The 2022 MLB season has arrived. After what looked like a sure-fire delay to the season was coming thanks to the lockout, the new year is finally here and it’s real. Fans of baseball are excited that it’s finally happening. The Chicago White Sox are predicted by many to win the AL Central.
They could even represent the American League in the World Series. This would be the ideal scenario for White Sox fans. However, the team has a whole slate of games ahead of them to get through in order to even get into the playoffs.
The dawn of a new season also means that new rules are being ushered in. Some of these rules will have an effect on how the White Sox do this season. There are a lot of ways that these rules affect the White Sox as currently constructed.
The first rule change is just a continuation of a change that had been in place previously, having a runner on second base when the game reaches extra innings. This is supposed to help get extra-inning games over much faster than is normally experienced.
Some people don’t like the rule and others think it’s great for the game to help shorten it up and keep people interested.
This rule would affect the White Sox pretty much the same as it would affect any other team. The advantage Chicago would have is that it would help by keeping extra pitchers from being used and wearing out in a long game.
An extra-innings game requires a lot of pitching talent. If several pitchers are used, their arms may not be fully recovered by the time they have to pitch again which could be as soon as the next day.
There are a lot of new rules for the Chicago White Sox to follow this season.
Another rule change that’s come on board for the 2022 season is known as the Shohei Ohtani rule. An amendment to the designated hitter rule allows a starting pitcher to be a designated hitter. Should the pitcher be replaced by someone else in the bullpen, that pitcher can still hit. You can see how this favors Ohtani.
This rule really won’t impact the White Sox that much as they don’t have any pitchers that can really hit the ball too well. Sure, Dylan Cease had a good outing as a batter in a game last year but he’s not going to be pulling double duty any time soon.
Along the same lines, both leagues will now feature the designated hitter. The White Sox, a team that is part of the American League, had the designated hitter in place for a long time now.
Where it has an effect on them is when they visit National League ballparks, they no longer need to have the pitcher bat. This should help them out by giving one of the talented designated hitters a chance at the plate and improving the offense’s overall performance. It also means that a National League team will be able to post a better hitter in the DH spot.
Expanding the postseason was another rule that was put in place for this season. Instead of having a total of ten teams in the postseason, there will be 12 teams. This helps the White Sox out if they end up not winning the AL Central and get in position for a wild card berth.
The next new rule has to deal with roster movement. Players can only be optioned five times per season. If they go beyond that, they will have to be allowed to be available to other clubs by being designated for assignment. This will likely curtail the number of moves that a team makes because of the fear of losing a player to another team.
This is a sneaky little rule that I think will have a much bigger impact on individual players rather than it will on teams. It will keep players on big league rosters longer. For the Sox, this will limit the “churn” at the back end of the roster and will keep players in place on the team much longer.
Finally, there is another small change that took place with the rules heading into this season. Teams can no longer sign a player more than once without that player having cleared the entire waiver order. So, if a team wants to sign a player multiple times, they have to wait for him to clear waivers completely before they can resign him.
The White Sox, like every other team in the league, will risk losing a player they may want to have back again at some point because of this rule. It will surely be interesting to see some of these be used on the field in 2022. Hopefully, they all end u favoring the White Sox.