How Many Pitchers Are on a MLB Team? – A Simple Instruction

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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how many pitchers are on a mlb team

How many pitchers are on a MLB team? On Monday, May 2, 2022, the MLB implemented an all-new rule delimiting the number of pitchers in a team to a maximum of fourteen.

This amendment of the existing rule relates to concerns about baseball’s excessive number of pitchers.

While the rule has little effect on the actual structure of the game, it should make the game more organized and satisfying. Read on for a discussion of this change.

How Many Pitchers in an MLB Team?

With the new rule implemented, an MLB team can only have fourteen (14) pitchers.

The MLB roster size 2022 rule, in general, allows for twenty-eight (28) players on a baseball team.

Who Decides on the Rules?


No single person decides how many pitchers can a MLB team have. The MLB and the Players Association (MLBPA) convene to vote on a particular move.

Once the majority of the votes yield towards the rule (or amended rule) in question, the decision becomes official.

The amended 2022 rules include:

  • A double-header can only go as far as nine (9) innings.
  • Ghost runners, during extra-innings, are supposed to proceed from second base.
  • In the emergence of a double-header, the number of players can cap at twenty-nine (29).
  • The pitchers on a major league baseball team can stay in the batting lineup even after being relieved without affecting the pitching rotation.

What Triggered the Expansion of the Rosters?


Several things triggered the said expansion of the rosters. To be specific, they are two interconnecting events that happened this year: the current MLB lockout and the eventual shortening of the spring training sessions.

And since team owners prioritize bringing out their players’ optimum capacity without risking their physical and mental health, a roster increase makes sense.

But it is also essential to point out that the rule on expanded active rosters only applies after May 1.

In addition to the rules above, any Minor League player transferred before May 2 would not count towards the maximum 5-player limit.

Moreover, from April 7-May 1 (before May 2), two-way players and MLB pitchers can be out of play for 10 days before designation. However, from May 2, these players can only be on 15-day injured lists.

Team owners can subject their relief pitchers on a baseball team to the Shohei Ohtani rule with these thoughts considered.

What Is the Shohei Ohtani Rule?

The Shohei Ohtani rule is a nickname for a newly-officialized rule that allows team owners or managers to appoint a player in a temporary two-way role.

Specifically, the starting pitcher can also be put in the batting order.

Furthermore, the team can legally remove the “Ohtani” (we shall use the name to conveniently refer to the player who is appointed as a two-way player) from either of his two roles.

Why Is It Called the Shohei Ohtani Rule?

This rule’s name came about due to a recent precedent (2021, May) involving a prolific Japanese baseball player.

The event transpired when Shohei Ohtani, the starting pitcher, was supposedly up for an at-bat.

However, since the Los Angeles Angels (Ohtani’s team) did not want to lose him from the batting lineup because he was not the designated hitter, they wisely moved him to right field.

The all-new Shohei Ohtani rule applies to similarly unique situations in the current season and so on in the future.

How Does the MLB Pitching Rotation Work?

The MLB pitching rotations primarily work with five starting pitchers on MLB roster, all taking rounds to set the game every day.

Depending on the changes in the scheduled games, the team can get on with only three (3) to (4) starting pitchers to carry out the rotation.

Today, a starting pitcher is often given three to four resting days in preparation for his turn in the rotation.


How many pitchers are on a MLB team? Today, an MLB team can consist of up to fourteen (14) pitchers.

As stated above, the updated 2022 MLB roster size has expanded to 28 players, and the 2022 season saw several rules amended. Among these rules, the Shohei Ohtani rule is deemed the most dynamic.

As pointed out, several factors caused these changes, such as the MLB lockout and the shortening of the spring training sessions.

What do you think of this information?

Comment down below to join in the conversation.

Read more: Steps to be a pitcher in baseball.

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