MINNEAPOLIS -- Left-handed reliever Tommy Hottovy made team history on Saturday when he came up from Triple-A Omaha to become the first 26th player on the Royals' active roster under a new rule. Effective this year, teams are permitted to add an extra player on the day a doubleheader is played.
The Royals' day-night doubleheader at Target Field was caused by a rainout on April 28.
"It's kind of cool," Hottovy said. "It's new for everybody, so there are a lot of question marks -- like what can you do and who can you bring?"
Hottovy learned that the "26th man" provision bypasses the usual 10-day limit to bring a player back after he's sent to a Minor League team. For example, Hottovy was optioned back to Omaha just eight days ago, but could return even though he's inside the 10-day window. And the 10 days don't reset, so he could return again after Monday.
"It's important when a team is playing a day-night doubleheader inside a nine- or 10-game stretch. It's tough, especially on the pitching staff," Hottovy said.
Hottovy was thrown into action in the first game, pitching 1 1/3 innings and giving up one run in a 7-2 loss. He was optioned to Omaha immediately after the second game.
The Twins also added a pitcher, right-hander Cole De Vries, their starter and winner in their 5-1 night victory. He too was returned to the Minors after the game.
So Hottovy, a Kansas City native, makes team history.
"I'm going to need a T-shirt made," he said, smiling.
Sure, reading: "I'm the 26th Man."