Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Yankees and a Six-Man Rotation

Yesterday Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees are considering going to a six-man starting rotation in September, and possibly even into next season.

A six-man rotation has been brought up for years, but never seemed to get serious consideration until now. That hasn't kept people from arguing the case for or against it. In the past I've argued against it because of how important a consistent schedule seems to be for most pitchers. There's a good chance you've heard the phrase "creatures of habit".

Well, I decided to take a look at some numbers to see if it would be a good thing, and here's what I found...

From 2011 to 2013, CC Sabathia has given up a triple-slash of .255/.306/.395, which includes a career high of .272/.326/.445 in 2013. Seeing that batters have put up a line of .250/.307/.385 when CC has started on 5 days rest, which is what would happen with a six-man rotation, I think he'd be just fine. Not to mention how lowering his work total could be a good thing in order to keep him healthier for the remainder of his time in New York.

The next two guys are quite a bit younger, so I admit the numbers are harder to go by, but none-the-less here they are...

Ivan Nova has give up a batting line of .273/.338/.426 throughout his 4+ years in MLB. While starting on five days rest, that line sits at .272/.339/.465. I can't see what years may have skewed that mark, but seeing as how they're in line with his career totals, then I can't see it being a bad thing. Perhaps that extra rest would help get that triple-slash against down to the .258/.330/.348 we saw in 2013.

Here's where the age thing makes the stats almost pointless. But, like I said, I'm going to give them to you anyway. Throughout his career Michael Pineda has a batting line against of .211/.273/.340, while that line on five days of rest goes down to .185/.257/.292. I wouldn't get too excited about moving Pineda to the six-man rotation, as those numbers are based on a small sample size, but it makes me think that the extra rest shouldn't hurt Michael. Oh, and there's the health thing again.

As for Masahiro Tanaka, seeing as how pitchers in Nippon Professional Baseball only throw once a week, this could be a good thing for him too. And to continue the health theme, it would be nice to keep Tanaka away from the DL or... God forbid... the knife.

For the hell of it, I decided to see what Brandon McCarthy's numbers look like too. With how well he's thrown for the Yankees since coming to the team it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him back next season.

As for McCarthy's triple-slash against over the past three years, that number sits at .284/.318/.420... not something to brag about. However, if you see what he's done on five days of rest, that batting line drops to .258/.295/.380.

The 5th or 6th starter next year could very well be David Phelps and/or Shane Greene, who don't have nearly enough innings to make looking at their stats worth it. At least since I couldn't find how they pitched in the minors on 5 days rest.

No, it's not that I'm lazy. If you know where I can get those minor league splits, then please let me know.

In all, it looks like a 6-man rotation would make a heck of a lot of sense for the Yankees. Of course, seeing how things have gone, things that make a lot of sense don't tend to happen.


  1. Extremely well written Bryan and I concur 100%. This can only help this team. Might not make sense on other teams but it does on this.

  2. I concur with Daniel, good presentation Bryan! You can't pick winners but, you write like one! LOL


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)