Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bacsik: The Rangers have NO options left

This is new to the casual Rangers fan but we are getting close to making sure your options are available for your playoff roster. A player MUST be on the Major League roster before Sept. 1 or that player will not be available for the playoffs. I don’t want this to be confusing because baseball rules can become very confusing.

A team’s playoff roster is 25 guys. Usually 4 starting pitchers (the 4th starter might be your long man and not start a game), 7 relievers, and 14 position players. If you are on the MLB DL on Aug. 31 you are eligible to be on the playoff roster. That means guys like Kinsler, Guzman, Holland, and Treanor are all eligible to be on the playoff roster. But, let’s say Trainer is ready to come back on August 20. The Rangers will either keep Treanor on the DL until the rosters expand on September 1 or they will activate Treanor and DL Teagarden. The reason being, you don’t want to option Teagarden down because if you recall him on Sept. 1 he is not eligible for the playoff roster. Make sense?

Lets take an example: If for some reason the Rangers lose both catchers on Sept. 25th and neither can play the rest of the way the Rangers can petition MLB to let them have a catcher on their playoff roster that wasn’t on the team on August 31 because the team can’t win a playoff series without a catcher. Almost every time MLB will allow the team an exception to the rule.

But what if a pitcher like Tanner Sheppers comes up on September 3rd and pitches in 10 games and gives up no runs and dominates every hitter he faces? In almost every case the Rangers wouldn’t be able to have Sheppers on the active playoff roster. Even if a guy like Feliz gets hurt, MLB will tell the Rangers that you have Holland, Nippert, and your fifth starter that can be on your roster. Pitchers that come up on September 1 will rarely become eligible for a playoff roster.

Another question Rangers fans might have is, what if a guy like Adam Dunn clears waivers and the Rangers trade for him on Sept. 2 because Vladdy gets hurt? Adam Dunn would not be eligible for the playoffs no matter what. Even though he was an active Major Leaguer on August 31st he wasn’t on the Rangers active roster on August 31st.

On September 1st the active rosters will go from 25 to 40. Most teams in a playoff race will expand their roster from 32 to 34 guys. Just try to remember who came off the DL and who came up from the minors. If Chris Davis is recalled in September he is not eligible to be on the playoff roster. Pedro Strop was just called up. If the Rangers believe he could be option for the playoffs they will DL him instead of optioning him down to OKC. Last note: you can change your 25 man roster from series to series but not game to game. Lets hope all Ranger fans will know these rules as the years go by. Go Rangers!

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