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Astros exploit MLB’s newest loophole

Jun 2, 2012, 11:36 PM EDT

Jordan Lyles AP

If you hadn’t heard, MLB made a new rule in the offseason, allowing teams to promote a player and go with 26-man rosters on doubleheader days. A lot of teams were making moves in between games of doubleheaders anyway, so it seemed like a pretty good idea to help alleviate any bullpen issues that might arise playing 18 innings.

Unfortunately, the league left a loophole.

See, the player recalled before the doubleheader doesn’t necessarily have to be the one sent down the next day to get back to 25 players. Also, the player sent down after the doubleheader doesn’t have to stay in the minors for 10 days (barring a DL move), which is the way it works following typical demotions.

The Astros this week became the first team to take advantage of that latter fact. They sent fifth starter Jordan Lyles down after Monday’s doubleheader and recalled him Saturday night to start Sunday’s game against the Reds.

By taking advantage of the loophole, the Astros essentially got to play with a 26th man for five days instead of one. Which is smart thinking on their part. Of course, being that they lost their eighth straight game Saturday, it didn’t do them a lot of good.

Regardless, MLB needs to close the loophole. Require players sent down after doubleheaders to stay in the minors for 10 days, just like everyone else.

  1. stairwayto7 - Jun 3, 2012 at 12:14 AM

    Bud new rule, which league does thos the most get home field advantage in the world series!

  2. js20011041 - Jun 3, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    I don’t think that’s a big deal. Smart move by the Astros. Honestly, I think MLB needs to expand the rosters. Either that or cap the number of pitchers on the roster at 11 (although I think teams could use 10 pitchers and be fine). There aren’t any teams that platoon anymore or even have what could be considered a good bench. They all carry 4 bench players including the backup catcher.

    • dan1111 - Jun 3, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      Odds are, if the rosters were expanded, many teams would simply carry even more pitchers. I don’t think the current situation is necessarily a problem. Teams have a limited number of slots and are free to use them as they think best.

    • georgebrett - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      There will never be a cap on the number of pitchers. Rosters are set according to personnel and that’s how it should be. There are many many games and consecutive games where teams use up bullpens because of game situations and shouldn’t be limited to how many pitchers they can carry. Extra innings, double headers, injuries etc. Use your roster the way you see fit as a club, not how someone else thinks it should be.

  3. jumbro10 - Jun 3, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    Uh, the reds platoon at catcher, left field and third base

  4. jjpileggi - Jun 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    How about we first deal with the DH, instant replay, and the All Star game for World Series Home field. And get rid of the extra Wild Card. Then we can worry about the obscure doubleheader rule.

    John Pileggi

    • stex52 - Jun 3, 2012 at 10:21 PM

      Well said.

    • samuellsamson - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      While those are more serious issues, they’d also take a whole lot more resolving. So it would make some sense to get something relatively simple and not too contentious out of the way first.

  5. hansob - Jun 3, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    So does Lyles miss out on those $2500 a day major league checks, too? $400K a year is nice, but lots of guys don’t stick in the majors, so that extra $10K+ would probably be a sore spot for the players association.

    • georgebrett - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      It’s more like $2195 a day and ANY day the player is on the roster he is getting at least this much. But, a full share for playoffs is now up to the rest of the players on the team and not the player. And his licencing money is cut for those days missed.

  6. rico7207 - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    This team is so rotten they should be allowed to play defence with 26 men. Some MLB teams be better off with some women out there. How in the world does the union get away with the minimum salary being 480,000$$$$ for some of these guys. It is robbery and the fans have to pay for it. Not getting a cent from me!!!

    • georgebrett - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      Wow, do you sound bitter. Guess what, you do help pay their salaries even if you think you do not.

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