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Monday, February 24, 2020

How Giants, Farhan Zaidi might choose to use new 26th roster spot

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—As Giants veterans checked into camp last week, a couple of them referred to the 25-man roster in interviews. Like writing a new year on your checks, it’ll take a while for players to adjust to having a 26th man.

But on the second floor of the new facility at Scottsdale Stadium, there already have been plenty of conversations about it.

The front office has an extra roster spot to work with, and few executives will dig that more than Farhan Zaidi, who spent 2019 in an endless roster shuffle as he added depth and talent to the 40-man roster. Zaidi, general manager Scott Harris and manager Gabe Kapler have talked this spring of all the different ways they can go.

As the Giants go through their spring rotation for the first time, it’s far too early to project a full roster, especially in a camp where so many jobs are up for grabs. But we can take a look at how that roster will be impacted by the extra spot. The Giants will have 13 pitchers, that much we know. But what will they do with that 13th position player?

A story that will be of interest throughout the majors- wonder who will be getting these positions…..

QLE Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:36 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: farhan zaidi, giants, rosters

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:31 AM (#5926281)
It can't be used on a pitcher so aren't the options:

(a) waste it on a 3rd C
(b) a "professional hitter" (PH, DH in AL parks, maybe platoon 1B or LF)
(c) Men "22-24" are a backup C, a backup IF and a backup OF; rather than "25" needing to be an IF/OF, "25" can be an IF and "26" can be an OF like the good ol' days.

The Giants look pretty thin this year so I'd go for (c). If they had a good, durable lineup, they could get away with (b). But ugrading men 1 through 25 would seem more relevant than what to do with #26.

Now the Dodgers might actually have to think this through thoroughly.
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: February 25, 2020 at 01:05 AM (#5926284)
the Mets signed Matt Adams, which seems superfluous given Alonso but he does have an .816 career OPS vs RHP.

I'd say it was a shrewd strategy to the new system, if the Mets only had a brain.

maybe they'll stumble into it.

NL teams always want that quality PH late, but it always seems to be a feeble option.

could Adams be their next Rusty Staub?
   3. JJ1986 Posted: February 25, 2020 at 06:20 AM (#5926295)
The Giants have Billy Hamilton in camp, and if he can't make them as a 26th man then his career is probably over.

I still don't see why the Mets need Adams. They've got Dom Smith plus Jed Lowrie if he's healthy and maybe even Cespedes on the bench. And they need someone who can play SS (Guillorme presumably.)
   4. PreservedFish Posted: February 25, 2020 at 07:53 AM (#5926297)
Is McNeil officially the fulltime 3B now? Or are he and JD Davis doing a weird 3B/LF job share?
   5. JJ1986 Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:17 AM (#5926316)
Is McNeil officially the fulltime 3B now? Or are he and JD Davis doing a weird 3B/LF job share?
I watched the broadcast Sunday and it sounded like McNeil is the 3B unless he's playing 2B.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:27 AM (#5926319)
I watched the broadcast Sunday and it sounded like McNeil is the 3B unless he's playing 2B.

Probably bench Cano vs LHP, right? So:

vs RHP 3b McNeill, 2b Cano, lf Davis/Smith
vs LHP 3b Davis, 2b McNeill, lf Smith
   7. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:56 AM (#5926324)
It can't be used on a pitcher


What does this mean?

I mean, if you had 12 position players and 13 pitchers last year, can't you simply declare one of those position players the '26th player' and go forward with 12 position players and 14 pitchers?
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5926328)
The Giants have Billy Hamilton in camp, and if he can't make them as a 26th man then his career is probably over.


If nothing else, he's probably got a few years of NRI offers ahead of him, so that teams can stash him at AAA until they need to make their playoff rosters. Everybody loves having a fast guy as a dedicated pinch runner in the playoffs.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:01 AM (#5926329)

What does this mean?

I mean, if you had 12 position players and 13 pitchers last year, can't you simply declare one of those position players the '26th player' and go forward with 12 position players and 14 pitchers?


No. Mo more than 13 pitchers may be on the active roster. It's a new rule.
   10. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5926330)
I mean, if you had 12 position players and 13 pitchers last year, can't you simply declare one of those position players the '26th player' and go forward with 12 position players and 14 pitchers?


I think the new roster rules cap you at 13 pitchers. And for a guy to count as a position player according to those rules, there are PT thresholds in the field that he needs to be able to meet.
   11. Padraic Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:05 AM (#5926332)
Not seeing how there is a story here. Few teams ever carried more than 12 pitchers until just the last year or so, so it's basically the same roster construction questions seen in the last decade or so.
   12. JJ1986 Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:29 AM (#5926338)
I haven't read the rule, but my understanding is 2-way guys are going to be Ohtani or guys like Jake Cronenworth/Jared Walsh who are hitters first and pitchers second. Guys like Michael Lorenzen have little chance of qualifying.
   13. Karl from NY Posted: February 25, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5926383)
The rule is that only 13 roster spots can pitch. Players outside those 13 roster spots can pitch only if one of the following exceptions is met:

1. The game is in extra innings

2. One team is ahead by 7+ runs

3. He qualifies as a two-way player, which requires both 20 IP and 20 games as a non-pitcher in the previous season. For 2020 only, you can qualify based on 2018 two-way-ness, which Ohtani does.

20 IP is high enough that teams won't try to sneak in some random shortstop. 20 non-pitching appearances is an interesting threshold, I could see an NL team sneaking in a Mike Hampton for 20 pinch hits.
   14. manchestermets Posted: February 25, 2020 at 03:18 PM (#5926387)
He qualifies as a two-way player, which requires both 20 IP and 20 games as a non-pitcher in the previous season. For 2020 only, you can qualify based on 2018 two-way-ness, which Ohtani does.


Is there any way around this if a player gets a season ending injury in the first week of the season?
   15. Karl from NY Posted: February 25, 2020 at 04:00 PM (#5926403)
There's currently no injury exception in any of the sources I saw.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: February 25, 2020 at 04:30 PM (#5926409)
20 non-pitching appearances is an interesting threshold, I could see an NL team sneaking in a Mike Hampton for 20 pinch hits.


I believe you need to play several innings for it to count as a non-pitching appearance.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2020 at 04:56 PM (#5926415)
It's 20 appearances in the lineup with at least 3 PA in each of those appearances. So basically 20 starts in the field/DH. The Reds did give Lorenzen 6 starts, 29 appearances in the field and 53 PA last year probably hoping some combination of those would end up qualifying him as a 2-way player. Lorenzen is an excellent hitter for a pitcher but even with his awesome 2018, he's got a 85 career OPS+ so not really a bat you want to work into the lineup.** And with the new 3-batter rule, there won't be many times when it makes sense to stick him out in the OF. Still, as far as I know there are no restrictions on sticking a pitcher in the field if you want so the Reds can continue to use Lorenzen as they have.

** In fairness, nearly all of those would be PHs and other first PAs against a pitcher so tougher than your average PA. As a semi-regular starter in the field, maybe he'd be more of a 100 OPS+ hitter which is usually worth a bench OF spot.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2020 at 05:08 PM (#5926417)
And agreed, the 26th man makes Hamilton's life easier. I think most teams still carried a true backup CF so I was sorta counting that among the usual 25. But sometimes that guy was either the starting LF/RF or otherweise maybe a half-decent bat that was passable but below-average in CF, and I suspect that was trending up. Similarly with backup SS -- i.e. I suspect teams were increasingly choosing between having a genuine backup SS or a genuine backup CF. Now they don't have to choose which makes it easier to carry Hamilton.

And yes, the 13th pitcher only became de rigeur around 2016-17 so this just restores us to early 2010s roster management.

Back in my DM days, I always added an extra reliever to the roster before a series at Coors. I also think that with the new IL rulees, teams may find themselves wanting an extra pitcher to cope with short-term injuries. I don't know how you'd close all the loopholes but a rule allowing for a short-term presence of a 14th pitcher would be fine with me ... say up to 20 games a year and no more than 5 games in any month?
   19. Karl from NY Posted: February 25, 2020 at 06:01 PM (#5926425)
I suspect teams were increasingly choosing between having a genuine backup SS or a genuine backup CF.

This is self-inflicted by choosing to carry so damn many pitchers.
   20. manchestermets Posted: February 25, 2020 at 06:34 PM (#5926429)
There's currently no injury exception in any of the sources I saw.


So if a two-way player misses a full season, he can no longer be a two-way player? Wow, it's almost as if MLB introduced a half-assed barely thought out rule change!
   21. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 25, 2020 at 06:39 PM (#5926430)
There's currently no injury exception in any of the sources I saw.

Not in the rule, but a team can ask for an exemption based on injury. The Angels asked for an exemption for Ohtani, and were apparently granted it.
   22. Jay Z Posted: February 25, 2020 at 07:15 PM (#5926434)
Back in my DM days, I always added an extra reliever to the roster before a series at Coors. I also think that with the new IL rulees, teams may find themselves wanting an extra pitcher to cope with short-term injuries. I don't know how you'd close all the loopholes but a rule allowing for a short-term presence of a 14th pitcher would be fine with me ... say up to 20 games a year and no more than 5 games in any month?


That, or teams can just employ relievers capable of pitching more than one inning.
   23. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 09:14 PM (#5926443)
This is self-inflicted by choosing to carry so damn many pitchers.

Bravissimo, sir!
   24. Cris E Posted: February 26, 2020 at 12:19 PM (#5926537)
That, or teams can just employ relievers capable of pitching more than one inning.

You mean like starters that can go five? I don't think I'm following. I've read about the crazy use of historical figures like Old Hoss Radbourne (so many complete games!) or Juan Berenguer (more innings than appearances!) but it seems too long ago to be real.

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