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MLB trade rumors and news: We’ll have 28-man rosters in April and the ghost runner for all of 2022

Doubleheaders will be back to nine innings this year, and there’s a new rule that will benefit Shohei Ohtani.

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Thought MLB had already finished making changes for the 2022 season? Think again. According to a report from the New York Post’s Joel Sherman on Tuesday, several adjustments are in store this year, with most of them being made in an effort to keep players healthy following the lockout and a shortened spring training.

Teams will have 28-man rosters in April, a key adjustment as pitchers continue to get built up after an unusual offseason. While teams will be limited to 13 pitchers when rosters return to their usual 26-man limit in May, teams will be able to carry as many arms as they want for the season’s first month. While doubleheaders will return to nine innings, which seemed likely once teams resumed scheduling split twin bills and giving fans less bang for their buck, the ghost runner on second base in extra innings will remain in place this season. MLB says that change is only for 2022, though we’ve heard that same refrain to some extent in each of the past two seasons.

Finally, in the only long-term measure of the bunch, starting pitchers who bat for themselves will remain in the DH slot even when their day on the mound is over. That’s significant for Shohei Ohtani, who awkwardly moved from the mound to the outfield on several occasions last season as the Angels tried to get him another at-bat.