July 16, 2012
Interesting article on the Rockies attempt to use a 4-man rotation. I heard about this during the Phillies-Rockies game yesterday, since I’m not a usual follower of the Rockies. I don’t think you can fault the Rockies at all for trying something different. They’ve never had any luck with pitching. It has a lot to do with their location, but even if it didn’t, trying to work something out with the pitching staff you’ve been given should be applauded. So I have no idea why anyone would read The Denver Post if the criticism mentioned in the NY Times article is their usual baseball coverage. You’d think the Rockies would be in a better position to do these things, from the aspect that they aren’t an old team with lots of ‘old school’ baseball people around who are terrified of doing things differently.
As for the actual proposal: 4 starters, limited to 75 pitches, and 3 relievers for middle relief and some starts. Why so limited? Why not go with 8 pitchers for this project, pair them and limit everyone to 75 pitches. There has to be some benefit of pairing 2 almost starters together if they have some characteristics that make them difficult for a batter to follow. Lefty/Righter, hard throwing/change-up master, any combination that would throw off the batter’s balance.
I’m not sure I can get the pitch data exactly like I want. A simple per team home/away pitch/out report would do.
Looking at yesterday’s game against the Phillies is a decent enough single sample. It was a home game, they only gave up 5 runs (on 6 hits) and 4 walks. Seems about average. The pitchers (and pitches): Pomeranz (80), Torres (31), Ekstrom (11), and Betancourt (4). That’s 126 total pitches. This is just one game, so those numbers are fairly meaningless.
I still think this is worth a shot, just with the actual pairing. They can even market this like tag-team wrestling. Advertise the starter and reliever together. Develop a whole ad campaign of all these odd couples having to do everyday things together. Go all in Rockies.