The 2020 26th Man
As most of you know, MLB is planning to implement a few rules changes in 2020, one of which is the addition of a 26th man (who cannot be a pitcher) to the active list rosters Opening Day through August 31st.
Because all MLB clubs carry 13 pitchers (usually five starters and eight relievers) during the regular season, clubs have been limited to a four-man bench (National League) or a three-man bench (American League where there is a DH), and there just isn't room on the roster to carry a speclialist or a player with a limited role or function until rosters expand in September.
But back in the day it was typical for clubs to carry only ten or eleven pitchers, so a six or seven-man bench was common, and some of the players on the bench could have a very specific role or specialty that we don't see as much today (at least not until rosters expand in September).
In deciding who might make a good 2020 26th man, it's possible that we could see a throwback to the old days of roster construction.
Here are the three types of bench guys we might now see for a full season with the implementation of the 26th man rule:
1. TYPE 1: Ace pinch hitter.
This type has to be able to hit "cold" off the bench and be able to handle high velocity FB and high-spin breaking balls from the best relievers in the game (both lefty & righty). Ideally this player can play defense, too (at least passably), but it isn't necessary. Mainly he just needs to get a big hit in a game situation when his club most needs one.
This type generally would have more value on a National League club (where there is no DH), but he could be a fit on an American League team that features a defense-first player (most-likely a SS or a catcher) with limited offensive skills in the lineup.
EXAMPLES: Tommy LaStella circa 2018, but also guys like Lenny Harris, Manny Mota, Smoky Burgess, Jerry Lynch, and Moose McCormick from bygone eras.
2. TYPE 2: Pinch-runner who can steal bases pretty much at will.
Like the type 1 player, it is helpful if this player can also play defense (usually OF), but his main job is to pinch-run and steal a base (maybe two) in a game situatiion where a run is needed to tie or win a game.
This is the type of player clubs will often add in September (when rosters expand) or in the Wild Card game (when only one starting pitcher is needed), but now it can be for the entire season.
EXAMPLES: Terrance Gore (acquired by the Cubs in 2018) and Quintin Berry (acquired by the Cubs in 2015).
3. TYPE 3: #3 catcher.
Like the pinch-running specialist, a third catcher is the type of player who is added when rosters expand in September, but now a third catcher can be available for the entire season. This type of player can be a plus if a club's top two catchers are both good hitters (as is the case with the Cubs right now) and the manager wants to be able to use the #2 catcher as a pinch-hitter without a second thought whenever necessary.
It is a bonus if the #3 catcher can play other positions as well, but it isn'r absolutely necessary. Ideally the third catcher would also be the "emergency" pitcher in a blow-out or in extra innings after all of the available relievers have been used.
crunch 7 hours 23 min ago (view)
875K if he makes the team with 600K in performance bonuses possible.
Dolorous Jon Lester 7 hours 37 min ago (view)
Shelby Miller...? Really?
crunch 14 hours 34 min ago (view)
i like the cubs odds on this one.
Arizona Phil 18 hours 29 min ago (view)
Ian Happ arbitration figures are $4.1M (player) and $3.25M (club) with hearing date TBD.
crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
* all figures stated are in a range of +/- 10m
yeah, that was me not typing info correctly. my bad.
Arizona Phil 2 days 8 hours ago (view)
Bryant got $19.5M
crunch 2 days 10 hours ago (view)
bryant 9.5m, contreras 6.65m, baez 11.65m, z.davies 8.63m
looks like happ is going to arbitration.
Arizona Phil 3 days 7 hours ago (view)
RHP Edward Vasquez (2017 IFA - Dominican Republic) has retired.
E. Vasquez was one of the top SP on DSL Cubs Red in 2019 and was expected to be a SP on one of the Cubs AZL teams in 2020 if the minor league season hadn't been canceled.
He would have been first-time Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2021.
K Dub 3 days 10 hours ago (view)
crunch 3 days 12 hours ago (view)
danny hultzen retires and joins the cubs as a "pitching development assistant"
shame the comeback story didn't last longer...but hey, at least he got to taste the bigs after his body failed him for so many years.
crunch 3 days 15 hours ago (view)
theo joining the commish's front office operation as a "consultant reguarding on field matters"...basically weighing in on the possible impact of rules changes.
Arizona Phil 3 days 18 hours ago (view)
K Dub 3 days 18 hours ago (view)
Yeah, to my calculation that suspension should be over by now unless he got caught again...
Wrigley Rat 3 days 21 hours ago (view)
(Not Phil) - Last I saw, he was on the restricted list.
K Dub 3 days 23 hours ago (view)
PHIL: Did the Cubs release Saul Vazquez?
Sonicwind75 1 week 16 hours ago (view)
The 2021 guaranteed amount is $7 + $3 million mutual option buyout. 10>8. Most media reports summarizes it as a $10 million deal.