With MLB making some major changes recently to its foreign substance policy, it’s fair to wonder if there are more changes on the way.
The new foreign substance rules primarily affect pitchers, but could we see some rule changes in the near future that impact hitters?
There have many ideas thrown around regarding offensive rule tweaks in recent years, but nothing major has stuck.
Which three changes could we see soon?
3. No Stepping Out Of The Box
Interestingly, there is actually already a rule stating that hitters are not allowed to step out of the batter’s box between pitches.
Obviously, that rule is not enforced, but it certainly seems like that’s a rule the league could choose to start enforcing at some point in the near future.
With MLB constantly worried about pace of play and the length of games, this rule could be one of many changes we see within the next few years in an attempt to speed games up.
2. Universal Designated Hitter
It’s pretty crazy that we’ve gotten this far without having the highly-desired universal designated hitter rule put into place, but here we are.
While watching pitchers hit is often entertaining from an “underdog” standpoint, it’s strange that National League teams are forced to put an “underdog” hitter in the lineup on a nightly basis.
Fans want to see competitive baseball and competitive at-bats, not three-pitch strikeouts.
Plus, the last thing we want as fans is to see pitchers get hurt swinging the bat.
Imagine not wanting a universal DH. pic.twitter.com/Wbe1nTWEMw
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) June 19, 2019
This could all go away with the implementation of a designated hitter in both leagues.
And with offense down across the board this season—which is something the league would presumably like to fix—the idea makes more sense now than ever before.
1. Automated Strike Zone
This rule change would impact more than just hitters, but the idea of an automated strike zone is becoming more and more appealing to players and fans.
There is nothing more frustrating than an inconsistent strike zone or a blown ball/strike call on a massive pitch, and that could all go away if we introduce electronic strike zones.
Even the best umpires in baseball make a few incorrect ball/strike calls per game, while the worst umpires in baseball often miss dozens in a single night.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) August 1, 2019
There is no debate here.
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself: Why are we letting umpires make subjective decisions on something that should not be subjective?
Of all of the ideas we tossed around on this list, the automated strike zone is probably the most popular one among fans.
Unfortunately, it might also be the least realistic of the three ideas, merely because the other two have been frequently discussed at the MLB level.
If you’re looking for a reason to be optimistic about the chances of the league implementing an automated zone, look no further than the Single-A level, which is experimenting with the idea this season.
Perhaps it could catch fire and ultimately reach the big leagues in due time.NEXT: Who Is The Most Overrated Chicago Cubs Player In 2021?