The Blue Jays, certifiable contenders in the tough AL East, have finalized their 25-man roster to start the season. Notable is the number of pitchers they'll be carrying.
For those counting, that's 13 pitchers -- or a majority of the active roster. It goes without saying that an eight-man bullpen severely limits a manager's tactical flexibility on offense. Proper platooning is one of the most important things a manager can do, but with a roster so larded with pitchers, it can't be done.
The days of the 10-man pitching staff are gone for good, but 13? That's not justifiable. As a consequence, the Jays will open 2013 with a bench that includes Henry Blanco, Rajai Davis and Mark DeRosa. That comes to exactly zero useful hitters lurking on the pine. DeRosa will platoon with Maicer Izturis at third (while Brett Lawrie is disabled, anyway), which means no suitable right-handed bat to pair with Adam Lind, for instance. That's to say nothing of the absence of late-inning bats.
I get that this is a temporary arrangement for a DH-league team, and I get that that Jays are trying to delay waiver exposure for Brett Cecil and Jeremy Jeffress, but in a division in which even a single squandered game can matter greatly, this seems like a short-sighted decision.