The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association are discussing a deal that would reduce the length of doubleheaders from nine innings each game to seven innings. The rule change would be temporary, only for the 2020 season.
Given recent disruptions in the schedule, some teams are looking at playing a handful of doubleheaders throughout the season to make up for lost time. Reducing the length of doubleheaders to seven innings would put less strain on pitchers and wouldn’t require as much roster preparation. Most importantly, during a pandemic, this would reduce the total amount of time players spend in enclosed areas like clubhouses where COVID-19 is more easily spread.
This is just one in an ever-growing series of changes made to baseball games in an atypical year. We’ve seen the National League adopt the DH rule, extra innings start with a runner on second base, and now we may see seven-inning ballgames.