Jeff Banister is preaching the benefits of a six-man rotation. Pitchers put less stress on throw fewer pitches, put less stress on their arms, they go deeper in games, he explains.
Not buying it.
A six-man rotation means you are running an extra guy out there that has no business being a major league starter.
A six-man rotation means you are pitching your best starters less. You are diluting an already diluted talent pool.
Isn’t idea to have your best starters pitch more?
Could you imagine if the Astros gave Nolan Ryan fewer starts so they could get in more starts for Juan Agosto? Until the mid-90s, teams went with a four-man rotation. Why? Because quality starters are hard to find.
And, after watching Jeff Banister’s bullpen philosophy the last three seasons, does anyone think having a sixth starter will lead him to let his starters pitch deeper into games?
Just the opposite is true.
This staff is so threadbare, most of these starters will be lucky if they make it past five innings. How is adding another mediocre starter to the mix going to allow the other mediocre starters to go deeper into games?
The logic falls apart.
The sixth man is the sixth-best starter. He will get through fewer innings, not more. Meaning more bullpen innings. Not fewer. Even most teams’ fifth starter is someone who is a stop gap at best.
Not only that, that sixth starter is really just a glorified relief pitcher that you have now taken out of your pen, making your pen a bit thinner.
When starting pitchers are asked to pitch fewer innings, and your aces are pitching less and less often, the game is actually crying out for a four-man staff. With quality starting pitching at such a premium and so hard to find, ride the good ones.
The six-man rotation is as foolish as the ten-batter lineup. Hey, let’s let Adrian Beltre get fewer at-bats per game so we can get Hanser Alberto’s bat in the lineup.
Makes no sense.