Not since Babe Ruth have we seen a player who can both pitch and hit effectively at the Major League level.
Ohtani is basically a new beginning for baseball and is providing baseball fans in all walks of life with pure entertainment.
And as it turns out, Ohtani is so good that he prompted a rule change in baseball.
The rule is affectionately known as the “Shohei Ohtani Rule” and stipulates that if a team’s starting pitcher is part of the starting lineup, he can still be used as the designated hitter if he’s taken out of the game on the pitching side.
The Shohei Ohtani rule is now in effect per @Joelsherman1:
“The new rule stipulates that if the starting pitcher is also hitting in the lineup, then that player remains as the DH even if he is pulled from the start.”
— Michael Mayer (@mikemayer22) March 22, 2022
Changing The Game
Obviously, this would probably only be the case when Ohtani is on the mound for a start, but it gives fans an opportunity to see Ohtani both hit and pitch in a game.
How many other players have been so good that they changed the rules of baseball?
There was of course Bob Gibson in 1968, but not since then have we seen a player so good that the rules of baseball have changed.
Ohtani is about the only pitcher in the league that fans want to see hit.
That was one of the main reasons why the universal DH was added in the new CBA.
Fans want to see more action.
But for purists, this works out perfectly.
They can see baseball the way it used to be, with the pitcher hitting, only this time it’s a pitcher who can actually do a ton of damage at the plate.
Ohtani is changing the game as we speak, and we can expect more things to change as long as he’s in the league