All of the teams in Major League Baseball are looking forward to the traditional roster expansion date of September 1st. On this date, any team is able to expand their rosters to 40 players, up from the 25 the are able to carry for the first three quarters of the season. Teams are not required to make all of their moves on the first of the September, but can do so at any time until the end of the season.
Expanding rosters to 40 players give MLB teams a chance to take a look at some of the young players in their minor league system, and to bring in extra support as stronger teams make the playoff run.
Usually about 5 to 6 extra players from the minor league system are brought up to the Majors during the roster expansion period. It depends on the team’s playoff prospects, current player availability, along with available finances for the team to carry extra players. Usually, teams that are suffering in the standings will call in some players to squeeze out a few more wins, or to plan for the future.
Stronger teams, like the Yankees, may wait for a few days, or will only call up a few pitchers and key position players to give starts like Mark Texiera, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez a day or two additional rest as the playoffs approach. The Yankees will probably take advantage of the roster expansion early in the month to bolster both their pitching staff, and batting rotation.
Tampa Bay Rays Roster Expansion
The Yankees arch rival in the American League East are the Tampa Bay Rays, and they immediately called up several key players for their roster expansion on September 1st. Rocco Baldelli, a long time Ray, who played for the Boston Red Sox last year, now finds himself back with his old team. A career .278 hitter, Rocco Baldelli should be able bring solid outfield support in the stretch for the Tampa Bay Rays’ playoff run. Two players for the Rays looking to make their debut in Major League Baseball include Desmond Jennings, a center fielder, and Jeremy Hellickson, a pitcher. Desmond Jennings hit an impressive .393 while at Triple A Durham. Hellickson compiled a record of 12-3 with an ERA of 2.45
A veteran MLB outfielder called up was Brad Hawpe. Hawpe has played for Colorado in the past and is about a .280 hitter. He played in 88 games for the Rockies this season and batted .255. He was able to sign quickly with the Rays and started his tenure with the Rays in the Minor Leagues.
The roster expansion of the Tampa Bay Rays incorporate a solid mix of veteran players, along with solid future prospects, which put the Rays in a winning position for the remaining baseball season.