Skip to content

This is why we can’t have nice things: Orioles flaunt doubleheader rule

Jun 21, 2014, 12:08 PM EDT

Kevin Gausman Kevin Gausman

A couple of years ago, MLB did a nice thing, accommodating teams with doubleheaders by allowing them to play with a 26th man for the day. Of course, one of the reasons it took so long for the rule to come about is that the league knew that no matter how it tried to structure the rule, MLB teams would seek to exploit it.

Take, for example, the 2014 Baltimore Orioles and Kevin Gausman. On Wednesday night, Gausman pitched six scoreless innings as part of a 2-0 shutout of the Rays. On Friday night, he was demoted back to Triple-A, not because he’s out of the rotation, but because the Orioles saw a chance to game the system. Since the 26th man in doubleheaders is not beholden to the 10-day rule (players optioned to the minors must stay there for 10 days unless being recalled to replace an injured player), Gausman can be recalled to start next Friday in the Orioles’ doubleheader against the Rays.

The original plan was for Gausman to start next Wednesday instead, but since the Orioles have six starters, shuffling things around for him to go Friday was no problem. Making the move gives them an extra middle reliever (Brad Brach) to use in the series against the Yankees and White Sox, and depending on what they want to do with Gausman after his start next Friday, essentially allows them to play with an extra roster spot for a week and a half, putting their opponents at a disadvantage.

That certainly wasn’t MLB’s intention in crafting the rule. But, then, MLB typically does a lousy job of crafting rules, as we’ve seen with some of the replay/plate blocking stuff this year and we’ll see again on July 1, when the Yankees dominate international signing day. The Orioles are hardly the first to try to use the 26th man rule for a several-day advantage and they won’t be the last. Plus, as far as these things go, it’s far less distasteful that placing a starting pitcher on the bereavement list a day after his start and activating him the day before his next start. It’s on MLB to tighten up the 26th man rule, if it cares to do so.

Latest Posts
  1. Jed Lowrie leaves Astros to have MRI on injured thumb

    Apr 28, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Jed Lowrie Astros Getty Images

    Returning to Houston as a free agent on a three-year, $23 million contract, Lowrie is off to a very strong start.

  2. A fan was injured by a flying bat at the Pirates-Cubs game last night

    Apr 28, 2015, 10:30 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.17.58 AM Getty Images

    The fan was taken from Wrigley Field in an ambulance.

  3. Nationals prospect A.J. Cole will make his MLB debut in place of injured Max Scherzer

    Apr 28, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

    A.J. Cole Nationals AP

    In calling up Cole for his debut the Nationals bypassed Tanner Roark.

  4. Video: Joc Pederson made a fantastic catch — and throw — last night

    Apr 28, 2015, 8:59 AM EDT

    joc pederson getty Getty Images

    Note to Nori Aoki: if the ball is heading to center field against the Dodgers, you want to get back to the bag more quickly.

  5. Blue Jays place Jose Reyes on disabled list with cracked rib

    Apr 28, 2015, 12:17 AM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Getty Images

    Jose Reyes has been trying to play through a small crack in his left rib, but he’ll now get an extended absence.

  6. VIDEO: Daniel Murphy hits go-ahead three-run homer as Mets stun Marlins

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

    Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda AP

    The Mets are now 15-5 on the young season and already hold an eight-game lead over the Nationals in the National League East.

  7. Anthony Rendon scratched from rehab game due to fatigue

    Apr 27, 2015, 10:03 PM EDT

    anthony rendon getty Getty Images

    The Nationals mapped out a plan that could have had Rendon make his season debut as soon as Thursday against the Mets, but that’s on hold for now.

  8. Report: Marlins talking to five teams about a trade involving Jarrod Saltalamacchia

    Apr 27, 2015, 9:04 PM EDT

    Miami Marlins v New York Mets Getty Images

    The Diamondbacks are reportedly among the potential landing spots for Saltalamacchia.

  9. Homer Bailey headed to DL with right elbow ligament sprain

    Apr 27, 2015, 8:10 PM EDT

    cD05ODdlNmNhY2MwMjRlZWQzNTJhM2ViYTQ1Y2VlY2YzOCZnPTk2MDdiZDc5ZmVlNDdhZTEwZDA0NTU3OTdkODA1ZTAw Getty Images

    Bailey is coming off flexor tendon surgery. Could Tommy John surgery be next?

  10. Brandon McCarthy diagnosed with torn ulnar collateral ligament

    Apr 27, 2015, 7:24 PM EDT

    brandon mccarthy getty Getty Images

    McCarthy appears headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery.

  11. Rockies place closer Adam Ottavino on disabled list with triceps inflammation

    Apr 27, 2015, 7:20 PM EDT

    Adam Ottavino Adam Ottavino

    Adam Ottavino was just named as the Rockies closer two weeks ago, but now he’s headed to the disabled list with right triceps inflammation.

  12. Monday’s White Sox/Orioles game postponed due to ongoing protests and violence in Baltimore

    Apr 27, 2015, 6:41 PM EDT

    ALCS - Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles - Game One Getty Images

    Protests and violence continue in Baltimore after the recent death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

  13. Cardinals confirm Adam Wainwright is done for season with torn Achilles

    Apr 27, 2015, 6:09 PM EDT

    adam wainwirght getty Getty Images

    Wainwright will undergo season-ending surgery this week.

  14. Nationals announce injured Max Scherzer will not make his next scheduled start

    Apr 27, 2015, 5:40 PM EDT

    Max Scherzer AP

    Scherzer is in the first season of a seven-year, $210 million contract and has pitched very well through four starts with a 1.26 ERA and 29/4 K/BB ratio in 29 innings.

  15. Source: Josh Hamilton rejected a trade to a National League team because he wanted to go back to Texas

    Apr 27, 2015, 4:56 PM EDT

    hamilton getty Getty Images

    Hamilton had a full no-trade clause with the Angels. And he exercised it in an effort to get back to the Rangers.

  16. Did the Angels shoot themselves in the foot in the Josh Hamilton situation?

    Apr 27, 2015, 4:25 PM EDT

    Jerry Dipoto, Arte Moreno AP

    Pro tip: when you’re trying to sell something, don’t tell all of your potential customers how crappy the thing is and how desperate you are to be rid of it.

  17. Deal done: Josh Hamilton traded to the Texas Rangers for cash considerations

    Apr 27, 2015, 4:04 PM EDT

    Josh Hamilton AP

    This trade rids the Angels of Josh Hamilton, Josh Hamilton of the Angels and give the Rangers a pretty big bargain. Win-win-win?

  18. Marlins drop Jarrod Saltalamacchia just 16 months after giving him $21 million

    Apr 27, 2015, 3:31 PM EDT

    Jarrod Saltalamacchia AP

    Saltalamacchia is owed $7 million this season and $8 million next season.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. Y. Puig (2691)
  2. B. Zobrist (2632)
  3. D. Travis (2615)
  4. D. Smyly (2584)
  5. M. Saunders (2582)