Major League Baseball has opted to revert its exhibition contest featuring the top prospects in the game back to seven innings, according to a press release from the league office.
The 2019 Futures Game, scheduled for July 7 at Progressive Field, will mark the first time since the inaugural 1999 contest that the game will go seven innings as opposed to nine.
Furthermore, for the first time in league history, it will be divided by American League and National League players. In years prior, the game has featured United States prospects versus international prospects.
Hall of Famer Jim Thome will manage the AL squad, while four-time All-Star Dennis Martinez will act as the NL team's skipper.
Thome, a five-time All-Star, spent the first 12 seasons of his career with the Cleveland Indians, who will host the 2019 All-Star festivities. Thome rejoined the Indians briefly during the 2011 campaign for a total of 1399 games played over 13 seasons with the team. The corner infielder posted a .956 OPS with 612 home runs over his 22-year career.
Martinez spent three seasons with Cleveland near the end of his storied career. The right-hander retired with a 3.70 ERA and 245-193 lifetime record over 692 games played, finishing top five in Cy Young voting on two separate occasions.