The New York Yankees have been dead set in forming a team in a particular way. Backload the bullpen and keep minimal bench players. However, the new rules MLB will be implementing for 2020 will drastically affect the Yankees.
For starters, relief pitchers will now be required to face a minimum of 3 batters per appearance. Gone are the days of the lefty/righty specialist that… let’s face it, those guys were a waste of roster space. If you can’t get righty’s out as a pitcher, get your butt back to the minors. This will help strengthen our bullpen so that we only have the BEST pitchers on the roster.
However, the number of pitchers we can have on the roster will be capped. We have had more pitchers in the bullpen than position players in the last 5 years. Now, once the league and players association agree to terms, we will see more position players on the roster than pitchers. Which, after seeing the number of position players we saw on the IL last season… dear God, we need more position players on the active roster. This will result in several tough decisions on who we should keep, and who we’ll have to cut.
The rosters will also expand to 26 players during the regular season, expanding to 27 for doubleheaders. For September, we’ll see only 28 players on the roster.
Who wants to see the end of the 40 man rosters in September, right at the start of the playoff push? Look at the utter collapse we had this September, right at the time when we had to make a concerted push for the best record in baseball! Do you want to live through THAT again?!
So, we’ll have to strengthen our already strong bullpen by making sure we have pitchers who are capable of going MINIMUM one full inning every time. We’ll have to also ensure that the bullpen is ONLY comprised of our strongest pitchers when we cap the number of pitchers we can have on the roster. We’ll also have more room in the dugout for position players by seeing 26 men on the roster throughout the entire season. We’ll also have to make any trade deadline decisions by the summer trade deadline. That’s it! No more waiver trades toward the start of the fall.
I may be cheerfully optimistic, but these are all decisions we needed last year. Look at it this way, we will have more room to ensure Miguel Andujar, Mike Ford, and Clint Frazier are all on the roster as a bare minimum! No more juggling who can stay up or who spends time in the minors. This will reduce the probability we’ll lose someone due to them running out of options, which would result in us likely having to give up a guy like Frazier, Tauchman, or Higashioka.
Bring on the changes. The Yankees need them.