Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have agreed to extend the current 14-pitcher limit through June 19, per a league announcement. (Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the news before the official announcement.) From June 20 onwards, teams will be limited to 13 pitchers on their active rosters.
The 13-pitcher limit was agreed to way back in the 2019-2020 offseason but has been kicked down the road several times over the past 2 1/2 years. First, the COVID-19 pandemic put the 2020 season on hold, eventually resuming with a shortened Spring Training and regular season. In response to the unusual conditions, the pitcher limit was scrapped, both for that season and the following one.
After this winter’s lockout led to yet another shortened Spring Training this year, teams were allowed expanded rosters at the beginning of the campaign. The initial plan was to implement the 13-pitcher limit on May 2, though the plans changed as that date neared. MLB and the MLBPA agreed to a 14-pitcher limit, which was planned to shrink to 13 on May 30. With that date fast approaching and many teams still dealing with strained pitching staffs, the league and union have agreed to extend the 14-pitcher rule for at least another three weeks.
At least one club is certainly happy about the news, as Tigers’ manager A.J. Hinch responded thankfully to the announcement, telling Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic “We need it.” Detroit has been arguably the most snakebit team in the league this year, as they currently have nine pitchers on the injured list, including six starters. Tarik Skubal is the only member of the Opening Day rotation that is still taking regular turns for the club.