What do fans need to know about the 2022 Red Sox September expanded roster?
On Thursday, which is somehow September 1 already, Major League Baseball rosters will expand from 26 to 28 men, 29 on doubleheader days.
For the Boston Red Sox and every other team, it will look a bit different than in years past, for a few reasons:
- In a break from the norm, this is actually the second time this season that teams are allowed to carry 28 men on the roster. Fans will recall that due to the delay in the season with the 99-day lockout (fun times!), teams started the season with a 28-man roster. It reduced to the typical 26 on May 1.
- Speaking of expansion, the Minor League Baseball season is longer now. In the past, all MiLB levels wrapped things up around Labor Day, but they’re playing deeper into September now. Single- and High-A wrap up on September 11, while Double- and Triple-A play almost as long as the big-league teams. Their season finales are on September 28.
- There are new limits to the annual expansion. Rosters may hold no more than 14 pitchers, and overall, 28 players at most. In the past, teams were allowed to call up any player on the 40-man roster.
So, who can Sox fans expect to see on the September roster? Hopefully, Zack Kelly will continue to hold a spot in the bullpen. He made his debut on Monday, and his first two outings were scoreless appearances, a welcome relief (no pun intended) from the bullpen implosions Sox fans are accustomed to. The Sox reinstated Tyler Danish from the Injured List on Sunday but for some reason, immediately optioned him to Triple-A, despite DFA’ing Hirokazu Sawamura and Austin Davis later that day. If Nathan Eovaldi’s IL stint drags on, Josh Winckowski is a likely substitute for his rotation spot.
The Sox can also call up a few promising prospects to make their big-league debuts. As the season hurtles towards an early exit, fans would love to see Triston Casas fill in for the injured Eric Hosmer or give Frank German a shot in the bullpen. It’s deep enough in the season that any prospect called up now would retain their rookie eligibility for next year, too.
In other words, anything goes. Hopefully, the Sox decide have some fun as the ship sinks.