Jonah Keri speculates that when the labor deal is revisited after the 2011 season the owners may offer up a 26th roster spot to the union in exchange for one thing or another. Seems totally plausible to me.
He also assumes that rather than do something useful such as add a position player and increase platoon usage, most managers will add a 13th or 14th pitcher to the roster. Also seems totally plausible to me.
If there was any justice in the universe, Bud Selig’s little competition committee would propose that teams (a) be limited to 11 pitchers on the roster at any given time; but (b) be given greater flexibility to shuttle pitchers up and down from the minors to deal with fatigue and injuries and stuff. That way you would be able to enhance the game by increasing the possibility of more creative deployment of position players while not unduly taxing precious arms.
But then I remember that Tony La Russa is member of that committee and that we’ll all be lucky to escape this thing without there being a new rule mandating two pitching changes per inning.
It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.