There are a total of 750 jobs in Major League Baseball.
That is 30 teams times 25 players per team. Most teams carry 12 or 13 pitchers. Using 12, that leaves just 390 jobs for catchers, infielders and outfielders. Obviously, supply far exceeds demand.
It is therefore no small sense of accomplishment that Melbourne’s James Beresford should be feeling after getting a hit in his MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins after paying his dues for 10 years at the minor league level.
Beresford was added to the Twins’ 40-man roster last week. MLB has two rosters. The 25-man roster we used for our math example is referred to as the “active roster.” The 40-man roster is known as the “expanded roster,” which is comprised of all the players in a MLB club’s organization who are signed to a major-league contract. The players on this roster are considered eligible to be called up to become a part of the active roster at any given time.
Beginning on September 1 of the MLB season, the entire list of players on the expanded roster may be called up to the team. This is done to permit minor league players to gain some big league experience and to supply teams that are in playoff contention with reserves.
Beresford was the beneficiary of this system, and he used it to his advantage to get his first major league hit in the seventh inning in a game against the Cleveland Indians. He played well over 1,000 games at the minor league level before getting the call up.