A couple of years ago, MLB did a nice thing, accommodating teams with doubleheaders by allowing them to play with a 26th man for the day. Of course, one of the reasons it took so long for the rule to come about is that the league knew that no matter how it tried to structure the rule, MLB teams would seek to exploit it.
Take, for example, the 2014 Baltimore Orioles and Kevin Gausman. On Wednesday night, Gausman pitched six scoreless innings as part of a 2-0 shutout of the Rays. On Friday night, he was demoted back to Triple-A, not because he’s out of the rotation, but because the Orioles saw a chance to game the system. Since the 26th man in doubleheaders is not beholden to the 10-day rule (players optioned to the minors must stay there for 10 days unless being recalled to replace an injured player), Gausman can be recalled to start next Friday in the Orioles’ doubleheader against the Rays.
The original plan was for Gausman to start next Wednesday instead, but since the Orioles have six starters, shuffling things around for him to go Friday was no problem. Making the move gives them an extra middle reliever (Brad Brach) to use in the series against the Yankees and White Sox, and depending on what they want to do with Gausman after his start next Friday, essentially allows them to play with an extra roster spot for a week and a half, putting their opponents at a disadvantage.
That certainly wasn’t MLB’s intention in crafting the rule. But, then, MLB typically does a lousy job of crafting rules, as we’ve seen with some of the replay/plate blocking stuff this year and we’ll see again on July 1, when the Yankees dominate international signing day. The Orioles are hardly the first to try to use the 26th man rule for a several-day advantage and they won’t be the last. Plus, as far as these things go, it’s far less distasteful that placing a starting pitcher on the bereavement list a day after his start and activating him the day before his next start. It’s on MLB to tighten up the 26th man rule, if it cares to do so.
PITTSBURGH — Right-hander Tyler Glasnow has been recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis and will make his second major league start Saturday when he faces the Philadelphia Phillies.
Glasnow lost to the Cardinals at St. Louis on July 7, allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings. He was 7-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 18 starts with Indianapolis.
Catcher Elias Diaz was also recalled from Indianapolis while right-handed reliever AJ Schugel was optioned to the same club. Catcher Eric Fryer was placed on the paternity list after his wife gave birth to twins – a boy and a girl – on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Diaz underwent arthroscopic right elbow surgery May 3 after being injured in spring training. He has played in a combined 12 games at three minor leagues, hitting .341, after making his major league debut with the Pirates last September.
ST. LOUIS — Matt Adams homered in the 16th inning to lead the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night for St. Louis’ season-best fifth straight victory.
It was the second consecutive game that the Cardinals won in their final at-bat. They beat the Padres on Thursday after scoring a run in the ninth inning.
Adams homer came with one out off Bud Norris (5-9), who gave up six runs as a starter in an 8-1 loss at Washington on Wednesday.
Seth Maness (1-2) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief for St. Louis, which was playing its longest game of the season.
Jedd Gyorko hit a two-out homer off closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth to tie the game 3-3.
Justin Turner and Howie Kendrick homered for the Dodgers. Los Angeles has lost four of six. The red-hot Turner has seven homers and 17 RBI this month. He hit two homers in a 6-3 win over Washington on Thursday.
Turner blasted his career-high 18th homer of the season off Seung Hwan Oh in the ninth to break a 2-2 tie.
Corey Seager had four hits and drove in the first run of the game. He had hit in seven successive at-bats before flying out in the ninth.
Kendrick’s solo shot in the sixth tied the game 2-2. He has hit in 14 successive games trying Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the longest current streak in the majors.
Los Angeles starter Brandon McCarthy allowed one hit and two runs over 6 1-3 innings, the longest of his four starts this season. He left with leg cramps. McCarthy struck out four and walked three.
St. Louis starter Michael Wacha allowed two runs on 10 hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Dodgers reliever Adam Liberatore recorded his 28th successive scoreless outing by retiring two of four batters in the seventh. He has not allowed a run in 41 of 42 appearances this season.