Source: Extra-inning, extra-runner rule to remain

Major League Baseball is making it permanent: In all regular-season extra-inning games, a runner will be placed on second base to begin the 10th inning, and in every subsequent extra inning after that, until a winner is determined, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Commissioner Rob Manfred intimated all winter that the rule would return in 2023, and the joint competition committee has now voted unanimously to adopt the rule that has been in place for the past three seasons.

First conceived during the pandemic to protect pitchers' arms -- and then continued through last year's shortened spring training because of the lockout -- the league is making it permanent as teams and players seem to approve of the rule.

Pitchers don't mind less wear and tear on their arms, and front-office personnel hate the havoc that long, extra-inning affairs create with their rosters in the days following those games.

The league is also tweaking the rule that allows position players to take the mound when their teams are leading or trailing by six or more runs.

Under the new guidelines, leading teams have to be up by 10 or more runs in the ninth inning to let a position player pitch but trailing teams can use a position player anytime they are down by eight or more runs. Position players are also allowed to pitch anytime in extra innings.

According to Elias Sports Bureau research, there were 132 instances of position players pitching in 2022, up from 32 five years ago. Players had concerns, as statistics were beginning to be dramatically affected by so many position players pitching.

Both rules passed unanimously, the source said.