TORONTO -- Rosters for teams are allowed to be expanded on Sept. 1 from 25 players to as high as 40. Based on the fact new rules are put into place for the most important month of the season, many feel that the rule to expand rosters should be revised with limits.
"When you get to this time of year, we can bring guys in to help us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The flip side is, with the opposition, what they can do and the problems they can present. I still think there should be a set number [who can play], instead of being unlimited up to 40, to keep some kind of decorum about it."
Maddon said the end result is a situation that almost resembles a Spring Training game, where there are many players available to be used.
"Although [games matter] a lot more, obviously, right now," Maddon said, "... when you work the game now, there's so much more to think about when the other team has more [players]."
Maddon believes there should be a limit on how many players are available for any game.
"Say you want to bring up [enough players to where you have 35], make 28 or 29 or 30 available that day," Maddon said. "I would say no more than 30 [players being available for a game] would be reasonable."
Maddon noted that having expanded rosters can help a team or hurt them, but, "anything's fair if the rules of the game allow it."
Johnson gets worst of home-plate collision
TORONTO -- Elliot Johnson took the brunt of the collision at home plate with Blue Jays catcher Jeff Mathis on Friday night that ended the game in a 2-1 Rays loss.
The right side of Johnson's face, which got the worst of it, was covered with abrasions from the clay around the plate.
Typical of a baseball clubhouse, Johnson already has a new nickname: Two-Face. Sam Fuld anointed Johnson with the moniker of Batman's nemesis.
"I didn't get [a] very good sleep -- and then it itches," said Johnson of his Friday night after the game. "... I had to get up a few times and put on more [antibiotic ointment]."
When Johnson was asked what he saw the first time he looked in the mirror, he managed a smile: "Pretty gross."
"The toughest thing [on Saturday], honestly, was trying to get my contact [lens] in," Johnson said. "That was the toughest thing. [The right eye] was hardly open. I could see out of it a little bit. ... It took me a good 10 or 15 minutes to put it in."
Of concern to the Rays' training staff was whether or not Johnson suffered a concussion in the collision.
"I didn't really remember where I was at for the first second after whatever I hit," Johnson said. "Then, I just remember the umpire saying, 'Out,' and that kind of woke me up, if that makes sense."
Johnson underwent tests after Friday night's game and prior to Saturday afternoon's game to see if he had a concussion. Part of the testing dealt with Johnson's memory. He was given a sequence of numbers and he had to repeat those numbers backward. He was also given a sequence of words he had to repeat. According to Johnson, the test took approximately 15 minutes. The tests were administered inside the visiting clubhouse at Rogers Centre.
While Johnson's face appears to have been the major casualty, he said his right hip was really sore after taking a knee to the hip.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said Johnson was available for duty in Saturday afternoon's game.
Maddon OK with plays at the plate
TORONTO -- In the aftermath of Friday night's collision at home plate, Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked if blocking the plate still had a place in the game. The skipper was candid in expressing his opinion that there should be no change to the rule.
"Perfect example last night of a good baseball play," Maddon said. "Those that want to change the rule ... teach your catcher to do a better job of making that play."
Any dialogue about said collisions are normally initiated after the catcher gets hurt. That wasn't the case on Friday night.
"Our guy came up worse than the catcher last night," Maddon said. "So it's not always about the catcher being hurt, the baserunner can be hurt also.
"... Anytime something awkward happens, everybody wants to change rules, point fingers, it always amazes me. Today, when there's more ability to put out an opinion, it exacerbates it even more.
In short, Maddon said he likes the status quo regarding plays at home.
"Teach your catcher how to block the plate properly and understand that the runner can get hurt, too," Maddon said.
Rays make series of roster moves
TORONTO -- The Rays acquired Ben Francisco in a trade from the Astros on Friday night.
To make room for the veteran outfielder on their 40-man roster, the Rays designated Class A Charlotte right-hander Albert Suarez for assignment.
In addition, to make room on the 40-man roster for Jeff Niemann, who came off the 60-day disabled list to start on Saturday against the Blue Jays, the Rays designated Triple-A Durham infielder Will Rhymes for assignment.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.