When a team can't fill out a starting lineup

Ottoneu rules state: “Each team should maintain during the regular season a roster of 22 major-league players that can fill out a starting lineup. The remaining 18 roster spots can be used for reserves, consisting of both major and minor leaguers.”

There’s a team in our league, last place, doing a rebuild, with zero catchers. He does not have 5 MLB SP or 5 MLB RP. He only has four MLB players who are OF eligible.

How is this handled? As commish, should I give him a deadline to get his roster into legal shape? Is that a fair and reasonable ask from me?

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Would love to hear from those of you who have run into Rule 1a issues in the past, but I think a deadline is more than reasonable. You want to be flexible as a commissioner, but a team that is unable to field multiple positions should be pushed by the league and the commissioner to get their lineup in order.

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Yes, I would love to hear more about this rule as well. We have 1 owner (far more experienced than me with Ottoneu) who says that he has seen it interpreted as being able to fill all the 22 slots, even if it isn’t at the same time. For example, you might roster only 7 MLB pitchers that could be moved around to fill all 5 SP or all 5 RP based upon some of them having SP/RP eligibility. But you obviously could not fill all 10 pitchers slots with only your 7 pitchers.

As someone in this position at the moment (though not as bad as your leagues team) I would not be upset at a deadline. I cannot fill my RP slots due to injuries but have bid on two RP’s since, just lost. I would simply respond, explain my logic/specifics and look for reasonable dialogue. I think contacting the owner is the way to go.


I’m actually the owner in question. A deadline is probably the way to do it, however I think the owner should be given some leeway if it appears they are doing what they can to fill the roster slots. Currently I still have one RP slot open, despite bidding on every RP that has been nominated as well as nominating several myself. I can’t help if other owners outbid me on a player.

A couple of other issues: what about DL players and also SPs or RPs slotted into one or the other’s slot (since you can freely do that)?

Last season we had an owner in our league who asked for leeway because of his DL. Our response was cut some people on your DL, as much as you’d love to stash them.

I also think it’s pushing it a bit to say you have a RP because you can move a guy who never comes out of the bullpen in real life into a RP slot.

All that being said, I am very sympathetic to being constantly outbid and thus being given some leeway. The goal is that everyone should be nominally engaged in order for Ottoneu to be the best experience, so if the owner in question is engaged, that buys them some time in my book.


Yeah I agree on all fronts and am adhering as closely as I can, just thought the DL and SP/RP thing might be an issue, since the language in the rules is a little vague.