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. David Ortiz: “Nobody in MLB history has been tested for PEDs more than me”

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:02 PM EDT

    Miami Marlins v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

    In a first-person essay for The Player’s Tribune, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz came out swinging against his critics.

  2. The Mets continue to monitor the market for left-handed relievers

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:50 PM EDT

    mets logo

    The Mets are keeping an eye on the Dodgers and Rockies as they look to replace Josh Edgin.

  3. 2015 Preview: Chicago Cubs

    Mar 26, 2015, 9:10 PM EDT

    kris bryant Getty Images

    Are they ready to contend?

  4. New White Sox closer David Robertson is not worried about forearm soreness

    Mar 26, 2015, 8:29 PM EDT

    David Robertson Getty Getty Images

    Robertson signed a four-year, $46 million deal with the White Sox over the winter to be their new closer.

  5. Unsigned 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken undergoes Tommy John surgery

    Mar 26, 2015, 7:31 PM EDT

    Brady Aiken

    After failing to reach an agreement with the Astros last year, unsigned No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken underwent Tommy John surgery.

  6. Rangers name Yovani Gallardo as their Opening Day starter

    Mar 26, 2015, 6:25 PM EDT

    Yovani Gallardo AP AP

    It will be Gallardo’s sixth straight Opening Day start and first as a member of the Rangers.

  7. Scott Boras is on FIRE

    Mar 26, 2015, 5:32 PM EDT

    Scott Boras AP AP

    Even after all of these years, baseball’s preeminent B.S. shoveler remains on top of his game.

  8. Legal filing shows that the Mets cut back security at Citi Field over the past five years

    Mar 26, 2015, 4:07 PM EDT

    Apple Citi Field

    Which doesn’t mean that Citi Field has gotten less safe. It does mean, however, that the Mets will have a much harder job convincing people of that.

  9. Yankees release reliever Jared Burton

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Jared Burton Getty Getty Images

    Burton had a 4.36 ERA and 46/25 K/BB ratio in 64 innings for the Twins last season.

  10. Chris Archer is the Rays’ replacement Opening Day starter

    Mar 26, 2015, 3:25 PM EDT

    Chris Archer AP

    Archer will be the first pitcher other than David Price or James Shields to start Opening Day for the Rays since 2007.

  11. 2015 Preview: Seattle Mariners

    Mar 26, 2015, 2:51 PM EDT

    Felix Hernandez Getty Images

    The pitching is great and the offense should be better. But is better good enough?

  12. The two most popular teams in Florida: the Braves and the Yankees

    Mar 26, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game 3

    The Rays and Marlins have some challenges a lot of teams don’t.

  13. It’s not just about Kris Bryant: let’s fix the option rules, too.

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:55 PM EDT

    Darin Ruf Darin Ruf

    We shouldn’t forget about the 28- and 29-year-olds getting sent down, too.

  14. Indians send top prospect Francisco Lindor to Triple-A

    Mar 26, 2015, 12:33 PM EDT

    Francisco Lindor AP

    Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus all ranked Lindor as a top-10 overall prospect this year.

  15. John Buck announces his retirement after 11 seasons

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:50 AM EDT

    John Buck Getty Images

    Buck was trying to win a job with the Braves on a minor-league contract.

  16. Michael Saunders will not be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:19 AM EDT

    Michael Saunders AP

    Saunders was acquired from the Mariners in exchange for J.A. Happ in December and will be the Blue Jays’ starting left fielder once he’s healthy.

  17. Major League players are fleeing Venezuela

    Mar 26, 2015, 11:04 AM EDT

    venezuelan flag

    The country with the world’s highest murder rate is no longer a safe offseason home for many Venezuelan natives.

  18. Blue Jays demote former All-Star Steve Delabar to Triple-A

    Mar 26, 2015, 10:47 AM EDT

    Munenori Kawasaki; Esmil Rogers; Steve Delabar AP

    Delabar was an All-Star in 2013 and now he’s headed to the minors.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. H. Olivera (3833)
  2. J. Fernandez (3509)
  3. K. Bryant (3445)
  4. S. Souza (3316)
  5. H. Ryu (3288)
  1. S. Doolittle (3224)
  2. J. Kipnis (3068)
  3. A. Cobb (3028)
  4. M. Fiers (3009)
  5. G. Richards (3004)