How Giants could benefit from MLB's reported change to roster sizes


The Giants already made one trade, sending Billy Hamilton to the Mets, as a roster crunch approached, and they might have had a couple more tough decisions to make over the next three weeks. But a rule change could spare them a bit, and save some veterans. 

MLB rosters were set to be cut down from 30 to 28 players by 9 a.m. PT on Thursday, with a cut from 28 to the normal 26 two weeks later. But The Athletic reported that MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to a change. The Giants and all other teams will still have to cut two players from their active roster on Thursday, but the second set of moves have been canceled. In addition, the taxi squad will be larger. 

This could be particularly helpful to the Giants, who don't have a set rotation and have been piecing together most games with bullpen arms. They also have gone heavy on platoons, and now they'll get to keep a bit more flexibility over the season's final five weeks.

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The Giants still have to make two moves by Thursday morning, and they could be tough ones. 

From a position player side, Steven Duggar was the last man up, but sending him back to the alternate site in Sacramento could leave Gabe Kapler short in the outfield. The Giants expect Yolmer Sanchez (back spasms) to play in simulated games in Sacramento this weekend, and they could use some help defensively. Add it all up and at some point the front office may have had to make a tough decision with veterans who are struggling, like Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence. 

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The Giants are carrying 15 pitchers right now but may be hesitant to sacrifice depth, especially when just two starters have lasted five innings through 11 games and Drew Smyly is on the injured list. 

There's more breathing room now, knowing that rosters will remain at this size after Thursday's two moves. Teams are currently allowed to carry three players on the taxi squad and the Giants brought right-handers Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez and catcher Chris Herrmann on the road trip. You can expect them to prioritize pitching with the additional spots.

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