The 2022 MLB season will officially start on Thursday, and will do so with expanded rosters.
It’s actually one of the changes previously agreed upon before the season.
Because of the late start due to the delayed collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations, spring training was somewhat shortened.
That’s why teams will be able to field 28-man rosters in April: pitchers may not be fully stretched out in April, so MLB is allowing clubs to field expanded rosters for the first month.
“Opening Day rosters are 28. On May 2 must go to 26. Keep in mind…new CBA limits on players being optioned DO NOT COUNT before May 2. So expect a lot of up and down for the first month,” WFAN’s Sweeny Murti tweeted on Tuesday, explaining MLB’s roster rules in place for the first month and beyond.
And teams will be limited to 13 pitchers starting May 2. https://t.co/3SSWlHuYub
— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) April 5, 2022
Rosters Will Be Expanded Until May 2
As Murti states, rosters will need to return to their normal 26-man size on May 2.
He also reminded us about yet another roster-related twist.
“And teams will be limited to 13 pitchers starting May 2,” he wrote.
Several teams will field 14, 15, or even 16 pitchers to start the year, taking advantage of the 28-man roster.
The Yankees, for example, are inclined to open the year with 16 pitchers.
JP Sears and Ron Marinaccio are two prime examples of pitchers who probably wouldn’t have made a 26-man roster, but will be with the Yankees in April.
Another important point to consider when building the roster is that, as Murti states, the new CBA rule limiting players being optioned will not be in place before May 2.
After seeing what the Kansas City Royals did with Edward Olivares last year (he went up and down numerous times between the majors and Triple-A), clubs are limited to freely optioning a player up to five times in a season.
If a player is optioned six or more times, he must be placed on waivers after each subsequent option.