Caribbean Baseball Association Rules:
The CBA uses the same rules as the MiLB with the following exceptions:
- CBA Salary = All players must earn at least US $850 per season (with a US $250 bonus for winning the Caribbean Series).
- Roster = All teams are required to have a 36-man roster to add a extra player to the roster who will either serve as a infielder, outfielder, or an Designated Extra Hitter (DEH).
- Number of Players in batting order = All teams must have a 10-man batting order in which both the DEH and the pitcher must bat.
- Designated Extra Hitter Rules = The DEH must be declared on the lineup card prior to the game; The EH may hit in any place in the batting order and is considered eligible for re-entry under the re-entry rule like any regular position player.
- Number of Innings = Each team has 3 innings per game; An inning ends when all 10 players are either dismissed or stranded on base; All doubleheaders (DH) will be 2 innings each.
- Scoring System = A player scores a run for every base they reach after hitting the ball; however, they will not subsequently score when moving around the bases on another player's hit unless they manage to steal a base or reach home plate. The equivalent of a home run scores four runs + the number of players on base. 1 point will also be awarded for walks.
- Regular Season (70 Games):
a) Each team in the 8-team conferences play 10 games (5h/5a) against the other 7 teams in their conference.
b) Each team in the 6-team conferences plays 14 games (7h/7a) against the other 5 teams in their conference.
c) The regular-season runs from October to December and is followed by a 4-team playoff series (2 teams from each Cuban division) in January to determine the divisional champions.
- Each team will receive premier points for entry into the postseason:
a) Each team will receive 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss.
b) At the end of the regular season, the team with the best regular season record (i.e. highest point total; not for each league) is awarded the Morales-Ortiz Trophy.
c) For those who don't know, it echoes the practice of the top European soccer leagues in which the team with the best record is the champion, similar to the Supporter’s Shield in MLS.
d) The Morales-Ortiz Trophy winner is guaranteed home-field advantage in all three rounds of the playoffs (unless they are not from the host country for the Caribbean Series).
- Post-Season = 5-team 2-stage tournament (i.e. The Caribbean Series; only 1 team per country):
a) The Preliminary Round consists of a 10-game round robin where all 5 teams play the other 4 teams once.
b) The Semi-Final Round consists of a 4-team single-elimination bracket (1st vs. 4th, 2nd vs. 3rd).
- The DEH is eligible to be put into the game defensively at any time; If this happens, the batting order does not change.
- The ten (10) players in the batting order can be rotated among the nine (9) defensive positions at the discretion of the coach or manager, and all are eligible for re- entry under the re-entry rule; For example, a manager can move the EH into LF, and the LF now becomes the EH.
- All starting players may be removed and re‐enter the game once, but must re‐enter in their original position in the batting order.
- Non‐starters are not allowed to re‐enter unless an injury occurs.
- When a starter re‐enters, the player in the starter’s batting position in the batting order must be removed from the game and is ineligible for the remainder of the game unless an injury occurs.
- MiLB starting pitchers – those on the 41-man roster with a majority of their time spent in the MiLB – cannot participate in winter ball if they threw 140 or more innings, while MiLB relievers cannot have appeared in more than 45 games in order to be eligible.
- Pitchers also are ineligible if their workload in games or innings grew 25 percent over the prior season. The caveats: They must’ve reached 60 percent of the games-or-innings threshold the previous season, and players switching from the rotation to the bullpen or vice versa don’t count.
- Both Major and Minor League position players with a max of 552-plate appearances are eligible to play in the CBA.
- Unless a player finishes the season on the disabled list or spent 60 days on the DL (including 15 over the final 60 days of the season), a team cannot declare him physically incapable. The exception is pitchers who have undergone major surgery in the previous 18 months.