The new “Shohei Ohtani Rule” that was implemented yesterday by MLB states that once a pitcher is taken out of his start, he can still remain in the game as the designated hitter, assuming that the pitcher was in the starting lineup in the first place.
With the universal DH being put into place with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, it’s very likely that this rule will only be used when Ohtani is actually pitching.
Many assume this may encourage more two-way players, but New York Yankees writer Sweeny Murti says to pump the brakes on that assumption, that just because there’s one every hundred years doesn’t mean that more players will be encouraged to try to become two-way players.
The Ohtani Rule won’t encourage more two-players. Pitchers stopped hitting at all levels for a reason. 1 player who can do both extremely well every hundred years isn’t a reason to hope for more.
— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) March 22, 2022
The Ohtani Rule Won’t Help
Murti is absolutely correct.
Just because there’s one two-way star in the big leagues now doesn’t mean that other players are going to try to become two-way players themselves.
Two-way players are incredibly rare.
Ohtani is the first since Babe Ruth.
It doesn’t seem likely that another Ohtani-type player is coming anytime soon.
Murti cites that there’s a reason that pitchers stopped hitting at all levels.
That reason is obviously the fact that most pitchers are not very good hitters.
Just because a pitcher is a decent hitter doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a two-way player.
Lorenzen has the ability to play the field every once in a while, but not enough to be considered a two-way guy, and he certainly isn’t on the level that Ohtani is.
So the Ohtani rule most likely won’t change much, if anything at all.