Power Rankings: Calling out the unfairness of September call-ups

by | Baseball Writer

This is our last week of August, which means we're about to see September call-ups. So I'd like to rant about that.

Why are there different roster rules for one month as opposed to the other five? This is the last month of the season. The pennant race is in full effect. And now, all of a sudden, teams get to have a nearly unlimited bench? Why?

A few examples can illustrate the absurdity.

Clay Buchholz is working his way back from injury. The Red Sox believe that they will limit him to four innings in his return to the majors. They aren't worried about overworking the bullpen during said start because rosters will be expanded and they'll have plenty of extra relievers. That's tantamount to a legal shortcut.

The Reds are probably going to bring up uber-speedster Billy Hamilton. They could use him almost exclusively as a late-inning pinch runner -- something you'd never do with a spot on a 25-man roster. He could be a very legitimate weapon in close games, too.

These are two teams in the thick of their divisional races that get a bit of a special privilege in the last month of the season that they wouldn't get in the first five months. Stuff like this happens every season. I understand why it's allowed, since the minor-league season is over in September and possible September injury-replacements need to stay sharp, but there has to be a better way to do it. The rules shouldn't be different for the last month.

In the grand scheme of things, the impact is rather minimal, but there shouldn't be any impact. The last month should have the same roster rules as the first five months.

Please feel free to contact me with comments either on Twitter (@MattSnyderCBS) or via email: matt.snyder@cbs.com. These were posted the morning of Aug. 28. Any action coming after posting wasn't included here -- a fact that seems to escape many people later in the week.


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