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A Look at the 28-Man Roster Rule

Starting Friday, a new roster rule will be adopted by MLB. Rather than the 30-man roster, it will be reduced to a 28-man roster. The key difference is that it will stay that way, rather than to have a second reduction to a 26-man roster. Before COVID-19 we expected the expansion to a 26-man roster. With with 28 players on the roster, will it change the course of roster expansion in MLB?

Will It Even Be Considered To Be Permanent?

While the game has moved towards the direction of expanding rosters and placed a heavier emphasis on the bullpen, this may be against MLB’s best interests. Rob Manfred’s questionable decision making has led him to become obsessed with speeding up the game. This might be to the dismay of MLB, for continuing with this rule could lead to more bullpen changes.

Let’s take off the “speed up the game” filter and think about this from a baseball and strategical standpoint. With that in mind is this move good for baseball?

What Does This Add to a Strategical Standpoint?

Teams will most likely use this 28-man roster to add one additional hitter and two pitchers from the standard 25-man roster. I think they’ll have one catcher and either two infielders and one outfielder, or the other way around. This gives teams depth for the bullpen, and I see most of MLB adopting a consistent opener for the fifth starter. This is because they can fill in arms and mix it up to get early shutout innings while taxing their fireballing arms less.

For the sake of player health and job opportunities? I think this is great for baseball, and while yes there will be more changes, I think it allows for fresh arms to be pumped into the game, rather than the risk of increasing injuries.

What’s The Verdict On the 28 Man Roster?

Personally, I’m all for the 28-man roster. I love the opener strategy and think it’s winning baseball that works, especially if you have a guy like Chad Green. It also gives more pitchers a shot to land a spot on the roster and show their worth. You also can keep an extra bat and give them a roster spot which gives you lineup flexibility. I think it allows for teams to pick up a veteran bench bat and not clog their farm system if the bat is a rental.

While the change could slow down the game, I can’t see how that outweighs the benefits.

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