Two-way Players

Definition

Beginning in 2020, all Major League teams will need to designate every player on the active roster as either a pitcher or a position player. The number of pitchers a club may carry on the active roster will be capped (maximum number TBD).

Only players designated as pitchers will be allowed to pitch in a game, including in the postseason, with three exceptions.

1) The game goes into extra innings.
2) The player's team is winning or losing by six or more runs.
3) The player has earned the "two-way" designation.

To qualify for the two-way designation, a player must pitch 20 Major League innings and have 20 games played as a position player or designated hitter, with at least three plate appearances in each of those 20 games, in either the current or previous MLB season.

Once a player has earned the two-way player designation, he maintains that status for the rest of that season and the following season. And while he has that status, his team no longer has to use one of its pitching roster spots on him.

Players won't be able to switch from pitcher to position player during an ongoing season, but they could switch from pitcher to two-way player during the season once they have met the necessary requirements.

Example

Watch: MLB Tonight breaks down Shohei Ohtani's AL Rookie of the Year Award-winning season. Having recorded 51 2/3 innings as a pitcher and three-plus plate appearances in 81 different games as a designated hitter in 2018, Ohtani would qualify for the two-way designation in 2019 if the new rule went into effect this year instead of next.