LANCASTER/YORK, Pa. (WHTM) — With MLB’s season back on track, the organization has announced two experimental playing rules for use during the 2022 Atlantic League Championship Season. These rules have also been expanded to affiliated play in the Minor Leagues, which means they will impact both the Lancaster Barnstormers and York Revolution.

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Hoping to create more action on the field, raise the profile of starting pitchers, and reward athleticism, the new rules are called the Double-Hook Designated Hitter Adjustment and the Dropped Pitch Rule.

  • Double-Hook Designated Hitter Adjustment: “The double-hook designated hitter will be modified. In 2021, teams lost their designated hitter when they removed the starting pitcher from the game. However, in 2022, if the starter is able to complete at least five innings, the designated hitter will be allowed to remain in the lineup for the entirety of the game. This rule intends to place emphasis on longer outings by starting pitchers.”
  • Dropped Pitch Rule: “As in the second half of 2019, batters will be able to advance to first base on any pitch that is not caught in the air by the catcher, even with first base occupied by a runner. Those who get to first base safely will be awarded a hit. This rule will increase the importance of taking care of the baseball (e.g., pitching with command, receiving, and blocking pitches) and reward athletic players who are able to capitalize on wild pitches and passed balls.”

The rules were previously tested in the Atlantic League on a limited basis.

“Given the positive results of recent years, we are continuing to prioritize the kinds of experimental rules that many baseball fans routinely discuss and want to learn more about. Testing in the Atlantic League and throughout the Minors will provide us with more valuable feedback and data that can be taken into consideration,” said MLB’s Senior Vice President for On-Field Operations Mike Hill.

Lancaster Barnstormers’ opening night at their home field will be against York Revolution. To get tickets or check out the night’s special events, click here.