Utilize a seven-man bullpen
This one happened today. The Orioles are called up Stefan Crichton.
This has been a long time coming. The Orioles split their last 16 games, and have tried from the beginning of the year to use the short bullpen.
That is all fine and well whenever you have lots of off days, healthy starters, etc.
But an extra-inning game or a short outing due to injury or ejection can throw the best-laid plans into turmoil. This has forced the team to have the Norfolk shuttle running at warp speed, sometimes maneuvering numerous players in an individual series.
With the longer bullpen, the team can get back to working to protect pitchers. No longer is it a disaster if Darren O’Day is out for a few days (although I still think he could have been put on the disabled list) and you are down to five pitchers or less.
The added maneuverability in the bullpen is beneficial, especially because of the emergence of Seth Smith as a competent defensive outfielder.