Outfielder Brennan Boesch was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Detroit Tigers today. Boesch, who underwent surgery on his injured right thumb this week, is not expected to return this season. With the rosters already expanded, there was only one reason to officially DL Boesch, and that was to gain an extra bit of flexibility for the playoff roster.
As Chris Iott of MLive points out, the Tigers already had two “extra spots” to use when setting their postseason roster. Pitcher Brad Thomas and Joel Zumaya are both playoff-eligible this season, but since both will remain on the DL when the season ends, both can be replaced by any player who has been in the Tigers organization prior to September 1. The situation with Boesch means that instead of having two extra players to choose from, the Tigers will will have three spots they can play with.
In other words, the roster the Tigers had at midnight on August 31, does not have to be the same as the one they open the playoffs with. All three of Zumaya, Thomas, and Boesch can be replaced by any player.
The Tigers can choose a roster comprised of any combination of the 25 guys they had on the roster on that date (24 without Boesch, who was active at the time), and two players (Carlos Guillen and Al Alburquerque) who were disabled at that time, and they could still select any additional three players who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for the roster. Iott mentions outfielder Andy Dirks as likely to claim one of those spots, effectively replacing Boesch.