So it appears as if anyone on 40 man roster is now eligible for postseason as per Orioles source and confirmed via Royals Organization.
— Bird's Eye View (@BirdsEyeViewBal) August 31, 2014
That's an amended rule that began this year. I guess MLB got tired of having to deal with the DL flex spot manipulation.
— Bird's Eye View (@BirdsEyeViewBal) August 31, 2014
The Orioles have been making several paper moves this week in anticipation of the August 31st deadline. While most folks are familiar with the expanded rosters as of September 1st, the date prior is important as it sets the playoff eligibility list with a few exemptions. These rules can be found here and are best summarized as the following:
- All players on 25 Man Roster, Disabled List, Bereavement, Paternity, or Suspended List are eligible for playoff roster that can be set before each series.
- A player on DL may be replaced by anyone in the Organization as long as they were in organization prior to August 31 Midnight deadline.
- Any player who is placed directly onto an MLB 60-day Disabled List after August 1st is NOT eligible to be replaced on a post-season roster (and is not eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day DL and placed onto the club’s MLB Active List until 60 days have passed), but a player who is transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL after August 1st is eligible to be replaced.
- A post-season eligible player who is injured prior to the start of a post-season series can (with approval of the MLB Commissioner) be replaced on his club’s MLB Active List (25-man roster) for that series by another player (regardless of position) who was in the club’s organization as of midnight August 31st, including players acquired from another organizaiton prior to midnight August 31st and minor league players who were not on the club’s MLB 40-man roster at that time.
So come August 31st, the 25 man roster is important because it sets together the largest group of eligible playoff players. However as mentioned on the second and third item, the Orioles have flexibility to add additional members to the roster based on the DL rule. This rule allows the flexibility to add additional players to replace the following players:
- Johan Santanta – 60 Day DL
- Matt Wieters- 60 Day DL
- Manny Machado – 15 Day DL
Chen and Gausman were optioned this week to the GCL, but are both eligible to come back on August 31st on to the club. As such, they would be playoff roster eligible as long as they are activated Sunday. Two players would need to be removed from the 25 man roster to allow this and it may be Clevenger and Paredes. However, the Orioles may get tricky with their 25 man roster and option other players to give some flexibility for their playoff roster. Here are some other options that I could see happen tomorrow, especially considering that rosters expand as of September 1st:
- Nick Hundley – Steve Clevenger represents an upgrade with a Left Handed Bat that could come off the bench in a playoff series. While Hundley has been a better backup catcher, the use of one during a playoff series is not likely.
- TJ McFarland – A long man option out of the bullpen is not going to be needed very often in a playoff series. In addition, Ubaldo Jimenez could serve as the long man in a playoff roster as he has to stay on it or be designated for assignment.
- Miguel Gonzalez – Gonzalez serves as a 5th starter right now on this team. The question for the Orioles would be who would pitch in ALDS Game 4. For a long time, I had assumed it would be Gausman. However, Gausman has struggled as of late and teams have been sitting on his fastball. The Orioles do not need five starters for a playoff series. Is Gonzalez necessary if Gausman makes the playoff roster?
Analysis: If I’m the Orioles, I option Paredes and McFarland for Chen and Gausman tomorrow. I like the option of having Clevenger in the playoffs over Hundley. In addition, I would look at bringing up Ryan Webb possibly onto the 25 man roster tomorrow as I think he serves as a better option in the playoff out of the bullpen. I would either option Gonzalez or not activate Gausman until Monday if that was the case.
40 Man Roster In addition, the Orioles have made moves today by outrighting Yoon and Phelps to Norfolk to free up spots on the 40-Man Roster. By doing so, the Orioles have two open spots on the 40-Man Roster and third possible if the Orioles placed Machado on the 60 Day DL. As such, the following players could be added to the 40 man roster that are not currently on it:
- Christian Walker (1B): .329 wOBA, 100 wRC+ in Norfolk over 41 Games. .392 wOBA, 144 wRC+ in Bowie over 95 games. Could serve as an option RH bat at 1B with Pearce day-to-day.
- Quintin Berry (CF): .348 wOBA, 112 wRC+ in Norfolk over 110 games. Has great possibility as pinch runner who went 24/30 in Stolen Base chances this year. Also could serve as late inning defensive replacement for Adam Jones. Intriguing option for postseason roster as well.
- Joe Saunders (LHP): LOOGY option for Orioles in September. Has limited LH hitters to .239 AVG over Career.
The next twenty-four hours promises to be a whirlwind of moves for the Orioles. As much as love playing arm-chair quarterback on these moves, Dan Duquette is the true master. I’m sure he will make me look foolish over the next month to come with how he manipulates the options he has set up for himself throughout this season.