Cubs play new roster rule to their advantage

CINCINNATI -- The Chicago Cubs have really figured out how to manipulate this 26-man roster for doubleheaders.

When all is said and done, the Cubs will have managed to send down Brooks Raley twice while not having him miss a single start. He was first sent down last week and then brought up Saturday. After Saturday’s game he was sent back down with the intention of bringing him back for his next start.

Typically guys who are sent down can’t come back up for 10 days. But that doesn’t apply for a new rule that allows clubs to bring up a 26th player for doubleheaders scheduled in advance. Bringing a player back for the doubleheader doesn’t restart his 10-day window.

Saturday’s doubleheader was scheduled after a May 1 game at Cincinnati was rained out.

The Cubs sent Raley down last week, knowing they would just be able to recall him on Saturday. Michael Bowden was added to bolster the bullpen.

After Saturday’s doubleheader, the Cubs sent down Raley once again. By the time he is needed to make his next start, his 10 days will have expired from the first time he was sent down.

It’s possible that with all this Cubs maneuvering, the 26-man rule will be reevaluated at some point down the road.