As the 2020 Major League Baseball season inches closer to beginning, the league released the official details of the roster size changes that will be in place for the shortened 60-game season.
MLB had already decided to expand rosters for 25 to 26 active players for this season and moving forward, but now with an unusual year expected, they made the decision to take it one step further.
Under the new rules, teams must submit an Opening Day active roster of a maximum of 30 players and a minimum of 25 by 9 a.m. PT on the first day of the regular season. Then, on the 15th day of the season, the active roster limited will be reduced from 30 to 28 players.
Finally, on the 29th day, the active roster will again be reduced, from 28 to 26, where it will remain for the rest of the regular and postseason.
There will not be expanded rosters during the month of September for the first time in the league’s history. But as is normally the case, teams can add an extra player to their active roster in the event of a doubleheader.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have one of the deepest rosters in the league, so president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman believes they will have some interesting decisions to make with the extra roster spots.
“Part of it that will definitely change is the fact that we’ll have 30 guys to start, so that will add four additional players. In Spring Training, those last couple of weeks, we weren’t sure if Joc was going to be ready for Opening Day. Now we’re in a pretty good spot with all of our guys,” Friedman said.
“I’m sure it’ll change a little bit, but also so much of it will come from where our starters are as we get going. How built up they are to kind of figure out the interplay of how many pitchers versus position players. We’ll take the next three or four weeks to wrap our arms around it and try to put together the best 30-man roster we can.”
In addition to active roster spots, teams will have the ability to carry a “Taxi Squad” of up to three players that can travel with the team on the road in case of injury (one must be a catcher). Players on the Taxi Squad are permitted to work out with the team but can’t be in uniform or in the dugout during games.
“I think a lot will just depend on where we’re at, what our roster looks like,” Friedman said on how the Dodgers will utilize the Taxi Squad players. “I imagine there’s going to be times when we want to carry a few more pitchers than we otherwise would.
“There may be times where we have a stretch of more off days, where it’s easier for us to carry a few more position players. So depending on what the composition of our roster is, will help determine the taxi players we carry with us.
“I think the most important part is having them travel with you when you’re going somewhere that’s a plane ride away, to not rely on commercial air travel. That’s the thing we’ll have to be mindful of before a trip. Other than that, I think we can kind of read and react day to day.”
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