Until yesterday, the Mets were deploying an expanded bullpen consisting of eight relief pitchers at the expense of their bench. On occasion this led to substitution issues, such as when Anthony Recker was forced to play third base for an inning. Manager Terry Collins has a suggestion to remedy this, writes Jared Diamond in the Wall Street Journal.
Collins would like to see Major League Baseball adopt a system similar to the other major North American sports leagues. Rosters would be expanded to 28 or 30 players, and on any given night, several players would be inactive. These inactive players would most likely be starting pitchers who are not scheduled to pitch, but could also include players who are hurt but only need a few days off.
There would certainly be opposition to this change. Any change would have to be collectively bargained between the players and owners. Owners would likely not be thrilled to have to pay major league salaries to more players. In addition, expanded rosters would mean more pitching changes, thus putting it at odds with pace-of-play initiatives. Despite these obstacles, expanded rosters make a lot of sense. It would give teams much more flexibility in roster construction, as they would no longer have to weigh the needs of the bullpen versus the bench.