Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Could It Be Possible?

Is it possible that the Sox could move to a 6-man rotation? I don't think it has been discussed, but if a team could do it, this would be the one.

Consider that Schilling looked tired in his last two outings. Maybe cutting back on his amount of starts by giving him an extra day in between would keep him fresh for the rest of the year?

Daisuke pitched on 5-days rest in Japan.

Wakefield could pitch in that rotation.

With off days you get Tavarez not always on 4-days rest, anyway.

Throw in Lester who you don't want to overwork anyway, and I think you could do it.

Notice I left out Beckett. I haven't tried to figure this out, yet...But is it possible to throw him on his regular rest and still have the other guys pitch on longer rest? I am sure that it is...

This gets Lester back to the bigs...Puts Daisuke back on his regular pattern...allows Schilling to not throw as much...Tavarez and Wakefield are flexible. Plus, one or both of those guys could be used in a bullpen appearance in a pinch.

I say it is something the Sox should consider. It is better to be rested for the post-season than to wear yourself out on the way there.


  1. It is an interesting question and a few teams have tried it recently for short periods of time, but I think that it would be a lot more difficult to implement. For starters, Beckett is their best pitcher now, so this move would have the affect of him pitching fewer innings over the course of the season. Also, the bullpen would be down a man if you had a sixth starter. Perhaps you could use one (or more) of the starters as a relief guy, but I'm not sure that is the best case - sure Wake could do it, but what about Beckett. Or Tavarez. I think the strain on the pen would be too great.

    And while Dice-K is accustomed to pitching on 5 days rest, its not like he is guaranteed to do better over the long haul. And you know the team is going to be cautious with Lester - 5 innings will be the norm, so a short pen will put them at a disadvantage.

    What happens when a guy like Tavarez or Lester (or anyone really) can only go 5 innings, then you pretty much empty the pen to finish a game. And to get Lester up, one relief arm must go. For arguments sake, lets just say that is Pineiro (despite pitching better in his last two games) or maybe it is Timlin who seems to be the 2007 version of the 2005 Embree.

    So you are left with Papelbon, and Oki for the 8/9, Delcarmen (replaced by Donelly when he returns) for the 7th, Snyder as your long man, and Javy Lopez for situational lefties, and Timlin or Pineiro for mop up duty. Seems like a situation where you leave them a little thin out there.

    And there is no evidence that by having the starters get an extra day rest that they will be able to pitch deeper into games. There is still the magic 100 pitch mark where guys tend to lose some effectiveness.

    And probably most importantly, I don't think Terry to Tito want to be the guys that manage against the "book." They tried that already (kind of) in 2003 with the bullpen by committee. And while the idea was (and still is) a good one and it was just that they had the wrong guys doing the pitching, the media and fan reaction was merciless. And this leaked into the players reactions - "we just want to know our roles."

    That being said, it would not surprise me to see Lester up this weekend (send Delcarmen down for a game) if they really are going to skip Schilling.

    Like you noted yesterday, I would like another arm. I'm really worried Timlin is done. The good news is that the Sox will not hesitate to cut him loose if they think so as well.

  2. Well, Schilling heads to the DL so a 6-man rotation isn't needed anyway.

    I was thinking that even with a 6-man rotation that there would be a way to get Beckett his starts every 5 days and have everyone else at 6. It would work if you could say that Tavarez's starts and/or Wake's would be the ones moved around a bit. Although I feel confident when Tavarez is out there lately. I think it is hilarious how he directs traffic when guys are throwing the ball around.