ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's something the Rangers haven't had to worry about much recently, but for a player to be eligible for postseason play, he must be on the roster or the disabled list by 11 p.m. Dallas time on Tuesday, Aug. 31.
So how does this postseason roster work? Here's my understanding from talking to club officials and soliciting some help from ESPN Stats & Information:
* Rule 40 (a) states that a player must be on his club’s active big league roster or disabled list (or bereavement list, suspended list, or military list) on August 31 in order to be eligible for post-season play.
That means on the 25-man roster or the DL.
* The DL portion includes anyone on the 60-day DL as well. So in the Rangers case, Eric Hurley and Brandon McCarthy would count as members of the pool of players the club could choose for the postseason.
* The rule goes on to state: Playoff rosters must be set at 25, not including disabled players, on August 31. For each player on the 60-day DL, teams may add players to the eligible list during the playoffs at the same position, provided that they were in the organization on August 31. Teams must choose 25 players from their playoff eligible list before each round of the playoffs.
* In other words, the Rangers can replace anyone on the DL -- regardless of position -- as part of the pool of players as long as they are in the organization by Tuesday night. Let's take Hurley, for instance. He's rehabbing from shoulder surgery and can't pitch. But the good news for the Rangers is that they have a spot there that they can add a healthy player that could be included on the playoff roster. And they can add a position player or pitcher.
* Still, the Rangers would have to submit a 25-man roster before the first round and then could replace injured players, at the same position with someone who was in the organization as of Aug. 31.
What it does is allows teams to continue to evaluate some players for those final bench spots and tweak the playoff roster as long as any player added was in the organization by the deadline on Tuesday. That's why teams will sign some players or make a waiver trade and then because of the DL spots, that player could be made eligible by the postseason, but they don't have to decide that right now.
I hope that makes sense. The Rangers just need to be sure that anyone they may consider using in the playoffs is in the organization by Tuesday night. But just because they may not be on the 25-man roster (like Willy Taveras or Derek Holland), doesn't mean they can't be inserted in place of a DL player and then chosen before the playoffs begin.