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Sunday, Mar 27, 2005
"Bill James: What has happened in the last fifteen years is that the expansion of the bullpens has all but eliminated platooning. Teams used to carry nine pitchers, not 15 years ago but 35 years ago. You have nine pitchers on a 25-man roster, that’s leaves 16 players for eight positions, and you can platoon at three or four positions. Bobby Cox in Toronto in the early eighties was platooning at five positions. Now, teams carry 12 pitchers. You’ve got 13 position players for nine positions, you’ve got a backup catcher and a utility infielder, your options for platooning are very limited.
But what we’re doing now doesn’t make any sense, because you can gain many more runs by platooning than you can save by having an extra left-hander in the bullpen. Eventually, people will realize that what we’re doing now doesn’t make any sense, and then they’ll start cutting back the pitching staffs and expanding the benches, and then we’ll go the other way for 30 or 40 years until something else happens and history tears off on some other tangent."