Manager frustrated with expansion from 25 to 40 players. Says it’s not fair to teams in the race when “opposing teams have 14 guys in the bullpen.”

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Even though he benefited from it in Friday’s 3-1 win over the Rangers, count Lloyd McClendon among the growing number of managers frustrated with interminable September games featuring an army of relievers and pinch-hitters/runners thanks to the expanded rosters.

Each year on Sept. 1 per Major League Rules, teams go from a 25-man roster to the full 40-man roster. Some teams call up all 15 remaining players on it, others call up just a handful.

Sure, McClendon was able to survive a 41/3-inning start from James Paxton by using five relievers and also some subs for defense and pinch-running along the way to beat the American League West-leading Rangers.

Could he have done that with just a 25-man roster? Maybe. But it would have taken some creative strategy.

And in that lies his frustration with the system. Yes, he used to it his advantage. But that doesn’t mean he agrees with it. In fact, he voiced the same concerns last season and reiterated them on Saturday.

“I don’t think it’s fair to teams in the race when opposing teams have 14 guys in the bullpen,” he said. “I’ve felt that way for quite some time. I don’t like it. You play five months with a 25-man roster and then for 30 days some teams are playing with a 40-man roster. Teams that are in it, they may have a few call-ups, but not many.”

Games are played with a much different strategy because of the wealth in reserves. So the strategy and talent that put teams in a playoff position for the first part of the season can be negated or overwhelmed by numbers.

The game does change with the cadre of relievers. Managers won’t endure shaky outings from their starting pitchers. Instead, they will pull them early and go inning by inning.

And if the game is close in late innings, you will see a myriad of pitching moves. Call on a left-handed hitter to pinch-hit against a right-handed reliever, a manager will counter with a lefty pitcher. You will see multiple times a night where pinch-hitters and pitchers are burned without a pitch being thrown. Managers have the numbers to do so.

“When you you’ve got 14 or 15 guys in the bullpen, it’s hard to match up particularly if you are in a pennant race,” McClendon said. “There’s no such thing as a late-inning situation.”

McClendon isn’t the only one who isn’t a fan of the expanded rosters.

“The whole game management drastically changes from a regular-season game, pre-September,” Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com. “I don’t think that’s the spirit of what rosters should be. You always want a couple extra guys because it’s the time of year when guys get a little tired and you might need a couple extra pitchers. You want some speed. You bring up a third catcher. But it should be equitable.”

The growing push for a change may have its tipping-point example. On Tuesday, the Dodgers and Rockies slogged their way through a 16-inning 5-4 Colorado win. But would the game have lasted 5 hours and 23 minutes without the expanded rosters?

The two teams combined to use 58 total players, including 24 pitchers — both MLB records. The Rockies used 30 players and a tied a MLB record with 13 pitchers used.

Dodger players admitted that the game was too long and boring.

And McClendon doesn’t think they’re wrong in that assessment.

“I don’t think it’s fair to the fans either to sit and watch that sort of debacle, pitcher after pitcher into the game,” he said. “If I’m sitting in the stands, I wouldn’t want to watch that.”

That bothers McClendon just as much as the changed strategy.

“My biggest thing is that I think it’s boring as hell,” he said. “I really do. And if I was a fan, I’d be pissed off to watch non-contending teams bring in 12 guys a game.”

So what’s the solution?

“I just think you should have four or five guys that are active per night,” McClendon said.

“You can call up as many as you want (from the 40-man roster), but have four or five activated for a particular night.”

Scioscia and others have advocated for something similar. A set 25-man roster and then the four or five activated players each game.

Baseball is reluctant to change, but there are reports that the roster issue will be addressed in the offseason.

With commissioner Rob Manfred pushing to speed up the pace of play and time of games, adjusting the September roster changes to limit available pitchers would be an easy start.