Will Red Sox Lead MLB to 6-Man Rotation?
Are the Boston Red Sox are preparing us for next step in baseball pitching evolution – the six many rotation? This is from Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com:
Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona and pitching coach John Farrell devised a creative way to use five starters despite the scheduling oddity of three off days in the season’s first 10 days, a plan that paid great heed to rest management, maximizing effectiveness and, just as important, rewarding all five pitchers.
But what happens when Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is scheduled to pitch Monday afternoon in a minor league game, joins the starting mix?
The club has not ruled out using a six-man rotation, Farrell said Sunday, but stressed that any discussion is purely hypothetical until Matsuzaka is ready. And that is still weeks away, as Matsuzaka tries to make up for time lost to what the team called an upper back injury.
“Where we go from that point, who goes to the bullpen, does it bring back in the thought of a six-man rotation? I know for the fan or a baseball person who looks at the situation, it’s why don’t you just do that? On paper, [a six-man rotation] seems to be the elixir that will answer everything.”
I think this makes sense for the Red Sox. If you have six solid starters, you might as well use them all, especially when Josh Beckett and Jon Lester would benefit from some extra rest.
But we’re not going to see a six man rotation for most teams, or even a few teams, for the foreseeable future. The six man only makes sense (and I’m assuming that teams operate via logic, which can be a faulty assumption), if a) the value of the six starter exceeds that of the player previously occupying that roster spot and b) the extra cost of a starter is justified by the extra value.
Most teams have trouble filling their fifth rotation spot, or even their fourth. Heck, Pittsburgh has Paul Maholm as their number two! And starting pitching is more expensive than a seventh guy in the bullpen or a utility guy. So, I expect the six man rotation to be the exception rather than the rule.