The Six-Man Rotation

So the trade deadline has come and passed and the Yankees were quiet for the first time since 1998. They didn’t get a bench bat, they did get a loogy, they did get a right-handed reliever, but worst of all, they didn’t get a starting pitcher. They are stuck with the same guys they’ve had for the entire season, the same guys that gave them good depth, but just not enough quality at the top. With Phil Hughes struggling mightily and Ivan Nova pitching well in his first start since being re-called, what should the Yanks do with their rotation?

(Rob Carr/Associated Press )

Joe Girardi is not ready to give up on Hughes, and rightfully so. He pitched very well last year and we can’t just throw that away. Phil needs a few more starts until we can totally judge him. Nova was just re-called as I said before to the night-cap of Saturday’s double header. Nova pitched well, like he did for Triple-A Scranton, but the problem with making a decision based on that one start is that he had a 12-0 lead after one inning. Girardi and Brian Cashman should allow him to get another start to prove that he pitch a close game. This all being said, what should they do?

Well, why not a six man rotation? It makes sense for a number of reasons when you think about it. First of all, it gives us more time to evaluate both Hughes and Nova before making a decision on their future (rest of 2011) in the rotation. But it also helps in a bunch of other ways as well.

As we all know, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia have been better than anyone could have ever expected this season. However, they are heading in unchartered territory in a way. Colon is up to 109 innings already this season, something he hasn’t done since 2005 and something he hasn’t come close to doing since 2007. It isn’t unreasonable to question how much he has left in the tank. This six man rotation would allow him to get more rest and would help limit his innings which would hopefully help him last longer.

Garcia is a little bit different because he did have a usual year last season, but with a guy his age whether he will run out of steam. This is a guy who hasn’t made thirty starts in a season since 2006. We shouldn’t take him for granted and the extra rest would help him also. The bottom line with these two is that since the Bombers didn’t acquire a top tier at the trade deadline, Bart and Freddy are going to need to make every start count and this could help.

The one problem with this plan is that it doesn’t allow CC Sabathia to take the ball every five days like he normally does and would take a start or two away from him. If they could find a way to work around this, it would make this idea a little more appealing to me. However, if they were to implement this only until the end of August, CC would only miss one start and it gives them plenty of time to evaluate Hughes and Nova. Sounds good to me.

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