The Rockies have been to the playoffs twice in 18 seasons. It would make sense that Rockies fans would be unfamiliar with rules regarding playoff roster construction.
With the Rockies in good playoff position and Dexter Fowler headed to the disabled list, there were a lot of questions and confusion, understandably. Tracy Ringolsby emailed me, by his own initiative, in an effort to clear up the rules for all of our readers. The following is straight from the Cowboy.
- "The requirement to be on the post-season roster is that you are in an organization by Aug. 31."
- "If you have 25 players on active roster and no one on DL, those 25 are your post-season players."
- "If a team has [X number of players] on the DL, it expands the choices they can make for filling out the post-season roster. At the end of the season, when the team puts together its post-season roster, they can replace any player on the disabled list at season's end with a player who was in organization as of Aug. 31, even if he wasn't in the big leagues. For example, Mark Redman replaced Rodrigo Lopez, I believe it was, in 2007."
- The preceding rule makes no dichotomy between players on the 60-day DL and 15-day DL. Any member of the DL can be replaced by any player in the organization by August 31.
- "You could add someone not on the 40-man, although that would be unusual because if you felt he could help you it would seem likely you had him around in September in some type of role."
Amoeba mentioned in the comments of the Dexter Fowler fanshot that any member sent down could be called up when rosters expand Sept 1, regardless of how long they were away from the big league team. Ringolsby clarifies that this is not the case:
- "In recent years a couple adjustments were made regarding roster moves and Sept. 1."
- "It used to be that a player sent to the minors could be called up as soon as rosters expanded, even if the player hadn't spent 10 days in the minors. But that is now changed and a player has to stay either 10 days or until the minor-league team's season is over, including the playoffs."
- "It used to be that a player on the DL could be activated Sept. 1 even if he hadn't spent the full 15 days but the rules were changed so that you now are supposed to spend the full 15 days, according to MLB official I asked."
This means that Dexter Fowler will indeed be away from the Rockies for 15 days, making him available to return September 9 in the third game of a home series vs. the Reds. Most important to note, the Rockies currently have seven players on the disabled list, giving them seven spots to "play with."