So the Pirates have to set their playoff roster before expanding it on September 1st. The rules are a bit flexible, but lets run through this.
If you are on the 25 man active roster as of midnight August 31st then you are eligible for post season play. This includes those on the DL, so Charlie Morton is eligible despite not being active. Now in the big wrinkle anyone from the organization can be added to take the spot of a person the DL when playoff time comes. So what does this mean for the Pirates playoff roster?
It means that people eligible for the playoffs include Brandon Crumpton and Brent Morel since they are currently on the 25 man roster. This is why Andrew Lambo was brought up before September 1. Lambo is now eligible for the playoffs as is Jose Tabata. So the 25 men who took the field today are all eligible.
Those who are not eligible of interest include Gregory Polanco and Jeff Locke along with Gerrit Cole who were optioned the other day in order to help bring up Morel and Lambo.
Now the Pirates have two other players who remain eligible in Charlie Morton and Stolmy Pimentel. Both of those guys are eligible for the playoffs.
The Disabled List loophole it means that Cole or Locke or Polanco or anyone else in the organization could be used to take Morton or Pimentel's slot and be on a post season roster if that person is still on the DL come playoff time. Currently with Morton sounding like he is not going to pitch again it means that one of these demoted players would be able to play in the playoffs. And it would NOT have to be a pitcher that took Morton's place. Of course if anyone else on the active 25 man roster gets sent to the DL and remains there during the playoffs the Pirates would be able to replace that person as well.
Two other things worth noting are that if a player is acquired from other teams in September that person cannot play in the Divisional series and beyond. Thus, trades are effectively over for the Pirates. Also, for whatever reason, the one game wild card playoff does not follow this eligibility rule. Anyone on roster at the end of the season is able to play in this game. In a sense the one game playoff is considered more of a final regular season game than a post season game. Anyone who is called up in September is eligible for that one game.
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