When the St. Louis Cardinals return to play, there is a rumor that they will be allowed to carry rosters of 29 players. What will this mean?
There is a ton up in the air right now when it comes to the 2020 MLB season and what it may look like for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Ask some people, they will tell you there is a zero percent chance that any games are played. Ask others, and they will say the games are for sure starting in May. Nobody really knows.
There are a lot of ideas out there for what the season will look like, but whether it starts in May or later, or whether it starts in Arizona or not, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale has postulated that the season will start with more players than the 26 that are already allowed on the active roster.
This idea is coming along with the idea that games will not be the normal 9-inning affairs we are all used to. While it’s definitely less attractive in my eyes, one option out there is to play 7-inning doubleheaders. I’m not sure what the frequency of these doubleheaders would be, but if they happen often at all, a 29-man roster would be necessary.
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Not only would these games require more pitchers (the extra three players would almost have to be pitchers), but in that first month of the season, having more pitchers on the roster would allow for a shorter buildup period before games resume. Just like in spring training, a period of buildup for starters will be absolutely necessary.
A 29-man roster would also allow the three pitchers the Cards sent down in their last roster move. It was somewhat surprising, but Junior Fernandez, Alex Reyes, and Genesis Cabrera all would’ve started the regular season at AAA. It seemed at least one of those three would’ve started the season with the big club.
Either way, they would likely be the first three up if the rosters were expanded for the first month. This is a great thing.
No matter how the season looks when it does resume, it’s going to be unprecedented and odd. All the team can do is roll with the punches and the 29-man roster not only helps make sure arms aren’t overtaxed before they are ready, it gives more players an opportunity to pitch at the MLB level.