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Cleveland Indians: MLB and MLBPA look towards rule changes in the near future

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Not much is happening in the world of the Cleveland Indians, but the MLB is taking some serious strides to big new rule changes.

I’ll preface this article by making a statement. I’m not some huge baseball purist that thinks change is killing the game. It’s no secret that the logo change for the Cleveland Indians didn’t bother me too much, because I love the new uniforms.

I’m also not a National League baseball fan. I can’t speak to how they may feel about incorporating a league-wide DH. I’ve been open to the idea because I thought it would make interleague play much more enjoyable, especially for the casual AL fan who may not enjoy NL baseball as much.

Does the DH rule have much effect on the Indians? Not really. If it goes into effect this year, then we don’t end the year in a weird inter-league series that just feels icky. Instead, it will feel like a normal road series.

Now the big rule change comes. The rule that pitchers will have to face three hitters minimum. It’s no secret that the Indians bullpen isn’t a huge threat. They have a lot of utility guys who will only face a few batters. Oliver Perez was that guy last year.

The Indians retained Oliver Perez this offseason which means his workload will be increased. But I have some questions about this rule. Say Corey Kluber pitches 7.1 innings. The Indians then bring in Oliver Perez to secure the last two outs of the eighth. Does OP have to come out for one batter in the ninth? Surely the Indians would like to open the inning with their closer Brad Hand.

Admittedly I haven’t looked too deeply into this, and we’ll have a roundtable discussing how our other writers feel about the rule with more detail.

I’m curious to how closely the Indians front office will monitor this. If the league-wide DH is implemented, rosters will expand to 26 people. That it will be interesting to see what the Indians do with that extra spot and how they use their bullpen going further.

Next. Time for the Tribe to trade Kluber?. dark

Baseball is so close and talking this deeply about something makes it feel even closer. Rule changes can always be scary in sports, but this feels like it’s for the better.