Baseball in the era COVID-19: World Series champion Nationals greeted by a host of rules changes

When the World Series champion Washington Nationals will return to the baseball diamond on Thursday, they will have to become accustomed to a host of rules changes Major League Baseball has instituted to protect players from the novel coronavirus.

READ MORE: Two Washington Nationals players test positive for COVID-19

In the preseason, two unidentified Nationals’ players tested positive for COVID-19, while Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross opted to sit out the 2020 campaign over health concerns.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

In addition to shortening the season to 60 games and prohibiting fans from attending games, the league announced an array of new rules ranging from minor changes to major ones.

READ MORE: Dr. Anthony Fauci to throw first pitch for Nationals on Opening Day

This week, the Washington Post compiled a list of the changes baseball will introduce this season.

Some of the rules include:

- Universal designated hitter

- Runner on second base to start extra innings

- Position players may pitch at any time

- No spitting

- Physical distancing (players or managers who come in close contact with umpires or opposing players can be ejected)

- Players must use their own accessories

- Team rosters can begin the season with 30 players, but they must be trimmed as the season progresses

- Players who go on the injured reserve list can’t be activated for 10 days; and a separate list will be kept for players who have confirmed COVID-19 cases

For a more complete list of rule changes and explanations, go to the Washington Post's website.