MLB To Enforce Pitcher Limits On Rosters Beginning Monday
Shohei Ohtani
Angels Baseball/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network

To help protect players from the shortened Spring Training, Major League Baseball permitted teams to carry 28 players for the first month of the regular season with no limit to how many pitchers they could include until May 2.

Active rosters were enforced back down to their usual 26 players on May 2 as originally planned, but teams were still allowed to carry an extra pitcher through May 29 to bring them to 14 total. MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) then agreed to extend the deadline for teams to carry 14 pitchers on their active rosters through June 19.

As the deadline approaches, MLB and the MLBPA will not extend the deadline again. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, MLB informed teams they will no longer be able to carry more than 13 pitchers on their active roster beginning June 20:

A 13-pitcher limit was originally due to be implemented in 2020. However, challenges and a unique set of circumstances brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic prompted an adjustment.

The Los Angeles Angels have been carrying 13 pitchers already, so they will not have to make a roster move when the rule is enforced.

However, they also have Shohei Ohtani, who does not count toward the pitcher limit according to MLB rules, so they have effectively been carrying 14 pitchers and will be able to continue doing so.

Ohtani prioritizing winning in next contract

When the Angels signed Ohtani prior to the 2018 season, they knew they had someone incredibly special to pair up with Mike Trout. But as he heads into his final two years of team control, the club has to worry about how they will retain him.

With Trout and Ohtani in the heart of the lineup and at the front of the rotation, the Angels should surely contend for the playoffs every year, but they haven’t. Ohtani hasn’t played in one postseason game, and the team hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2014.

The unfortunate reality for the Angels and employing a superstar with as much competitive fire as Ohtani is that many players want to win, and according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the sense is that it could become very difficult to keep him in town.

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