The Major League Baseball and MLB Players Association agreed Thursday for a seven-inning double header starting Thursday, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN’s Jeff Passon.
While sources were expected to have multiple doubleheaders due to current and potential coronovirus outbreaks as well as rescheduled games due to weather-related postponement, shortening the double header to seven innings was an agreement that came quickly, sources said. said.
However, no double header has been scheduled in the Major since the postponement of the Toronto Blue Jas-Philadelphia Phillies Twin Bills on Saturday as two Phillips staff tested positive for COVID-19.
MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clarke called deputy commissioner Dan Haleem during the first doubleheader of the season on Tuesday and said players could consider the younger twin bills this year. The union surveyed its members, as it considered two seven-inning games for a doubleheader, or nine innings for the opener and seven innings for the night. A source confirmed to ESPN that MLB was investigating the opinion between the owners and the general manager.
MLB had already adopted a shorter rule for 2020: Half of each extra inning starts with a runner on second base.
Sources said that this rule would still apply in doubleheaded games, which meant that teams would start with runners on second base in the eighth inning.
Seven-inning double headers have been common in minor leagues and college for years.
Major league players, owners and general managers this week addressed the possibility of shortening the double header.
“I like Nine and Nine, personally,” New York Yankees reliever Adam Ottavino said Wednesday. “I don’t want to be marginalized out of the game. Once we get to the seven-inning game, the slippery slope.”
Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Madon said, “If the double header was piled up for any reason, I would have liked in a contingency plan.
“You’re just doing what you’re doing, like we’re doing with the weather. So I get it from an expeditious point of view, if it’s necessary. … I’m just about to do anything. Me. To speak badly on any kind of suggestion right now, people believe that is going to help us get through the season, through the playoffs and end them. “
The Associated Press contributed to this report.