I am going to admit something to you. It’s a little embarrassing, but I feel like, in light of Jason Collins coming out as a homesexual, I need to come out with this secret that I’ve kept buried deep inside of me for way too long.

/Takes deep breath

I am a roster management addict. I am fully addicted to pouring over the roster make up and looking for ways to improve from not only outside of the organization via waivers, free agency and trades, but from within the organization via the farm. I can’t help it. I’ll be watching a game, see a player leave for some reason related to an injury and immediately begin to speculate on who the replacement might be and how Jed and Theo can make that work under the current CBA constraints. As a result of this crazy addiciton, I’ve come up with my ideal roster construnsruction and right now the Cubs are not following it.

Obviously you need to go in with all the starting position players filled as well as a rotation of five pitchers (don’t get me started on this one right now). From there, it’s a personal preference when it comes to constructing this roster for the other twelve spots.

Bench – Some would say that contruction of this would vary based on if you’re in the NL vs the AL, but I disagree. I build my roster the exact same way. The only difference is that it gives the AL manager a little more flexibility in how he uses the bench because the need for pinch hitting for the pitcher is not needed. I contruct my bench with six position players. This varies from the traditional bench of five or even four, but I do it for a reason. First, I carry an outfielder with the ability to play at least one of the corner spots, preferably the ability to play both. From there I also carry a centerfielder to back up my starter. Ideally one of those two backup outfields will have the ability to play multiple OF spots. I also carry a backup third baseman with the ability to play first if needed in a pinch or on a day off for the starter. I carry a backup middle infielder. I carry a backup catcher (if the backup 3B can’t cover first, I look for a catcher who can). That leaves me with the extra spot, which I liken to the flex position in fantasy football. I use this spot for a specialist of some sort, preferrably focused on speed and defense, in that order. The rationale is that I can use this player in a pinch late in the game as a runner, in an attempt to get my tying or winning run in scoring position. If I cannot find a player that fits this mold, I look for a third catcher, if and only if, my backup catcher has a bat I feel is valuable as a pinch hitter.

Bullpen – This one is short and sweet. Carrying 12 pitchers is ridiculous. It leads to some guy getting burried and forgotten at the end of the bullpen bench and as a result, rusting like the tin man. This year it’s Hector Rondon who is suffering as a result of the bloated pen. He’s been used in seven games this year, but has only thrown six pitches in the last week. It’s no way to develop a bullpen arm from within. I understand he needs to remain on the active roster due to his rule five status, but he’s pitched a lot better than someone like Shawn Camp, yet Camp continues to answer the phone when it rings. Carrying 11 pitchers solves this problem. In the event that someone gets tired or a game goes long, you call a fresh arm up and option a guy down. If you construct the pen with that flexibility, it doesn’t become an issue.

Maybe this is just me ranting, but I’m tired of people just following the mold when it comes to the way things are done in this game. Try something new. That is all.

/steps down from the soapbox

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail