There are some rule changes coming for Major League Baseball in the near future, many of which will go into effect come the start of the 2023 season.
But one rule that was agreed upon separate from the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is what is referred to as the Shohei Ohtani rule.
The rule states that if a pitcher is in the starting lineup, he can still be used as the designated hitter once his start comes to an end.
In this case, it would be Ohtani getting a start while also hitting and ultimately transitioning to the DH role once he is pulled from his start.
The rule is now in effect and is on full display for the Los Angeles Angels in their spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The first run for the Ohtani Rule (which hasn’t officially been approved yet). pic.twitter.com/BL6JCmaupn
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) March 31, 2022
New Rules, New Beginning
This is an interesting rule, and it will take some adjusting and getting used to, but it’s a good thing that it’s in place.
Fans of the game want to see Ohtani hit and pitch, and it’s good to know that even if his start ends prematurely or if he is pulled at any point, he will still remain in the lineup for the Angels as the DH.
Obviously, this rule was put into place to accommodate the two-way star and potentially encourage more two-way players.
Ohtani is the first two-way star since Babe Ruth and is a unique talent unlike any the game has ever seen.
Witnessing this type of player is a once in a generation experience for fans.
Ohtani brings some much-needed excitement to baseball.
A chance to see him both pitch and hit in the same game and also do it effectively is an exciting possibility.