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MLB roster limits drop to 26 in May, but with 14 pitchers for a few weeks

Matheny won’t have so many options in the bullpen.

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Bullpens have become bloated as teams have relied less upon tired starting pitchers to go a third time through the lineup and increasingly turn to a parade of fireballing relievers for the second half of the game. This has had a big impact on depressing offense, and has reduced the star power of starting pitchers.

To combat this, Major League Baseball has proposed limiting the number of pitchers on a 26-man roster to 13. This was supposed to go into effect for the 2020 season, but was shelved due to the pandemic. Again, it was supposed to go into effect this season, but was put on hiatus due to the shortened spring training.

But baseball will plan to limit pitchers here very shortly. Teams began the year with a 28-man roster, but will have to get to a 26-player limit by May 2. At that point, they can have no more than 14 pitchers, according to an announcement by MLB today. Beginning on May 30, teams can carry no more than 13 pitchers.

The Royals have been carrying 16 pitchers on their roster with 12 position players. The pitching staff situation is likely to be pretty fluid this season with many young pitching prospects shuffling in and out of the rotation. The current roster includes Scott Barlow, Ronald Bolaños, Jake Brentz, Kris Bubic, Taylor Clarke, Dylan Coleman, Amir Garrett, Zack Greinke, Carlos Hernández, Brad Keller, Daniel Lynch, Joel Payamps, Brady Singer, Collin Snider, Gabe Speier, and Josh Staumont.