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There will be more pitchers allowed on MLB rosters until the end of May

It’s a move designed to protect pitcher health.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Major League Baseball rosters have been set at 28 players for the first few weeks of the season due to the lockout-shortened Spring Training. Many teams have used these first few weeks to continue to analyze players who didn’t get enough time in spring games.

MLB and the MLB Players Association had agreed that as of May 2, rosters would be cut to 26 with a limit of 13 pitchers on an active roster.

As of today, that’s been changed:

It seems clear that a lot of starting pitchers aren’t stretched out yet. Yesterday, 17 games into the season, the first complete game by any pitcher was registered (a 108-pitch shutout by Walker Buehler). There have been just 28 games in which a pitcher has thrown seven innings or more this year, and in only five of those 28 has a pitcher thrown eight or more. Just one of those is a Cubs pitcher: Kyle Hendricks threw seven shutout innings against the Pirates in the 21-0 win last Saturday. Hendricks threw in the sixth inning one other time, Opening Day against the Brewers; no other Cubs starter has thrown in the sixth.

Given all this, and while I haven’t checked, I assume most teams are dealing with this, allowing a 14th pitcher until May 30 is probably a good idea. That means, for the Cubs, that Ethan Roberts will likely be the only pitcher cut after May 2, when rosters must be reduced to 26, and the other player gone after that will have to be a position player.

As always, we await developments.