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.
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.
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.