With the closing of football season, baseball is right around the corner. MLB has announced their upcoming season will see some subtle changes.
Major League Baseball introduces new alterations almost every year. Last year the MLB announced that they would start a new rule stating that when in extra innings, a man will start on second to speed up the game.
Recently, there has been another change that will affect home runs. According to the MLB, there were 6,776 home runs hit in 2019. This led to the conclusion that the league was using a “juiced-up ball.” After the 2019 season, scientists came together and concluded that baseballs had less drag and more exit velocity than in previous seasons, which is why the rate of home runs was so large.
The MLB decided to require their manufacturers to make the baseballs more bouncy and decrease the weight by 2.8 grams. Though, the weight decrease will not change the size of the ball. Another slight change this coming season is that the tension of the strings on the ball will be loosened. TheStar Tribune reported these slight changes will decrease the homerun rate by 5%.
The Associated Press reported that the number of teams who keep the balls in humidity-controlled rooms will double. Keeping a baseball in a humid climate causes the ball to go farther since the air is less dense. Seeing that these changes are intended to make the ball not go as far, more teams will decide to use humidors to increase their chances of home runs. Teams like The Rockies, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Mets, and Red Sox already have humidors in their stadium.
The changes will impact players in different ways, but mainly the big hitters. Nelson Cruz, a player on the Twins, is a good example of this alteration. Cruz hit 57 home runs in 2019, and the short period he played in 2020 combined. With the changes coming up, he would have only hit 53 home runs, a 7% decrease.