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Friday, August 31, 2012

NY Post: Sherman: MLB’s roster callups is a dumb ‘tradition’

Here is how you know it is stupid: If the rule didn’t exist and you proposed it today, the 30 general managers would laugh you out of the room. Yet a mechanism that trashes logic, strategy, fairness and integrity remains because of a toxic brew of tradition, laziness and partisanship. In interviews this week — in a sport in which it is hard to find consensus on anything — I heard pretty much unanimity that the rule is archaic and needs to be fixed. ...

And consider this: With a second wild card in each league this year, the chances for ties and play-in games become more likely. And those play-ins are played under September rules. So you can, say, have the Tigers and A’s in a one-game play-in to determine the second AL wild card and in this imperative game Detroit could have 36 players and Oakland 29. Could you imagine any other sport allowing this kind of unlevel field and opening itself up for the controversy/embarrassment that would arise when a should-not-be-on-the-roster, say, pinch-runner gets one team into the playoffs and knocks another out? ...

But even if you going to expand rosters and bastardize the strategy of the game, at least come up with a mechanism where each team has to play with 28 or 30 or 32. Or have a taxi squad of up to 40, but you have to declare 25 a day. The idea that playoff spots have been and will continue to be determined by Team A having more players than Team B is something so obviously unfair and unintelligent that tradition, laziness and partisanship can carry the day no longer.

bobm Posted: August 31, 2012 at 11:02 PM | 68 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rosters

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   1. Bob Tufts Posted: September 01, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4224335)
Sherman would have taken away the beginnings of Fernandomania in 1980, along with Marty Bystrom's strong 5-0 September that season. And since he wants to take away my two wins and two saves in 1982, boo Joel Sherman!

If he wants everyone to play by the regular season rules, let's apply it to sportswriters and also cut down on the superfluous ink stained wretches that cover the All Star Game, playoffs and World Series.

As for his choice of words..stupid, laugh you out of the room, trashes logic, strategy, fairness and integrity, toxic brew of tradition, laziness and partisanship, archaic.....huh?
   2. Tricky Dick Posted: September 01, 2012 at 09:52 AM (#4224338)
So you can, say, have the Tigers and A’s in a one-game play-in to determine the second AL wild card and in this imperative game Detroit could have 36 players and Oakland 29.


I don't really see the unfairness. The A's can call up enough players to have 36 on the roster if they want. In fact, in that situation, the A's might well do that before the play-in game for all we know. In reality, a team can only put 9 players on the field at a time. Past the first 2 or 3 extra bench players, the additions above 25 men are unlikely to have much impact on the game.

And, suppose you have that rare instance of a 16+ inning game. Is it more fair to lose because a position player forced to pitch gives up a run?

I think fans like the Sept. call up period because they get to see previews of their team's prospects. If you have teams playing out the string, that creates some degree of fan interest that wouldn't normally exist.
   3. AROM Posted: September 01, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4224339)
Is it a controversy when a young pinch runner comes up and scores a key run? I've always though it was pretty exciting. These young guys get an audition, and you get to think about how much he can help the team next year once he gets some experience. Last year in game 162 I don't think Dan Johnson would have been on the 25 man roster. The legend of the great pumpkin is cool.

I'm pretty sure most GMs recognize that by the end of August many bullpens are fried, and are glad to have a few extra arms when your team falls behind in a 20-2 game.
   4. AROM Posted: September 01, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4224340)
I did not know the play in game was played under September rules. I don't agree with that. It should be treated the same as a playoff game.
   5. AROM Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4224344)
Oh I see, he's talking about a playin to get to the playin game. This has been the way for years, and I've never felt like it was making a travesty of games like Min-Det or Col-SD a few years ago.
   6. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4224345)
So you can, say, have the Tigers and A’s in a one-game play-in to determine the second AL wild card and in this imperative game Detroit could have 36 players and Oakland 29. Could you imagine any other sport allowing this kind of unlevel field and opening itself up for the controversy/embarrassment that would arise when a should-not-be-on-the-roster, say, pinch-runner gets one team into the playoffs and knocks another out? ...


First, would the play-in game be counted like a regular season game, or do the teams go to 25 man playoff rosters?

Second, roster size after September 1 is a choice. If your team wants to set it's roster at 29 and I want to set my roster at 36, you don't get to cry that I have an unfair advantage because I have seven more players available.

The Astros might as well complain they are at a disadvantage against the Nationals because Washington has better players than they do.

EDIT: RC's to AROM and Nixon
   7. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:02 AM (#4224346)
The Baseball Show With Rany And Joe spent about thirty minutes talking about how the new play-in game is considered a full round of playoffs, and therefore teams should assemble their 25-man roster solely for the goal of winning that one game, maximizing the number of hitters, not letting their pitchers see the lineup more than once, etc. Did they change the rules again?
   8. Bourbon Samurai Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:06 AM (#4224347)
By god I will pinch hit 11 times to make SURE i have a strategic advantage!
   9. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4224352)
The idea that playoff spots have been and will continue to be determined by Team A having more players than Team B is something so obviously unfair and unintelligent that tradition, laziness and partisanship can carry the day no longer.


Does he actually give examples of when this has happened?

I don't really like contending teams expanding their rosters but the benefits to non-contenders is so obvious that I don't want to see a change.
   10. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:27 AM (#4224354)
I don't see any real problem with expanding the rosters, but making teams submit a 25-man roster for each individual game. It's a little more bookkeeping, but it takes care of most of the fairness issues, however valid they might be.
   11. FrankM Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4224357)
The Baseball Show With Rany And Joe spent about thirty minutes talking about how the new play-in game is considered a full round of playoffs, and therefore teams should assemble their 25-man roster solely for the goal of winning that one game, maximizing the number of hitters, not letting their pitchers see the lineup more than once, etc. Did they change the rules again?

You're limited to the extent you can do that, since your post-season roster is based on your active roster (plus DL players) as of August 31.
   12. Smitty* Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:36 AM (#4224359)
I've never understood why teams that are in contention don't call up every uninjured player on their 40 man. Sure, many of the players may not get into a game, but when the games are ultra important why wouldn't want to give the manager as many options as possible?
   13. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 01, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4224362)
You now what's really a dumb tradition? Pants.
   14. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 01, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4224369)
You're limited to the extent you can do that, since your post-season roster is based on your active roster (plus DL players) as of August 31.

Plus the K-Rod rule (if that still exists). You can replace DL guys with anyone who was in your organization.

So for the wild card game, you can certainly deactivate 3 of your starting pitchers (the guys who you would never put in, even in extra innings) and pick 3 AAA players. Maybe an extra catcher, a pinch runner, and a pinch hitter.
   15. DKDC Posted: September 01, 2012 at 11:18 AM (#4224375)
I've never understood why teams that are in contention don't call up every uninjured player on their 40 man. Sure, many of the players may not get into a game, but when the games are ultra important why wouldn't want to give the manager as many options as possible?


I'm guessing it's a cost thing - you have to pay each player the pro-rated MLB minimum, which is almost $3000 a game. Not really worth it for the 15th man out of the bullpen or your third pinch runner.
   16. Smitty* Posted: September 01, 2012 at 11:55 AM (#4224396)
I understand there's extra cost, but the extra revenue from making the post season would more than cover it.
Remember, I'm only asking about teams in a race. I can see why teams that are out of it or have the division wrapped up wouldn't call up the extra bodies
   17. Smitty* Posted: September 01, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4224398)
Redacted
   18. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 12:09 PM (#4224407)
I'm a fan of increased roster size, period. But I do think it makes more sense that the first month of the season is when the rosters should be 40 eligible and the last month it should be locked(or you could even make a rule if you are mathematically eliminated your roster size is eligible to be increased if you wanted)

I think that if they go to 40 man to start the season, they can reduce the number of spring training games and allow the season to end in October still.
   19. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4224410)
So for the wild card game, you can certainly deactivate 3 of your starting pitchers (the guys who you would never put in, even in extra innings) and pick 3 AAA players. Maybe an extra catcher, a pinch runner, and a pinch hitter.


I thought the rule was that it had to be a pitcher for a pitcher or position player for a position player. That is why the roster construct on August 31st was so important?
   20. JJ1986 Posted: September 01, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4224417)
The DL guys are pitcher/pitcher and position player/position player, but if you have 3 position players on the DL, you can add 3 extra position players in favor of pitchers for the postseason roster.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4224433)
The DL guys are pitcher/pitcher and position player/position player, but if you have 3 position players on the DL, you can add 3 extra position players in favor of pitchers for the postseason roster.


That is what I thought. So the scenario in post 14 wouldn't work unless you had some position players on the DL(and I believe the rule is that those players had to be on the 25 man roster as of August 31st) so there is no practical way to do what 14 was posting. (deactivating three of your starting pitchers to get a deeper bench)
   22. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: September 01, 2012 at 12:46 PM (#4224438)
Yeah, I was assuming that most teams have a couple of hitters and a couple of pitchers on the DL at all times.
   23. puck Posted: September 01, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4224443)
It does seem like an odd rule considering all the emphasis on pennant races. When did it start? Does it date back before the divisional era?
   24. JJ1986 Posted: September 01, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4224447)
(and I believe the rule is that those players had to be on the 25 man roster as of August 31st)


They can be on the 25 or the DL on August 31.
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 01:08 PM (#4224465)
Yeah, I was assuming that most teams have a couple of hitters and a couple of pitchers on the DL at all times.


Only if you are a fan of the Mets, Cardinals, Red Sox or Phillies.... :)
(and apparently the Rockies and Yankees this year)

   26. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: September 01, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4224468)
When did it start? Does it date back before the divisional era?


It dates back to way before the divisional era. The rule has been around almost forever, although the roster size limits have varied over the years.

But I do think it makes more sense that the first month of the season is when the rosters should be 40...


There used to be a 28-man limit for the first 30 days of the season, from 1957-1967 I believe.
   27. BDC Posted: September 01, 2012 at 01:22 PM (#4224477)
I don't know what dynamics actually caused what other dynamics, but September call-ups align nicely with the end of (regular-season) minor-league schedules. And April is popular for "extended spring training," a time for guys to get extra work rather than piling into major-league dugouts where they won't be used, especially with thinner April schedules. The current system has shaken down into a pretty workable one. Every team has the same opportunity to exploit it, as several here have noted.
   28. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: September 01, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4224499)
I'm with Bill James - bigger rosters make the game less interesting. I'm still waiting for the September game where 14 pitchers combine on a 9-inning game. Yecch.

I'd favor MLB going to a 23-man roster. It worked for Dan Okrent after all.
   29. Tripon Posted: September 01, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4224523)
I actually think baseball should go to the 27 man rosters.
   30. Gamingboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4224527)
I remember hearing somebody once suggest that the 40-man roster be allowed with the callups, but that each manager should only be allowed to make a certain number of relievers and position players eligible for each game. So, like, if you really want to see how the Closer of the future is, you have to leave off one of your usual relievers for that game.
   31. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4224534)
I actually think baseball should go to the 27 man rosters.


I've been proposing that baseball go to a 27/28 man roster, but only have a 25 man available roster for each series. (other words, like hockey you have two or three healthy scratches per series...obviously most of the time it will be a couple of starting pitchers that won't be used in the series, but sometimes you have day-to-day injuries that you would like to fully rest the player without being tempted to use them in a necessary pinch hit role)
   32. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 01, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4224549)
I've noticed, by the way, that most of the writers who kvetch about this write for/about teams that don't have many good young players worthy of a callup.

If you want to squawk about teams that have extra role players available, why don't you also whine about teams that decide to "rest" their key guys down the stretch despite being the opposition for a team fighting to make the postseason? Is there any question that had Game 162 at Tampa Bay been, say, Game 50 or Game 100, that the pitcher who started the ninth inning for the Yankees would have been named Mariano Rivera instead of Cory Wade? Or that Jeter, Cano, Teixeira, Ganderson, and Swisher would all still have been in the game instead of coming out mid-game when the Yankees took a 7-0 lead? (One or two might have come out, but certainly not all five.)

It cuts both ways, Mr. Sherman.

-- MWE
   33. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4224554)
The Braves under Bobby Cox used to call up a relatively small number of players every September. Most years it was a mere handful. Cox said that calling up 15 new players would clog up the clubhouse and dugout, annoy the current Major Leaguers and mess with team dynamics. It's one of those arguments that sounds pretty lame, but Cox did have a decent ear for those kinds of things.
   34. DL from MN Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4224560)
I'm not sure that declaring a roster will help much. You'll just leave off some guys who played yesterday.
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4224567)
The Braves under Bobby Cox used to call up a relatively small number of players every September. Most years it was a mere handful. Cox said that calling up 15 new players would clog up the clubhouse and dugout, annoy the current Major Leaguers and mess with team dynamics. It's one of those arguments that sounds pretty lame, but Cox did have a decent ear for those kinds of things.


Most teams only bring up a couple of guys, that is standard operating procedure, very rarely are you going to see a team bring up even 5 guys.

I'm with Bill James - bigger rosters make the game less interesting. I'm still waiting for the September game where 14 pitchers combine on a 9-inning game. Yecch.

I'd favor MLB going to a 23-man roster. It worked for Dan Okrent after all.


I massively disagree, with the increased pitching staff size, you have lost the specialist that used to make the game more fun. Benches are now composed of utility players who can adequately play multiple positions instead of a designated pinch hitter, a designated runner or defensive specialist. There is no way to stop the increase of the pitching staffs, but you can make the bench larger and more interesting.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4224571)
There is no way to stop the increase of the pitching staffs

Sure there is. Make a rule: no more than 11 pitchers on the roster at one time.
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:32 PM (#4224584)
Sure there is. Make a rule: no more than 11 pitchers on the roster at one time.


When the league is using 12 as the standard, the rule would have to be at least 12 and probably 13. Just because we want only 11 doesn't mean it's practical for the league to enforce 11.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4224588)
When the league is using 12 as the standard, the rule would have to be at least 12 and probably 13. Just because we want only 11 doesn't mean it's practical for the league to enforce 11.

They could if they wanted to.

Teams would just have to use RPs for more than 1 IP, and rotate the last 2 spots in the BP with the AAA-shuttle.

It would reduced the efficiency of bullpens, but who cares?
   39. Dan Szymborski Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4224595)
There is no way to stop the increase of the pitching staffs, but you can make the bench larger and more interesting.

There isn't? Just cap the pitchers on the roster at 10 or 11.
   40. JJ1986 Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4224598)
I think if you capped pitchers, you'd just start seeing a 12th (or 13th) guy on the staff who's a two-way player.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4224599)
There isn't? Just cap the pitchers on the roster at 10 or 11.


Again, I don't see that happening. Teams routinely use 12 men on their staff, you will not get support from the owners, players or coaches for a cap below what is being currently used.
   42. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 03:50 PM (#4224600)
I think if you capped pitchers, you'd just start seeing a 12th (or 13th) guy on the staff who's a two-way player.


Absolutely nothing wrong with that.
   43. Ebessan Posted: September 01, 2012 at 04:19 PM (#4224617)
I'm with Bill James - bigger rosters make the game less interesting.

If I recall correctly, when he wrote about this in the New Historical Abstract, he wanted 18 or 20 man rosters because he basically wanted versatility forced onto the rosters and fifth starters/backup shortstops to merge into two-headed baseball cerberuses. This seems infeasible.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 01, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4224640)
Again, I don't see that happening. Teams routinely use 12 men on their staff, you will not get support from the owners, players or coaches for a cap below what is being currently used.

The players should either be indifferent (why do they care if there's an extra hitter or pitcher?) or in favor of it (7th RPs always make the minimum, but if you could bring back platoons, platoon players should make more).

The owners would do it b/c they thought fewer RPs, and fewer pitching changes would lead to a more entertaining game, and thus improve ratings and revenue.
   45. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: September 01, 2012 at 05:23 PM (#4224645)
"If I recall correctly, when he wrote about this in the New Historical Abstract, he wanted 18 or 20 man rosters because he basically wanted versatility forced onto the rosters and fifth starters/backup shortstops to merge into two-headed baseball cerberuses. This seems infeasible."

I think Bill was right about big rosters, but I also agree with you that it's likely infeasible (the number one reason being the players' union). However, I would love to see an 11 pitcher cap like Dan and snapper proposed. I would think that a handful of two-way players would pop up (heck, there would be demand for Micah Owings). Plus, versatile pitchers with stamina would be at a premium. Every team would need to carry two or three guys that could three innings in a pinch. Only the best LOOGYs, if any, would stick around. In addition, teams would also get to carry an extra position player or two. There would be new strategies to pursue (stick a pitcher in the outfield for a batter or two, and then switch back; should teams carry an extra speed specialist, glove guy, or pinch hitter?; hopefully more platoons). I do wonder what a player like Micah Owings would need to do to qualify as a two-way player and an exemption to the 11 pitcher cap. Would he need to maintain some ratio of appearances in the field to games pitched?
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4224648)
However, I would love to see an 11 pitcher cap like Dan and snapper proposed.


Which is what I ultimately would like to see. (My proposal was a 25 man series roster, a 28 man active roster that you can have 3 healthy scratches per series, and a limit on the number of pitchers on the 25 man roster is 10.
   47. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 01, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4224650)
Which is what I ultimately would like to see. (My proposal was a 25 man series roster, a 28 man active roster that you can have 3 healthy scratches per series, and a limit on the number of pitchers on the 25 man roster is 10.

Are you going to treat the 3 "scratches" as on the MLB rosters? Because the owners are not going to like the extra expense of 3 more MLB salaries and benefits, plus travel, etc.
   48. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 05:30 PM (#4224651)
Would he need to maintain some ratio of appearances in the field to games pitched?


I've thought of that before, and I think the basic rule would probably be plate appearances x 3 vs innings pitched. (maybe times 2.... I do think 1 for one is to stringent)
   49. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 05:31 PM (#4224653)
Are you going to treat the 3 "scratches" as on the MLB rosters? Because the owners are not going to like the extra expense of 3 more MLB salaries and benefits, plus travel, etc.


I know the owners would hate it. So I know it would never happen, but yes I would treat the scratches as on the major league roster for salary purposes. The most useful thing of the "healthy scratch" idea is to not even bother with your non-used starting pitchers in the series. Every series you would be putting two of your starting pitchers on the healthy scratch(except in four game series which is a problem with this scheme) You would still have a full bullpen, a third catcher if necessary and room for a specialist player or two.
   50. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: September 01, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4224660)
CFB, I am not convinced that a "scratch list" is as attractive as a simpler 11 player cap. As you said, the team is going to put " two of [its] starting pitchers on the healthy scratch" list for each series plus another reliever. However, teams already limit their pitching staffs in a similar way. What we're all trying to accomplish is a game with smaller bullpens and less pitching changes. With the "scratch list" idea, the teams are simply going to add their most fatigued long man to the list. Teams already do this for practical purposes. If a long man picks up 2+ innings in a blowout then the long man will usually get the next 3-4 days off unless there is an unavoidable emergency (e.g. a 17 inning game). The main impact I can see from the scratch list is making it mandatory to give a long man 3 days off instead of it simply being standard operating procedure to give a long man 3 days off. Also, if a team's long man are all rested, then the team will simply place the worst reliever on the scratch list. That doesn't seem to be a big deal, as a team with a rested bullpen isn't going to use the mop-up man in most circumstances anyway. I suppose that bullpen usage would change slightly in that teams would now have an incentive to use a reliever three days in a row knowing that you could simply scratch him from the next series. I think this is a minor tactical change that doesn't actually change strategy or the aesthetics of the game to any real extent.
   51. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4224665)
What we're all trying to accomplish is a game with smaller bullpens and less pitching changes.


That is what you are trying to accomplish, I'm trying to accomplish more position players available in the lineup. I don't care one bit about the excessive overmanagement of the pen.
   52. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 01, 2012 at 06:15 PM (#4224671)
I think if you capped pitchers, you'd just start seeing a 12th (or 13th) guy on the staff who's a two-way player.



Absolutely nothing wrong with that.


And how is that enforced? Can a minor leaguer with 1 inning in the OF and 52 IP be a backup OF, and "Oops", he might have to pitch if the pen is depleted?
   53. PreservedFish Posted: September 01, 2012 at 06:28 PM (#4224678)
All of these ideas are terrible. I agree with everyone that I would prefer if managers had fewer pitchers, and if two-way play were more common. But adding these contrived and complicated rules (IP:PA ratio?) is not going to make anything better. Simplicity, people.
   54. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 06:34 PM (#4224682)
And how is that enforced? Can a minor leaguer with 1 inning in the OF and 52 IP be a backup OF, and "Oops", he might have to pitch if the pen is depleted?


You're position is determined by whichever ratio is greater between innings pitched vs plate appearances(times two or three even)

All of these ideas are terrible. I agree with everyone that I would prefer if managers had fewer pitchers, and if two-way play were more common. But adding these contrived and complicated rules (IP:PA ratio?) is not going to make anything better. Simplicity, people.


Only reason I want expanded rosters is that the bullpens have expanded, and nothing is going to put that genie in the bottle. I would like more bench players to go back to being a specialist instead of relying on a large contingent of multi-position utility players. Only reason I've ever proposed the scratch concept is that a lot of people still prefer the illusion of a 25 man roster.
   55. Jim Wisinski Posted: September 01, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4224685)
I agree with #53 completely.

I would not object to the idea of limiting the September rosters to 30 or something though.
   56. PreservedFish Posted: September 01, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4224689)
Only reason I want expanded rosters is that the bullpens have expanded, and nothing is going to put that genie in the bottle. I would like more bench players to go back to being a specialist instead of relying on a large contingent of multi-position utility players. Only reason I've ever proposed the scratch concept is that a lot of people still prefer the illusion of a 25 man roster.


Your scratch concept may get some teams to add a pinch-runner or a platoon hitter, but it will absolutely definitely indubitably get them to add more situational pitchers. Every team would immediately go up to 8 bullpen arms, maybe 9. It very clearly would make all of these problems worse.
   57. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: September 01, 2012 at 06:53 PM (#4224690)
You're position is determined by whichever ratio is greater between innings pitched vs plate appearances(times two or three even)


So, no position player is ever allowed to pitch?
   58. PreservedFish Posted: September 01, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4224694)
So, no position player is ever allowed to pitch?


Yeah, this definition of a "pitcher" thing is surprisingly tricky.

(edited to remove some unnecessary arguments)
   59. Downtown Bookie Posted: September 01, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4224696)
I agree with everyone that I would prefer if managers had fewer pitchers, and if two-way play were more common.


Allow me please to dissent. I personally think it's long past time for MLB to expand its roster size.

When I watch MLB baseball, I want to see the best players optimally used; and seeing a pitcher play rightfield or a shortstop try to pitch doesn't fill that bill for me.

Obviously, this is a matter of personal preference; and I appreciate the fact that many baseball fans prefer a return to a game that once was, rather than the game that is today; just as there are many football fans who pine for the days when NFL players had to play sixty minutes on both side of the ball. And let me make it clear that all are entitled to their opinion on the subject; but count me on the side that prefers a larger, not smaller, roster.

DB
   60. Rennie's Tenet Posted: September 01, 2012 at 07:13 PM (#4224697)
The Braves under Bobby Cox used to call up a relatively small number of players every September. Most years it was a mere handful. Cox said that calling up 15 new players would clog up the clubhouse and dugout, annoy the current Major Leaguers and mess with team dynamics. It's one of those arguments that sounds pretty lame, but Cox did have a decent ear for those kinds of things.


Including a couple guys on the DL, the Pirates are up to 32 players. Roster use is so flexible now, though, that there's only one callup who hasn't been in the majors before. If they called up the whole 40-man, there'd only be four who were new to the clubhouse.
   61. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 07:58 PM (#4224724)
So, no position player is ever allowed to pitch?


Yes they are allowed to pitch, how they are classified as either a pitcher or hitter would depend if they have the larger number on plate appearance side or the innings pitched side.

If you have a limit of a 11 pitchers, it's about defining who is a pitcher and who is a "fielder" obviously if a guy never pitches, he's clearly a fielder. But if a guy goes out and pitches 30 innings and gets 30 plate appearances...how would you classify him for purpose of where he falls on roster construction? Is he a pitcher or a hitter. By saying to be classified as a pitcher his innings pitched needs to be greater than his plate appearances it's a nice neat line to draw.


I personally think it's long past time for MLB to expand its roster size.


Obviously I agree. Again, the only reason I propose the healthy scratch option is that it's a compromise position to the people who insist that baseball is 25 man roster size and that that is big enough.
   62. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: September 01, 2012 at 08:59 PM (#4224762)
"That is what you are trying to accomplish, I'm trying to accomplish more position players available in the lineup. I don't care one bit about the excessive overmanagement of the pen."

I'm sorry for misunderstanding. I wonder if teams would actually use the 3 "extra" roster spots under the "scratch list" plan for more position players, or if they would load up on more pitchers. It's really not that hard to imagine a scenario where a team under the current roster rules would be better off dropping a LOOGY for an extra pinch hitter or LIDR wizard, but no one does it. I'm afraid that bullpens might grow by another pitcher before we see a team decide to trim the bullpen in favor of another position player.
   63. cardsfanboy Posted: September 01, 2012 at 09:09 PM (#4224769)
I wonder if teams would actually use the 3 "extra" roster spots under the "scratch list" plan for more position players, or if they would load up on more pitchers.


In previous discussions about this plan, I was told that they probably wouldn't and instead would effectively go to a 13/14 man bullpen. That is the reason I think the limit on number of pitchers would have to be created also.

Ultimately if you increase the roster size by one player(to 26) with no limits, then you will probably see some teams add a second loogy while other teams will add a swing utility player that is a capable backup catcher. If you up it to 27 man roster, you most definitely will see an additional pitcher added to the team, basically the 4A pitcher that most teams keep in AAA now. You won't really see an additional bench player that will be used until you up it to 28 players(probably)

Even though my healthy scratch idea does the same thing(increases the roster to 28 men) I think the nature of having the ability to move people off of the roster will encourage a more traditional bench. Teams would obviously make two of the healthy scratches starting pitchers who won't be used in the series. The third spot would be the flexible spot for whatever purposes. In this scenario then the 25 man roster with a 12 man pitching staff would effectively have a 10 man pitching staff for a series and 15 spots for position players.
   64. Belfry Bob Posted: September 01, 2012 at 09:10 PM (#4224770)
"This wig is heavy. What dope wears a wig like this?"

"Everyone used to wear them."

'Then everyone was a dope."
   65. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 01, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4224778)
just as there are many football fans who pine for the days when NFL players had to play sixty minutes on both side of the ball


Damn straight!
   66. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 01, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4224882)
I don't see any real problem with expanding the rosters, but making teams submit a 25-man roster for each individual game.

A lot of the playing time for call-ups comes in blowouts or the last few innings of a "safe" lead. Can't really predict that, so you'd diminish the opportunity to evaluate call-ups, since clubs would presumably go with their A Team until they'd clinched a playoff spot or been eliminated.
   67. JJ1986 Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:03 PM (#4225178)
Joe Girardi has used 5 pitchers in an inning today and so far they have recorded one out. It makes for some of the worst television possible.
   68. Mike Emeigh Posted: September 02, 2012 at 04:30 PM (#4225200)
Major league teams have discovered that it is easier to find - and use - a pitcher who can provide 40 or 50 low-leverage innings than it is to find - and use - a hitter who can be productive in 150-200 plate appearances. I don't see that changing any time soon.

-- MWE

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