The implications of the six-man pitching rotation

The New York Mets are adopting a six-man pitching rotation. A few years ago, the Atlanta Braves tried it out. The main reason cited for going to the six-day rotation is to prevent pitcher’s arms from wearing out prematurely.

If the six-man rotation becomes the rule in MLB, what do you think the results will be? Will they really save pitcher’s arms or will they break down even more easily? What about the overall importance of the starting pitcher in baseball? Will there be fewer superstar starting pitchers? Will closers become more important on pitching staffs? Let’s discuss.

One implication is that a team that makes it to the playoffs may have a stronger bullpen and show that by winning the World Series.

The more likely implication is a perception that a team has lost key games by sticking to the six man rotation and a GM will get fired.

As far as I know, there hasn’t been any vast reduction in injuries from going to a five-man rotation. I don’t see why six would make things any better.

How many pitchers do the Mets plan to carry? Does this mean one less bullpen pitcher or one less position player?

I think that’s the key; your sixth starter is, in theory, the guy who wasn’t good enough to be in your rotation when you had a five-man rotation. And, a six-man rotation means that your best starters are likely getting something on the order of five fewer starts over the course of a full season.

I would assume that only teams whose six starter had any business being in the rotation in the first place would employ it. The main drawback I see is, six starters only leaves room for 19 relievers & position players.

I think it depends. The Mets are going to a 6-man due to a bevy of young pitchers - two of whom have already blown out their arms, Harvey, who is coming back from injury this year, and Wheeler, who is out for the year with injury - and a few old ones eating innings. And you have an uber-prospect in Matz. So, you don’t get wear out the ancient Bartolo Colon, who is having a good season, and maybe save the arms of Harvey, Syndergaard, and deGrom, as well as Matz.

In this case, the Mets, while having jumped out to a decent start, are still thinking of next season and want a rotation of Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, and Matz to be healthy for it.

I won’t disagree, but I still think it’s very likely that a bad year for those stinkin’ Mets will be blamed on the rotation even if the cause lies elsewhere.

No Mets fan is expecting anything that much better than a .500 season anyways.

It’s a miniature version of the general effect of league expansion on pitching talent. The Yankees and other filthy-rich teams might be able to afford six first-rate starters, but most teams won’t. They often have to mumble, “Well, okay, Fryzowski, yer in, I guess” on day five of the season. Not a few teams have only three starters and two fill-ins. Six? Good luck.

It does mean one fewer position player, not a small thing until September. Although I guess starters could be juggled against bullpen and short-relief pitchers.

It won’t become a standard because most teams don’t have 4 legit starters, much less 6.

As important as bullpens are these days, I’d almost rather go with a 4 man rotation and let starters go 5, maybe 6 innings. Have your bullpen full of studs lock it down from there.