MARCH 17: The extra inning ghost runner is “trending back toward reality for the 2022 season” reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (via Twitter). Heyman adds that MLB has yet to make a call on reinstating the rule, but is listening to team managers who want to “avoid testing arms”, and thus would be in favor of the rule’s reinstatement, after a truncated spring camp.
MARCH 14: The extra innings ghost runner might be sticking around in Major League Baseball, report Jayson Stark and Matt Gelb of The Athletic. Players, who “heavily support” this new feature from the last two seasons, tell the reporters they expect it to be enacted this week with the announcement of health and safety protocols.
Though the automatic runner on second base in extra innings was originally put in place as a COVID response, ultimately the players like it because it has mostly killed the marathon extra innings game.
Stark and Gelb note that the apparition may not necessarily appear in the 10th inning, but instead could surface in the 11th or 12th. With the National League adopting the designated hitter this year, baseball traditionalists are doing plenty of grumbling this week.