September Call-Ups and the Playoff Chase

I have a problem with the expansion of the roster in baseball from 25 to a maximum of 40 after September 1. This process is called the September Call-ups. In watching the Yankees against Tampa Bay on September 15, Tampa Bay was batting in the seventh inning. During that inning the Yankees used three pitchers while Tampa Bay used four pinch hitters and a pinch runner. The pinch runner had just recovered from a broken hand and could only be used as a pinch runner or a replacement fielder. It seemed that the seventh inning would never end.

  • My objections to the 40-man roster are: An already too long game becomes even longer. The bullpen which usually may have five or six pitchers now can have in excess of ten pitchers. This allows a manager the option of matching up lefty to lefty or righty to righty several times in the late innings. Every time a new pitcher enters we are talking about extending the time of a game by an extra ten to fifteen minutes.
  • In the most crucial part of the season where the teams making the playoffs are decided, the strategies used in a baseball game change. You could say the game of baseball changes. In the other three major professional leagues the active roster size does not change at any time in the season. Why should baseball be different?
  • What is to stop a team from keeping one or two track stars on their 40 man roster and then use them in crucial base running situations? These track stars may not have ever played baseball except maybe in Little League.

Since baseball’s players are unionized and it is clear that the players’ union wants to keep the 40-man roster as is, I propose a compromise.

The compromise I suggest is to keep the 40-man roster in the dugout but for each game a team must declare a 25-man active roster. This is exactly what the NFL does. The 25-man roster can change for each game after September 1. The union may be willing to accept this compromise since every player on the 40-man roster will get credit for time spent in the Major Leagues. I don’t believe the union would ever accept the elimination of the 40-man roster.


This rule change would remove some of the objections I stated above.


Now it’s your turn to comment by giving your opinion on what to do with the 40-man roster.

Also, please vote on my homepage on my three options concerning this rule.


Please, if baseball keeps the 40-man roster, expand the size of the dugouts.

Original Comments:


1 Comment(s):

Dennis said…

Totally agree with you. Declare the 25 players for each game with the use of 40 man roster game to game. This years wildcard single games will be a good example of your argument. Managers can play the one game using more players and tools for that one game- which is their whole season.

September 28, 2012 05:06:20


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