BOSTON -- An amendment to a rule in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players' union and MLB allows teams to expand their rosters to 26 players for the second game of a doubleheader scheduled less than 48 hours in advance.
Thanks to that amendment, tomorrow night, when the Red Sox and Rays take the field at 7:10 pm, they'll be allowed to carry an extra player. Neither team will be forced to announce their additional player until after the early game.
"It was not available last year," Farrell said of the new ruling. "The 26-man was not available when you played the doubleheader the following day because of travel schedules, if a Triple A team was on the West Coast. There was an amendment to the rule that allowed [26 players for] Game 2. Only to give hours of travel time so both teams could take advantage of the 26-man in that second game only."
Makes sense. As of two years ago, teams were allowed to have 26-man rosters for both games of a doubleheader if the doubleheader was announced 48 hours in advance.
Allowing 26-man rosters for the second game of a doubleheader scheduled with little notice allows teams extra manpower. Adding an additional player only for the second game also ensures that the home team doesn't have an unfair advantage, giving the visiting team a few extra hours to import a minor-league player who may be on the other side of the country.
The Red Sox will start Jake Peavy in the first game on Thursday. Felix Doubront will get the start in the second game. The hope is, according to manager John Farrell, that Peavy will help save the Red Sox bullpen from being taxed so that something close to a full arsenal of relievers will be available for the night game.
If the Red Sox do determine that they need a 26th player to help bolster the staff for Game 2, reliever Alex Wilson could be the choice. He was called up for one game last week when the Red Sox needed bullpen help. He did not make an appearance and was sent down a day later when Shane Victorino was activated off of the disabled list.