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Doubleheader Brings Expanded Roster Possibility

Due to a caveat in the MLB's CBA, the Padres and Indians can roster an extra player for their doubleheader.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rain on Monday gave the Padres and Indians a surprise off day. Because the rain was supposed to carry over until Tuesday, the makeup game was scheduled for Wednesday making that a rare doubleheader for the Padres. The Collective Bargaining Agreement has a caveat that says that any time a doubleheader is scheduled more than one day in advance the two teams can roster a 26th player.

There are no limitations on who the 26th man can be, other than it must be someone on the 40 man roster. The rule has been in effect since the 2012 and every time the player called up to be the 26th man has been a pitcher. This makes logical sense. The most taxed portion of the roster, when it comes to doubleheaders, is the pitching staff. Some teams may even need a spot starter for one of the games, but that is not the case for the Padres. They will likely look to add a relief pitcher.

If this were a long term need in the bullpen, the Padres might be tempted to make a 40 man roster move and call up a guy like Tony Sipp. However, since ostensibly this pitcher will be called up for only one game they are much more likely to pluck a player straight from the existing 40 man roster. The pitchers on the 40 man roster who are currently not on the 25 man roster or on the 15 day DL are: Burch Smith, Juan Pablo Oramas, Keyvius Sampson, Jesse Hahn and Bobby LaFromboise. At the moment Smith, Oramas and Sampson are all working as starting pitchers in AAA. Calling them up for a little bullpen insurance and messing up their rhythm probably is not the best choice. Especially when you consider that one of them could be the next man called up should another starting pitcher get hurt. Jesse Hahn impressed in Spring Training, but is currently being stretched in order to get into the AA starting rotation. The most logical choice might be Bobby LaFromboise.

LaFromboise was selected off waivers from the Seattle Mariners back on April 2. He is a lefty reliever that pitching in 10 for those Mariners in 2013. It looks like that coming off a good 2012 season, Seattle protected him from the Rule 5 draft by putting him on the 40 man roster and then a couple times during the season were forced to call upon his sinister services. However, come the start of the 2014 season due to injuries the Mariners were in need of starting pitching help for the big league roster and thought he was expendable when they had to add former Padre Chris Young to their 40 man roster. They waived him and the Padres made a claim. He was then optioned to the Chihuahuas so that the Padres could get a look at him in AAA for a bit. However, he has yet to appear in a game for El Paso.

Perhaps there is a reason LaFromboise has yet to pitch in a game. Perhaps it is enough of a reason that the Padres would not want to call him up for this extra roster spot. Perhaps they will not call up anyone. Perhaps they will DFA poor Bobby and give Tony Sipp a call after all. Whoever it is will have a long flight to Cleveland likely followed by a long, lonely flight back to somewhere back in the Southwest.