Study shows change in MLB roster demographics

From Matt Hughes at the YES Network on May 14, 2013, with mention of SABR member Mark Armour’s study on baseball demographics:

A new study partly attributes the declining participation of African-American players in Major League Baseball to changing roster dynamics.

The Society for American Baseball Research concluded that as rosters have changed to include more pitchers, African-American players who typically play in the field — the outfield in particular — have seen potential roster spots become more elusive.

A 25-man roster traditionally consisted of 39-44 percent pitchers through the 1970s. But in recent years, as five-man rotations and specialists out of the bullpen have become the norm, pitchers now occupy over 50 percent of the roster.

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Originally published: May 15, 2013. Last Updated: May 15, 2013.