Leyland finally gets to try out 26th-man, ‘Jim Leyland Rule’ in Friday's twinbill
Manager Jim Leyland was the vocal proponent for the rule to expand rosters by one man — to 26 players — for scheduled day-night doubleheaders, allowing teams the flexibility of adding an emergency pitcher without having to send down someone else to make room. Just common sense.
“Well, I always thought so,” Leyland said Thursday.
As a member of commissioner Bud Selig’s 14-man ‘Blue Ribbon’ committee, the Tigers skipper pushed for the idea, which was at first resisted, then finally went into effect last season.
“The way things are now, it's a nightmare for general managers, because they have to send out guys they don't want to send out,'' Leyland was quoted by ESPN at the time. “And you’re punishing some poor kid who’s doing his job and sending him down just because he has ‘options,’ and you're hurting your team. To me, it’s just common sense to change that.”
The 26th-man rule has even been called the ‘Jim Leyland Rule’ by some since its implementation.
Until this week, though, Leyland’s never had a chance to use it, though.
The Tigers will use it for the first time for Friday’s doubleheader, adding Jose Alvarez to the roster, as the starter for the second game of the twinbill.
It will be Alvarez’s fifth start with the Tigers, in now what’s his third stint with the big-league club this season. The rookie left-hander went 1-2 in four previous starts, filling in for the injured Anibal Sanchez.