News bites: 8/4/20

A few items from the day to pass along:

  • The commissioner's office has decreed that rosters will be pared down from 30 to 28 as scheduled, but will not be further pared to 26 in another two weeks. Rosters will remain at 28 throughout the 2020 season and postseason (if there is one).
  • The three-man traveling portion of the "taxi squad" will be expanded to five, allowing for more readily-available players to step in should injury or COVID infection occur on the road. Injuries have been rampant among pitchers due to the abbreviated preseason training regimen, so this is a sensible change. Of course, with a COVID infection, everyone in the traveling party is at risk, so a double-edged sword for those extra two players...
  • Speaking of rampant pitcher injuries, the Mariners have placed starting pitcher Kendall Graveman on the injured list with neck spasms. The M's also optioned out reliever Zac Grotz. Incoming from the satellite camp are right-hander Joey Gerber and lefty Taylor Guilbeau. No word yet on whether the club will shift to a standard five-man rotation or continue with six and add someone like Nick Margevicius to the starting corps. If they do go to five, the bullpen complement will be not a ridiculous 11 pitchers, but a truly absurd 12, at least until the rosters get cut to 28 on Thursday or Friday.
  • The Marlins are scheduled to play this evening for the first time since two Sundays ago. They will have a vastly different roster with 18 of their number out with coronavirus infections; Miami made a number of waiver claims, minor trades, free-agent signings, and promotions from their satellite camp to get back up to 30 players.
  • Houston reliever and domestic abuser Roberto Osuna is now among the glut of injured pitchers and is likely to need Tommy John surgery if he is to continue his career. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

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