Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly is not a fan of September baseball. No, not because his team is woefully 25 games out of first place and doesn’t even have a sniff of the postseason. Rather, Mattingly is annoyed about September call-ups.
During Saturday’s game between the Marlins and the Phillies, the two teams used their expanded rosters to trot out 15 different pitchers. Remarkably, not one of them made a single plate appearance despite it being a National League game. It’s the first time in the Modern Era (since 1900) that a game featured that many pitchers without any of them stepping into the batter’s box (not including games played with a designated hitter).
Mattingly wishes baseball would change the rules that make such an event possible. The normal 25-man rosters are expanded to 40-man rosters starting in September, allowing teams to call up prospects to either aid in their playoff push or (as in the Marlins’ case) for minor leaguers to make an early case towards earning a big league spot next Spring.
“What we did today and really what they ended up doing, too, is something that really only happens in September and, quite honestly, shouldn’t be able to happen,” Mattingly said after the game. “It’s too many guys. It’s not really regular baseball.”
“I think it’s more that the game you play for five months is not the same game you play in September,” Mattingly added.
The Marlins had 34 players on their roster for Saturday’s game, while the Phillies had 39.
Mattingly was asked about potential solutions to the ballooning rosters, and offered a creative solution. He suggested a “taxi squad” of three-to-five players who could be subbed on and off of rosters in September, but still limiting the daily roster size to 25-men.