CHICAGO (AP) — Come Monday, there is going to be a little more room in big league bullpens, from Seattle to Tampa Bay, and plenty of places in between.
Major League Baseball is moving forward with its oft-delayed plan for a 13-pitcher limit on active rosters. The move could affect the game in a variety of ways, from more position players taking the mound to a few more trips to the minors for pitchers with options.
“I don’t know that I understand it. And it is OK because we follow the rules,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “But it’s just one of those where it is a little hard when they’re telling you how to compete. I feel like sometimes, especially with our doubleheaders coming up, I think it can put teams at a disadvantage.”
The 13-pitcher limit originally was announced by MLB before the 2020 season, one of several changes that included expanding active rosters by one to 26 and requiring pitchers to face at least three batters or finish a half-inning. But the limit has been pushed back repeatedly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MLB and the union said March 31 that a 13-pitcher limit would be enforced starting May 2, then on April 16 announced the date had been pushed back to May 30. They said last month that the change would go into effect June 20, and MLB sent out a reminder last week.
“For us, I was hoping that they didn’t do it,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said with a chuckle. “I could sit here and lie to you, but it would be nice if we could keep that extra pitcher.”
Washington is last in the NL East and had all sorts of pitching problems – in part because two starters, Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross, have made a combined one start in 2022 because to injuries. There have been injuries to the bullpen, too, along with plenty of…