General managers are operating under some new rules, which should result in changes when it comes to their approach to roster construction.
The two biggest changes involve the addition of a 26th roster spot and a new rule requiring pitchers to face a minimum of three batters.
How will executives around the league adapt to the new rules being put in place for 2020? We posed that question to a number of them at this week’s General Managers Meetings.
Regarding the 26th roster spot, it would be logical to assume that each club will utilize it differently based on their personnel.
“It’s going to be fun to watch because different teams will approach it very differently,” Phillies GM Matt Klentak said. “You may have some rebuilding-type teams that are going to use that as an opportunity to give an unproven player more playing time. For contending teams, you might find that they’re using that roster spot on some sort of specialist; not a pitcher, but whether it’s a pinch-runner, a pinch-hitter or a defensive specialist, someone who gives them an advantage in a very targeted area.”
Other executives echoed Klentak’s latter thought, noting that pinch-runners or slick-fielding -- and light-hitting -- position players might be able to find a more secure role with a team for an entire season rather than simply when rosters expand on Sept. 1.