Excellent stuff over from former Blue Jays Assisant General Manager Bart Given, who gives a peak into the inner circle of a baseball front office at insidethemajors.com. All spring he has been running a series called "Important Dates" which sounds exactly like what it is...important dates. For example, today is an important day for Major League front offices.
MLB effectively treats the games from March 27 forward as “regular season” games with regard to the DL. If a player appears in a game March 27 or later, the Club can no longer backdate his DL placement nine days. Just like the regular season, a player is only eligible to be placed on the DL the day following his last game appearance.
This can make for some interesting maneuvering at the end of spring. If a player is dealing with a “nagging” injury, the Club may opt for him to participate in games at Minor League camp or “B” games between Major League teams from March 27 forward. Therefore protecting their ability to backdate the maximum nine days.
If the Rays want to place B.J. Upton on the DL and still have him play in the home opener, he would seem like a prime candidate for this sort of move. Upton has only participated in Minor League games so far and under this rule can continue to due so as MLB sees these games as rehab assignments.
As long as Upton doesn't participate in a "Major League" game the Rays don't have to actually place him on the DL today, but could wait a few days if they feel there is a slight chance he could be ready for the regular opener.
Also, Given sees the Price move as the right move, which is good to hear from a former front office exec.
Further making this a wise decision is the fact the Rays have post-season aspirations. Essentially they are trying to prepare for a seven month season instead of the standard six. I’m quite positive they envision Price taking the mound in the playoffs - therefore do not want him to reach his “inning limit” in August. (Don’t be surprised however if the Rays do make the playoffs and Price approaches 200 innings - teams will stretch the guidlines for a chance to win a championship)
These are the tough decisions a GMs are faced with all the time. Making the wrong decision can alter the direction of your Club and cost you your job - Andrew Friedman made the right decision here.
If you are a reader of DRaysBay, you should make this site part of your daily routine.