Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008

Pitching rotation for the rest of the season

By Nicole
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Ok, it's not that bad, but yesterday I was reading the mailbag over at MilwaukeeBrewers.com and McCalvy included this tidbit:
By the way, Yost said Monday morning that he has several top-secret scenarios in mind for his starting rotation down the stretch. He could stay the course and simply bump all five starters back a day when the team is off, but even that won't work during the week of Aug. 25, when the team plays a two-game series in St. Louis sandwiched between off-days. If he changes things and keeps Sabathia and Sheets as close as possible to pitching every fifth day, it leaves them unavailable or only partially available for some of the biggest remaining series. Neither would pitch in St. Louis, and Sheets would miss a three-game series against the Mets in early September and all six remaining games against the Cubs.

And while I do love the idea of Ned plotting Gargamel style, coming up with ideas for how to overtake the Cubs (I'm big on mental images) - this is a valid point. If we leave the rotation as is, we don't have our aces pitching against key opponents late in the season.

The obvious options include giving guys more than 5 days rest (and especially in Sheets' case, this seems brilliant) and using McClung and/or Villanueva as a "6th starter."

Sheets struggled a bit once we got CC and this past week pitched on 6 days rest and went complete game and looked a lot better. It could be a coincidence, but giving him rest seems like a really good plan.

There's also the issue of limiting Manny Parra's innings and whether or not Gallardo will return.

There are a lot of variables and where we stand before the final series will also play a role. If we're already locked into the playoffs, we would all hope that CC and Sheets rest against the Cubs and are ready to pitch games 1 and 2 in whatever playoff series we're in.

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