Friday, 4 September 2015

Proposed Rotation for The 6

Isn't there something serendipitous about a hot team that represents a city thats lately been refereed to as "The 6" suddenly has six solid options for the five man rotation? The 6 pitchers will need to be handled in such a way as to maximize their Ace and provide extra rest for the older members of the rotation, here's my proposal.

First, let's look at the schedule as it would fall if the current five-man rotation goes in order (apart from the already announced weekend flip of Price and Buehrle - which may be indicative) along with the number of days rest that starter would have before the given turn.

7at BostonEstrada5
8at BostonDickey5
9at BostonHutchinson4
10at New YorkPrice4
11at New YorkBuehrle4
12at New YorkEstrada4
13at New YorkDickey4

15at AtlantaHutchinson5
16at AtlantaPrice5
17at AtlantaBuehrle5
21New YorkPrice4
22New YorkBuehrle4
23New YorkEstrada4

25Tampa BayDickey5
26Tampa BayHutchinson5
27Tampa BayPrice5
28at BaltimoreBuehrle5
29at BaltimoreEstrada5
30at BaltimoreDickey4
10 ' 1at BaltimoreHutchinson4
2at Tampa BayPrice4
3at Tampa BayBuehrle4
4at Tampa BayEstrada4

As you can tell, Beuhrle got a +1 for six days off before this start Sunday and it demonstrates something about how they want to give him some rest. The same might in theory apply to Dickey but knuckleballers are obviously different and we've seen no indication of them backing him off, nor of his performance being anything like an issue. In fact, in his 2.78 post-break ERA, and 3.18 over his last 18 starts certainly says no (Buehrle by that measure is 3.99 since the break and 2.90 in his last 21starts). Estrada? 3.35 as a SP, but 2.44 in his last 14 starts. Even the enigmatic Hutchison is at 3.76 since the break and 4.11 n his last 19 starts which is not awful, and his xFIP has been the best in the rotation (other than Price) all year. Also, for those wondering about maximizing Price, even if you keep him on 4 days rest consistently, you can't (as I've pointed out before but members of the media keep not noticing apparently) get another regular season start from him.

Now, Stroman will pitch for Buffalo on September 7, Labor Day, so he can't start for the Jays before September 12.  Here is, after experimenting some, my best proposition for how to do a modified-not-quite-six-man-rotation.

7at BostonEstrada5
8at BostonDickey5
9at BostonHutchinson4
10at New YorkPrice4
11at New YorkBuehrle4
12at New YorkStroman4
13at New YorkEstrada4

15at AtlantaDickey6
16at AtlantaPrice5
17at AtlantaHutchinson7
21New YorkPrice4
22New YorkDickey6
23New YorkStroman4

25Tampa BayEstrada5
26Tampa BayBuehrle5
27Tampa BayHutchinson9
28at BaltimorePrice6
29at BaltimoreStroman5
30at BaltimoreDickey7
10 ' 1at BaltimoreEstrada5
2at Tampa BayBuehrle5
3at Tampa BayPrice4
4at Tampa BayStroman4

First things first, in the original rotation everyone has six turns left except Dickey who has five.  In the modified, it breaks down like this:

Price - 6
Buehrle, Estrada, Stroman - 5
Dickey, Hutch - 4

So Stroman takes one each from Estrada, Buehrle and Dickey and 2 from Hutch, which is unfortunate given his recent success, but worth it in my opinion. Taking a closer look, Buehrle at New York on the 11th would be nice to avoid, but if he pitches Sunday there's no way around it. If Gibby would push him back to Monday, then you could put Stroman in for him the next turn and just skip him that time through, but in the absence of such an announcement (and given my history on this blog, one will come within 12 hours of my posting this article) I'm going to assume it's not happening.  

Beyond that, Dickey has the +1 day because of Stroman and the off-day on the 9/15 game at Atlanta. Which is actually a small bonus pushing the former NL player into a no-DH game. Hutch goes two days later with 7 days off which is just happenstance, but pitching on the road against a weak team will be an interesting test of his recent success vs. his bizarre splits. The next noteworthy date is 9/20 when Buehrle goes having essentially skipped a start. That should take care of the rest issue and still give him a practical chance to hit 200 IP again. Two days later Dickey again turns up on 6 days rest but that's just where he plugs in.

On 9/27 Hutch gets the last home game, having skipped a start and avoided any more road starts ("coincidentally"). The next day Price goes on 6 days rest, which may seem odd but it keeps Buehrle from going 7 days again - you want him to get his normal routine back before the post-season - and
 it still keeps Price lined up for the first game of a semi-finals series on his regular rest. Plus he might benefit from a small breather anyway. On the last day of the month, Dickey goes having gotten 7 days for no particular reason, that's just where he falls in accommodating the needs of others. As a knuckleballer he should be better equipped to go on an odd number of days than standard pitchers. After that everyone falls into a 4/5 off day "normal" rotation. Thus over the course of 29 games and 31 days, a SP will get more than 5 days rest 8 times. Once for Price, twice for Hutch and Buehrle, three times for Dickey and not at all for Estrada or Stroman (the freshest arm, after all). Perhaps interesting, if you push Buehrle back to Monday of the upcoming week, then skip that NY start to give it to Stroman, then you can line up the rest of the year such that you only have four occasions when a SP has had more than the customary 4/5 days, and  3 of the 4 would fall to Buehrle.

In terms of match-ups, I've mentioned getting Dickey into the NL game, within the week following you move Buehrle into the 9/20 game vs. Boston and out of 9/22 against the Yankees who have a good history against him. You end up the year with your theoretical play-off rotation in order with Price and Stroman back to back as you'd need them for games on October 8 & 9.

All this, of course, assume no setbacks.

Coming up in the next few days (hopefully!!), I'll do a review of the minor league system including a look back at my top prospect list and how those who are left in the system faired, along with noting any surprises or players I failed to list in the spring, as we get ready for the next showdown with the New York Yankees coming up in one short week.  


No comments: