, the starting pitcher or any substitute pitcher is required to pitch to a minimum of three consecutive
batters, including the batter then at bat (or any substitute batter), until such batters are put out or reach first base, or until the offensive team
is put out, unless the starting pitcher or substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, incapacitates him
from further play as a pitcher. 
 
EXTRA INNINGS RUNNER ON SECOND BASE REVISION 
 
- At all levels of Minor League Baseball, extra innings will begin with a runner on second base. If the last batter of the previous inning was the
pitcher, the player to occupy second base to start the following inning will be the player in the batting order before the pitcher’s spot in the
lineup. By way of example, if the pitcher bats in the eighth position and the number nine hitter in the batting order is due to lead off the 10
th
inning, the number seven player in the batting order (or a pinch-runner for such player) shall begin the inning on second base. Any runner or
batter removed from the game for a substitute shall be ineligible to return to the game, as is the case in all circumstances under the Official
Baseball Rules. 
 
PITCHER’S MOUND VISITS 
 
- Visits by coaches and position players will be limited based on the classification level. Triple-A teams will be allowed five (5) visits per team
(down from six), Double-A teams will be allowed seven (7) visits per team (down from eight), Single-A teams will be allowed nine (9) visits per
team (down from 10) and there will not be a limit on mound visits for Short Season and Rookie-level clubs.
- For any extra-innings played, each club shall be entitled to one additional non-pitching change mound visit per inning.
- Official Baseball Rule 5.10(l), which governs mound visits by a manager or coach, remains in effect (i.e., a pitcher must be removed on the
second visit by a manager/coach in an inning).

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