Between the expanded roster size and numerous players being added as injury replacements this season’s All-Star game will feature a total of 72 players, with 36 for the AL and 36 for the NL.
Technically at any one point there are 750 major leaguers on active rosters, but in terms of “regulars” that number is probably closer to, say, 600.
I figure each team has a five-man rotation and a nine-man lineup, plus a key bench player and five key relievers. And that actually seems like a pretty generous defintion of “regulars.”
Anyway, if you go along with the notion that each team has 20 “regulars” and there are a total of 600 “regulars” in the majors that means 72 out of 600 are All-Stars. That works out to 12 percent of all regulars being named All-Stars, or one out of every 8.3 players.
Something to think about next time everyone gets all worked up over supposed “snubs.”
You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.
Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.
Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.
Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.