Can an Expanded Roster Help Out the Indians to Start the 2020 Season?

Matt Loede

While no decision has been made as to when the 2020 Major League Baseball season will start, there are a few things that we know about when it comes to the makeup of the rosters around baseball when games do start to get played.

The one thing that is known that can cause an interesting shift to the rosters around baseball, including the Indians roster, is the fact that you can have 29 players on your roster for the first month as compared to 26, which had been decided upon to go into effect this season.

With a bigger roster it gives the Indians and their coaching staff some more flexibility as to having an extra position player or two, of maybe even having an extra arm in the pen which itself is going to be different with the new ‘three batter rule’ for 2020.

There was already going to be some tough roster decisions for the Indians when it came to figuring out that final roster, but having a couple extra spots can only help.

Today we take a look at a couple players that were on the roster bubble that likely would have had a tough time making the roster if it was 26 players, but adding another three it’s likely these players will have a uniform for the Indians on day one.

Jake Bauers

It’s been a tough spring for Bauers as his average has slumped to just .143 with no homers and a pair of runs batted in.

He has been adapting to a new swing, and he’s struck out a team-high 11 times in just 28 trips to the plate.

Some of the situation with Bauers might have to do with how much the team wants to see him play, as right now he’s not done a to earn playing time at the Major League level.

Bobby Bradley

One of the top Tribe prospects, Bradley has looked good in his chances this spring, hitting .333 in 15 games with three homers and seven runs batted in.

One of the things the Indians brass wanted to see was Bradley’s strikeout rate, which is much better than last season.

In 27 plate appearances he’s struck out only six times. Compare that to last season when during his time at the Major League level he struck out 20 times in 45 at bats.

Ka’ai Tom

Count Tom as one of those young players who has taken advantage of the playing time that the coaching staff has given him with the big league Tribe.

Tom hit .318 with no homers and three runs batted in playing in 14 games with 22 at bats.

Last season in Columbus Tom hit .298 with nine homers and 44 runs batted in 51 games. In AA Akron he hit .285 with 14 homers and 42 RBI.

It would be interesting to see what Tom could do if given the chance to play every couple days at the Major League level.

James Hoyt

There’s no doubt that the Indians could use another arm (or two or three) in the pen to start the season with the cold weather being a factor as well as the new ‘3-batter’ rule, and Hoyt might be a welcome addition in that department.

Hoyt threw in six games in the spring, amassing 5.1 innings, four earned runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

Many think that Hoyt could start the season on the team’s roster out of the pen, but if not, having this possible roster addition should cement him having a locker come opening day.

Phill Maton

Another possible arm that can assist out of the pen, and Maton much like Hoyt has been good in the spots and chances he’s been given this spring.

The 27-year-old has Major League experience having thrown in both 2017 and 2018 with the San Diego Padres, and last season he threw 24.1 innings for San Diego before being sent to the Tribe in July.

Maton is an interesting fit for this team and the pen, and again like Hoyt he might be a good fit with the extended roster, to start the year.

Comments (1)
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Do we know if at the end of the first month when the rosters to back to 26 if the guys sent down are exposed to waivers or not ( assuming they would be eligible for the waiver process?)