Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The solution to the Phillies' rotation: Be crazy as a Wolf...

Much ink (err, electrons) has been spilt over the past few days over what the Phillies should do with Wolf going down on the DL for the next year and a half. Most of the speculation has been on for whom the Phillies should trade, and when, and with whom they should part. Some consideration has been given to whether we should get a lefty or a righty (to prevent an all-righty rotation).

Here's my thought: Go to a four man rotation.

As outlined a few years ago in Baseball Prospectus, the five man rotation has been a failure. Does it make pitchers more effective? No. Does it keep them healthier? No.

Does it give innings to worse pitchers at the expense of better ones? YES! Does it use up a valuable bench slot which could be occupied by a healthy young player itching to get his shot (even as a bench player). YES! Does it cause GMs to trade away too much to get a player who will probably only play a total of 110 innings in 2005? YES!

For every 5 innings we get out of Tejeda, that's one less we could get out of this guy. Over the rest of the season, that amounts to 22 innings where we could have had an ace pitching rather than a rookie. That's 22 innings where we could have our number 2 guy pitch. And our number 3 guy. That adds up to a whole lot of quality innings we're leaving out on the field.

1 Comments:

At 6:12 AM, Blogger Oisín/Wizlah said...

Crazy indeed, PK. Rob Neyer's rant on the Blue Jay's attempt is interesting, not least because it includes quotes from one C Lidle and suggests it rests very much on the strength of the individual pitchers and whether they're up to it.

And that would argue against the 4-man idea: Lidle has made his throughts clear on this before. Padilla, I'd wager, is still not back to full fitness. And Lieber? There's already been murmurings about his conditioning, and whether he could manage that. In fact, the only strong candidate for it would be myers.

I'm not disagreeing with the idea - it gives us more depth if things go wrong, because tejada can be slotted back in. But Neyer's point is well-made - sportsmen are creatures of huge habit, and breaking them of said habits can be destructive. I don't think we have the four guys who'd make the change.

 

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