We are a few days into September, but since the question still seems to come up quite often the topic is worth addressing again. Joc Pederson was called up and added to the Dodgers' 40-man roster on Monday, Sep. 1 when active roster limits expanded. Should the Dodgers find themselves playing in October, Pederson would be eligible for the postseason roster, should the team choose to include him.
Major league rule 40(a) outlines the players eligible for postseason play and defines them as such:
- Players on a the major league active roster (aka the 25-man roster), disabled list, bereavement list, suspended list or military list as of midnight ET on Aug. 31, or be under control but not yet reported, on assignment from another major league organization (the latter for waiver trade deadline acquisitions, like Michael Young on Aug. 31, 2013, for example).
- These players must remain on the 40-man roster for the remainder of the season through at least the beginning of the applicable postseason series.
The Dodgers had 32 players on Aug. 31 that fall under these guidelines - the 25-man active roster and eight players on the disabled list:
- Starting pitchers (7): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dan Haren, Roberto Hernandez, Josh Beckett*, Chad Billingsley*
- Relief pitchers (12): Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Brian Wilson, Brandon League, Jamey Wright, Pedro Baez, Kevin Correia, Chris Perez*, Paco Rodriguez*, Onelki Garcia*, Chris Withrow*, Paul Maholm*
- Catchers (2): A.J. Ellis, Drew Butera
- Infielders (6): Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Hanley Ramirez, Juan Uribe, Justin Turner, Darwin Barney
Outfielders (5): Carl Crawford, Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Scott Van Slyke, Andre Ethier
Any of these 32 players are eligible for a Dodgers postseason roster, with no strings attached. But several on the disabled list won't be ready to play until next year, let alone this postseason. They are the ones who can be replaced, and this is how someone like Pederson could sub in.
To be a replacement for an injured player on a postseason roster, the requirements as follows:
- Player must be on a minor league active roster, disabled list, or temporarily inactive list by midnight ET on Aug. 31, or on such date be designated for assignment or under control, but not yet reported, on assignment from another major league organization.
- The player must remain in the organization for the remainder of the year and through the time of replacement.
- The player must be added to the 40-man roster by the time of replacement.
The Dodgers called up Pederson, Tim Federowicz, Alex Guerrero, Yimi Garcia, Carlos Frias, Miguel Rojas and Erisbel Arruebarrena to the active roster on Monday and Tuesday. None of them were on the active roster or DL on Aug. 31, but all are eligible for the postseason roster this season.
As are Matt Magill, Red Patterson, Scott Schebler, Lindsey Caughel and Justin Germano, to name a few more. Because they were in the organization by Aug. 31.
We have seen examples of these maneuvers before. Neither a Dee Gordon nor Scott Van Slyke were on the Dodgers active roster on Aug. 31, 2013 - they were recalled on Sep. 1 - but both made the playoff rosters.
Perhaps the most famous example of an "in the organization" player called up for the postseason was Francisco Rodriguez in 2002 with the Angels. He wasn't on the 40-man roster on Aug. 31, but was called up and made his major league debut on Sep. 18. Rodriguez replaced injured pitcher Steve Green on the Angels' postseason roster, and proved an indispensable part of the Halos bullpen in the playoffs, winning five games in relief during Anaheim's World Series run.
My favorite postseason injury replacement is Mark Kiger, a second baseman called up by the Athletics for the 2006 ALCS to replace the injured Mark Ellis. Kiger had never played a major league game, and to date his two ALCS appearances on defense are his only major league games.