It makes you wonder if maybe there shouldn’t be a change in the way MLB rosters are setup.
“These days, reliever volatility has reached a new high. League-wide, relief pitchers are allowing 4.77 runs per game, the highest mark in 12 years. The reason, many will say, is that they’re exhausted. Starters aren’t allowed to pitch deep enough into games, so bullpens are accounting for more innings. And even when relievers are not making official appearances, the tendency to let situations dictate usage — as opposed to assigning specific roles — is probably leading to their warming up more often than they used to.
“More is being asked out of bullpens,” Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. “You start accumulating seasons of the starter getting pulled the second time through and more burden placed on the pen, it’s going to take a toll.””
Perhaps they should be more like soccer, or a practice squad for the NFL. If a player has pitched too many games recently, you leave him off the game roster. He can’t play that game, but he still is on the overall team, replaced by someone fresher for that game. For example, you only have one starting pitcher per game, the rest are not counted against the roster, and then you can have more relief pitchers during each game to save some of the wear and tear? I mean we know the team highlighted in this article, the Dodgers, makes liberal use of the injured list and their minor league team to do something similar. Why not just let them do it without the subterfuge?
Or would that just create more crappy relief pitchers per team?