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View Full Version : Spots 4 & 5 in the rotation - Outside the box



TylerScottDavis
03-25-2012, 10:45 AM
It looks like we have several options available for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation but seemingly all of them come with big question marks.

I've never seen this done before, but I would propose filling those 2 spots with 4 different starters. Each could stay on a "starting" schedule, pitching every 5th day and taking the full amount of time to warm up.

Spot 4: Arroyo for innings 1-4, Chapman for innings 5-8
Spot 5: Francis for innings 1-4, Bailey for innings 5-8

It uses up 2 bullpen spots to carry the extra 2 starters but should reduce bullpen workload overall. This also takes advantage of the extreme pitching style differences between the 4 pitchers to hopefully make all of them more effective than they would be on their own.

For spot 4 you're combining a soft tossing righty and a hard throwing lefty. For spot 5 you're combining a soft tossing lefty and a hard throwing righty. I think giving the opposing offense a different look each time through the order would make it much more difficult for them to become comfortable in the box as the game gets into the later innings.

Thoughts?

drowg14
03-25-2012, 12:01 PM
I don't think this is remotely sustainable. Plus, pitching Chapman 3 innings every time doesn't help to stretch him out. And in a 19 inning game (it happened once, it could happen again) it drastically cuts down on the available pitchers.

5ToolPlaya
03-25-2012, 01:49 PM
This is an effective strategy used by a lot of high schools and some colleges but they play around 40 or 50 games in a season and only a few games a week sometimes. Sustaining this for 162 games with injuries, blowouts, fatigue and such makes it difficult. If the MLB roster limit was say, 28, this might be more feasible.

DirtyBaker
03-25-2012, 07:28 PM
Too extreme.

1. Latos
2. Cueto
3. Leake
4. Arroyo
5. Bailey/Chapman

Jeff Francis may have a shot this year, but at least wait until someone has to go on the DL. He's having a good spring but we're only talking 13 IP thus far. Although I would consider that come June and Arroyo and Bailey are putting up ERAs north of 5.50.

What I like about the idea is that it keeps Bailey and Chapman in the bigs.

stevekun
03-25-2012, 07:55 PM
Francis is going to the pen. Thats my feeling

TylerScottDavis
03-25-2012, 08:15 PM
@drowg: Innings 5-8 would actually be 4 innings.

@dirtybaker: I don't if Francis is a good candidate to be a successful big-league starter this year or not either, but maybe combining him with Bailey will help boost his effectiveness.

I didn't really put a lot of consideration into who pitched innings 1-4 vs who pitched innings 5-8, but perhaps they could rotate with each start.

Not concerned with the sustainability as I would consider it a stop-gap solution for the first 3 months or so. It lets us bring all 4 north and keep them away from actual bullpen duty (specifically Chapman). Who knows, if it's working well then keep it going -- and if it's not, at least we've had a chance to see all 4 pitchers in a starting role and the team can make a better decision from there.

This idea stemmed from this thought process:

I don't want Chapman in the bullpen. We need Chapman's arm in the big leagues. We can't count on Chapman to go 6+ every time out. We can't afford for the bullpen to get burnt every time Chapman is at 100 pitches after the 4th or 5th inning.

DGullett35
03-25-2012, 08:33 PM
It might be an OK idea but no way it happens. We pay Arroyo too much to do that, and the majority of fans would probably not agree with it for some reason or another.
This is how i feel it will go down(not what I would do)
Cueto
Latos
Arroyo-Id like to put him in the 5 spot
Bailey
Leake-He and Arroyo need to be split up

Francis will get some starts this year in my opinion and like Ive said before I hope Chapman can come into the second half of the year just like the Rays did with Price in '
08

Nathan
03-25-2012, 10:25 PM
Francis is going to the pen. Thats my feeling

X2. With Madson's unfortunate injury, they will need another bullpen guy. My guess is Francis is the man.

DGullett35
03-25-2012, 11:03 PM
What do u guys think the pen will look like. Barring any injuries that keep guys from the OD roster I think:

LeCure- Long Relief
Arrendondo
Bray
Ondrusek
Masset-Set-up???
Marshall-Closer

Chapman or Francis gets the last spot. I hope Dusty doesnt get his way on this one and Chapman heads to Louisville. Francis can spot start and share the long relief role with LeCure, and he can also be a loogy. I think Bray is a much better pitcher than to only face one batter a game. Francis could do pretty much everything but close for this team.

The DARK
03-26-2012, 01:26 AM
In theory it works, and the contrast of the platoons is nice, but in the real world there are a lot of problems with it.

-It leaves you with 5 bullpen spots. Even if it does decrease the workload in the two games played like this, you will still more than likely want a closer for that game as well. You also run into serious trouble if a game runs into extra innings or a guy blows up in one of the other games; suddenly you lose a lot of versatility for the next few games, and you need to start reaching into AAA.

-It's volatile. If one guy goes down in the platoon, somebody else is going to be shoehorned into a full rotation slot. Hows that going to affect everyone else in the platoon? Moving guys between baseball positions in general is risky, let alone semi-starting pitchers. If one of the other guys in the rotation goes down, your best backups are in the majors, so you have to mess with the system again. And what do you do with them after the season? The transition to and from different inning counts is not so smooth, especially with question marks like Bailey and Chapman.

-Your pitchers lose value. Bailey is widely seen as primed for a breakout season; that's where his perceived trade value comes from. Even if he were to have that type of season in this format, his trade value and perception would stagnate due to his low inning load (see Cueto)

-It doesn't make the best use of your resources. Arroyo's no spring chicken, but we expect him to carry a serious workload, as he did last year even with mono and getting roughed up often. Otherwise, he might as well be Sam LeCure. The bullpen arms (Bray, for example) also will do a better situational job in the later innings when it matters most than a BOR starter in his fourth inning of work.