New MLB rule excludes laces of fielder's glove for tags

NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball has made several minor rule changes for this season, including one that covers tag plays on which a runner is touched by only the laces of a fielder's glove.

The tweaks were announced Friday in an 11-minute video produced by MLB. The video showed a play in which Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve touched a sliding runner with the hanging laces from his glove. In the past, that was called an out; now, that won't be enough to count as a tag.

That kind of play drew attention when it was seen on slow-motion replays during umpire reviews. The Playing Rules Committee discussed all the changes, which were approved by owners, umpires and the players' union.

Also, the top-to-bottom length of a first baseman's mitt and a fielder's glove was increased by 1 inch to 13 inches.