6 man rotation?

Figured this would he the best place to post this. But Texas consideng having a six man rotation. I don’t know what y’all think but to me that’s crazy. Sure its nice and all to have such a deep pitching staff so that incase someone gets injured there’s always someone to fill in. But what if there isn’t much injury? What happened to the four man rotation. Seems like guys can’t throw as long as they used to. What happened to starters throwing 300+ innings? Think about it. If a six man rotation starts to pick up steam with mlb teams won’t it be hard for starters to even pick up 200 innings? What are your thoughts?

Maybe this should move to the Off-Topic Dugout section.

It’s entirely possible considering how much money is being invested into these Arms by ownership. You all ready see a lot of the big game pitcher’s getting extra rest or getting shut down earlier at the end of tbe season especially if their team has made the playoffs.

It’s a shame when you compare it to back in the 50s and 60s but there’s so much more at stake money wise with ownership these days.

It’s also sad when you look at how few innings guys pitch in a game compared to back in the day.

I can remember reading an interview with a GM and he was taking about how important it is to protect the pitcher’s these days especially considering the amount of money that is being thrown around.

A 6 man rotation for the Rangers would probably benefit Derek Holland who had around a 150 inning increase from last year and Feliz who of course relieved but for the rest of rotation, not so much.

I do miss players pitching 300+ innings a season too. I would actually support this if the coaches let the pitchers throw more than like 100-120 or so pitches a game. Pitchers used to throw like 150-200 pitches a game, it’s like once a pitcher hits 100, it screams warning.

Maybe a 6 man rotation would benefit Yu Darvish too…? I forgot, do starting pitchers in Japan have an extra day of rest compared to the ML’s?

A 6-man rotation is pretty ridiculous. You’re giving pitchers a lot of innings who aren’t good enough to be in the top 4 of your rotation. Numerous sabermetric studies show that a 4 man rotation is by far the most optimal conventional arrangement. Even better would be platooning your 4th and 5th starter in the fourth game, especially in the National League. Pitchers get worse the more batters they face, and they hit like crap - so getting both benefits would be huge.

Six, seven, even add more. Here’s why – from a coach/business standpoint:

  • Get a case of digestion problems from food while on the road, for more than one, you’ve got something to fall back on.
  • A man gets a case of the hard head, attitude and the like – sit down for a few rounds and cool it, don’t need ya that bad big man, can always see what someone else can do for us.
  • Money time means numbers – what have you done for us lately. Want to get a guy cheap, let him sit, sparse the numbers.
  • Money time means numbers – want to keep a guy from being scooped by another club with deeper pockets, let him sit, sparse the numbers.
  • Money time means numbers – rough time at the bank, spread the cash with a younger rotation eager and hungry to earn those stripes, then cash in by selling off someone else’s plans for expansion and depth.
  • More talent keeps everyone working hard for a shot.
  • Add a “sage” to give temperament to the rest.
  • Retirement just around the corner for a guy who’s been decent in the game – groom for a pitching coaches job without tipping off that your looking.
  • Take those diamonds in the rough away from someone else.
  • Termite three of your best competitors – play nice-nice and do everything you can to get as much as you can out of their outcasts. Middle of the season, dump-em.
    Coach B.

I understanding the point that it allows the team to have a guy to fall back on and to keep the players from going to other teams and that it allows the organization to profit from that player if he produces numbers that earn him more money. But how is that fair to the player? I know I wouldn’t wanna become a trade asset or a moneymaker for a club. Id wanna be paid to play baseball and benefit the team with wins. Not more money for my boss or a bigger trade option.

But how is that fair to the player? I know I wouldn’t wanna become a trade asset or a moneymaker for a club. Id wanna be paid to play baseball and benefit the team with wins. Not more money for my boss or a bigger trade option.


Your mind-set is that of, oh I’d say about 70% of every one that starts off as a player in this game. That 70% considers the life style and environment of professional baseball as a game.

Are there valid stat’s to support this figure - 70%? No. Just a guess based on what I’ve seen and experienced.

I’d say about 30% of those people that start off in baseball - and make it as a way to earn a living, know that baseball is not a game, it’s business.

Take a good look at every single player in a dugout, at the Major’s level for say - the New York Yankees. Notice how these players seem to be in their own space - 99% of the time. These people know that they are independent contractors. They all hold contracts that spell out their services and what’s expected of them and the business that owns the logo’s on their shirts.

I’m not trying to bust anyone’s bubble, or dash your hopes of playing professional baseball. But - baseball at the professional level, ANY LEVEL, from A short season right up the big’s, is about timing, making the right move at the right time, waiting for the other guy to get hit by a truck, getting your chance to shine in the sun, not having a regular life where even the simplest things are at your side, and so on.

If you get the chance to watch a rookie season –A club play, watch carefully how the players interact. Behind the outward appearance of those on the bench or in the bullpen, all kinds of planning is constantly in the works to either keep or release, jockey around a guy or two, and use “this” guy to motivate “that” guy.

All in all, the job security environment is nonexistent. In that regard, job insecurity is the major driving force that’s handed down from the Major’s level, right on down to rookie short season – from the front office/ coaches/ support and player personnel. No other business that I can think of, at the time has such a persuasive tempo – even politics, I think, can’t come close.

I often see just how hopeful youngsters and their families are when a young man enrolls in a sports club or facility that offers training in pitching, fielding, hitting and so on. All that money to play the game with hopes of going on to college, being scouted, making it to the scout’s watchful eye. If all those concerned on the playing end could take real close look at the life style that their asking for – many, not all, would rethink the deal. But then again, a lot simply want to play the “game” better. That’s great.

I’m not one for looking to the movies to point out something, but, if you get the chance, see Moneyball. Watch how the struggles of everyone involved with their job security plays out. Regardless how true each actor played his part, the push-n-pull between players and the coaching staff, the coaching staff and the scouts, and the scouts and the front office is a real eye opener for anyone wishing for this life style. Take special note of the catcher trying to play first base - his impact on his young family and so on. That’s about a real as it gets.

Coach B.


This is worth reading.

Coach B.

Coach…thanks 8)

To his point, the rotation is a business decision, 6 starters means what?? for the pen? You only have so many bullets in the gun. Nolan Ryan is determined that he is going to “re-align” or readjust the pardigm of pitchers, he is dissatisfied with the current state of the art at the MLB level and has said so repeatedly. He’s hoping for really healthy position players if he has that much asset to expend on starters…or he is determined to minimize the role of the relief pitcher, one or the other or both…

Here is a companion piece to the one coach posted…this one is painted by the Major League team, it is a very interesting contrast.


It appears you’re so hung up on what you believe, you aren’t even giving the option of a 6 man rotation thought.

If there really are “numerous sabermetric studies” showing a 4 man rotation is best, what are they comparing it to? As far as I know, no one in the ML has ever employed a 6 man rotation, so how can it possibly be compared to anything?

Yes, pitchers do hit like crap, so why not platoon the 1and 4, 2 and 5, and 3 and 6?

Yes, pitcher do get worse the more batters they face, so why not reduce the number of batters faced by reducing the amount of pitching?

What I find most interesting is, when Ryan came out and said he was going to quit babying his starters, everyone thought he was the man, but when he considerers something else, he’s some kind of nut.

Major League baseball historically has been hesitant to change. Then one owner will get a novel idea and boom! (ala John Madden) if it works everybody is doing it. Take the 1972 LA Dodgers - five man rotation for example. Now, typically I’d argue that the six man rotation is hard on the bullpen unless you are like the Pittsburgh Pirates and really have no bullpen. But Nolan Ryan doesn’t think like your typical owner. Remember he’s been there and done that, that mound thing I mean and he did it let’s say with some spirit. So I’m sure if this happens in Texas, they are going to expect their starters to finish the dang game. How’s that for a novel idea? We are talking the Republic of Texas, the 13th largest economy in the world.

If they do that then the six man rotation will spread like the swine flu. Owners will love it. I mean, can you imagine being a pitcher in the Texas organization and saying to the Skipper, “Hey dude, I don’t think I can take my turn in the rotation. I only sat around on my butt for five straight days.” I’ll tell you what, it must stink knowing that the only reason you aren’t getting a pink slip is that they have too much invested in you to let you go. Now you have to go out there and stink it up in front of the whole world until its obvious to everybody that you’ll never be worth your signing bonus.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Like Huck Finn said to Tom Sawyer:

But how is giving your starters an extra days rest not babying them? If you think about it they’ll have 5 days rest. That’s almost a week. Wouldn’t they get rusty from start to start? I know they throw bullpens and train inbetwren starts but its not keeping them sharp because they’re out of the game for five days.

Starters don’t just rest and don’t do anything between starts, it’s quite a science in order to be in the best possible shape to pitch in a rotation.

If the trade off is that you throw 9 innings on your day…then the extra day is understandable…no? It isn’t babying anything. You have to understand baseball is a business…think return on investment…they need about 200 innings from a starter…if they get it this way and don’t have to support the salary of another reliever then they can justify it. They need to get production…under production costs you big. It isn’t “babying” it is investment management…this just another way to slice the pie.

“It’s a business…” Bingo!

The professional game has a demand on all – ROI, Return on Investment.

The kicker is, the hidden costs to the producers, pitchers in this discussion, that few are witness to.

What hidden costs?

The hidden costs, are the taxing demands through the Minor Leagues. This is by far an excruciating experience of physical, mental and gut-wrenching day-to-day existence that many can’t, or refuse to manage. The one’s that make, endure and temper themselves with careful handling – like any multimillion dollar investment.

There’s another side to this coin – the coaching staff that reports daily – sometimes hourly, to the front office bright-lights.

“How’s our boy doing?” is all too common on one end of the line, with “great” expected in return. After investing $$$$$$ to bring a thoroughbred to the starting gate, over and over again – the last thing anybody wants to hear is dead air … then….” Well, I was meaning to talk to you about him …. Ahh…. Let’s see …”

So, from a coaching stand point – six (6) man rotation ? —

Heck … give me as many guys as the league allows on a roster along with how many can you afford!

I have no intention of giving up a season’s contract, or worse, telling my bride that we ain’t gonna eat this month, all because I’m taking one on the chin for ringing a guy up! So, I don’t care who thinks it’s baloney – and that includes Ryan who wants tougher pitchers. Ryan wants-em tougher, then let him train-em. He or nobody else is gonna kick a pitching coach that’s been around for many years under the bus when one of his multimillion dollar wonder boys blows body part.

Besides, every single system (Minor League Affiliate) has their own way of doing things – right from the get-go. So the trades that go back and forth have hodgepodge of coaching styles and expectations, passed along up the ladder and back and forth. Now I know the variations in coaching styles, with respect to pitchers, isn’t all that dynamic –BUT, the variable in the mix is the man himself. Age and money, how he fits into a new organization and other factors can, and will, alter historical appraisals and real-time benchmarks.

Coach B.

Well said JD and Coach B

I get that its a business thing. A way to save money and groom more guys to make money off of. But who says that the guy is going to throw 9? That’s what is EXPECTED. But by going from a four man rotation to a five man rotation saving money for a reliever was probably a factor. Yet guys didn’t go deeper into games. Instead they went shorter. It just seems kind of shaky to rely on an expectation instead of a reality. In theory one would think that by giving a five man rotation you’d get more production. Yet the results are the complete opposite. Even if its nolans tough ways. And even if one guy couldn’t make a start or someone gets injured I know the answer is, “there’s always another guy”. But that defeats the purpose of having a deeper rotation now doesn’t it. Either have a six man rotation or a five man rotation with a reliever who can spot starts.

Let me start by qualifying the subject matter that I’m about to offer opinions on. I’m talking about the professional side of things, not amateur ball of any kind.

The number of pitchers that a the coaching staff plans for, on any given day, always, and I mean always, has a kind of rolling atmosphere to it. Therefore, from the first preseason appearance, to the last game of the post season, everyone goes with the flow of …. how we doing right now and, what’s next.

But no matter what, we all take this into consideratoin …
The human being is not a machine that can we can windup, preset, flip an on switch, sit back and let-em go. We just don’t function that way. Every single one of us has tolerances and can-do moods that vary from day to day. As we age, we then have a sliding scale of day-to-day tolerances and moods swings. When highly competitive athletics are involved, now we must mandate careful attention from professionals who train and coach these athletes.

Take pitching for instance at the professional level. Until you’ve actually witnessed the physical and mental demands on a man, before he gets to the Majors, it’s kind of hard to reason out the particulars on a subject like this. And I know all kinds of statistics and box scores can support whatever reason or reasons one has on any subject – I am not educated on the means to do that.

I do know, however, that fixing a number one way or the other, expecting this “way” to be set in stone as “expected”, limits my flexibility as a pitching coach in supporting my boss and his role overall. Therefore, being flexible without numbers one-way-or-the-other, allows me to watch, judge, move pitch by pitch, inning per inning with everyone under my charge and add or subtract as I see fit.

I will say this, Billybob09 has some good points and they should be not discounted. Yes, I would fully expect this reasoning at the outset. In fact, I wouldn’t be much of a pitching coach if I didn’t. But, I do reserve the space to move in any direction – more or less, in meeting my responsibilities.

Coach B.