(WHTM) – The Atlantic League has partnered with Major League Baseball to test experimental playing rules during the 2023 season.

Starting on April 28, the ALPB, which includes the Lancaster Barnstormers and York Revolution, will feature a new Designated Pinch Runner rule, a pitcher limit of a single disengagement per at-bat, and the return of the “Double-Hook DH” rule.

  • Designated Pinch Runner – Each club will list a player who is not otherwise in the starting lineup as a designated pinch runner.  That player may then be substituted at any point into the game as a baserunner.  The player who is substituted for, as well as the pinch runner, may then return to the game without penalty.  
  • Disengagement rule – The Atlantic League test will permit only a single disengagement from the pitching rubber per at-bat in 2023. 
  • “Double-Hook” DH rule – The rule allows clubs to use the designated hitter throughout the game provided that the club’s starting pitcher has completed at least five innings.  If the starter fails to make it through the fifth, the club then loses the DH for the remainder of the game.   

Other rules previously tested by the Atlantic League for Major League Baseball include an automated strike zone, a three-batter minimum for pitchers, defensive shift restrictions, and bigger bases.

This year Major League Baseball adopted several new rules, including larger bases and restrictions on defensive shifting.

Atlantic League President Rick White said: “The Atlantic League is proud of our relationship with MLB as its very first Partner League.  We are excited to have pioneered the rules changes which MLB is using today to enhance the game at its highest level.  Our players and coaches are helping shape the future of the game.” 

MLB Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations Morgan Sword said: “We thank the Atlantic League for their continued partnership.  In recent years, the ALPB’s experimental rules have aimed to emphasize athleticism, improved pace of play and other means of giving fans the game they want to see.  We are excited for another great season of Atlantic League baseball and the entertainment that it will bring to fans.”