Blue Jays to open season with 13 pitchers on active roster
Are the Blue Jays making a roster mistake to start the 2013 season?
The Toronto 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.
#Bluejays Opening Day Ps: R.A. Dickey , Brandon Morrow , Mark Buehrle , Josh Johnson , J.A. Happ , Casey Janssen , Sergio Santos , Darren Oliver , Steve Delabar , Esmil Rogers , Aaron Loup , Brett Cecil , Jeremy Jeffress #Jays— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) March 27, 2013
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.