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Would a Six-Man Rotation Make Sense?

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Scott Diamond of the Minnesota Twins deliversThe Twins have taken a "quantity, not quality" approaching in assembling their starting rotation this winter, piling up numerous pitchers with limited upside and low price tags. Several of the hurlers that will be in the mix for starting jobs in the spring happen to be tagged with question marks due to recent health issues.

Kyle Gibson returned late last year from Tommy John surgery and hasn't yet pitched in the majors. Mike Pelfrey is returning from his own TJ operation, which he underwent last May. Vance Worley and Scott Diamond both had minor elbow scopes during the offseason. Rich Harden is trying to come back from major shoulder surgery.

Given the sheer number of available arms and the fragile nature of many of them, would it make sense for the Twins to open the season with a six-man rotation? This would allow them to get early looks at several different guys while also increasing the rest periods between starts. With pitchers like Gibson and Pelfrey likely to be facing inning restrictions, this approach might help them pitch later into the year. And while the Twins lack punch at the top end of their rotation, they have no shortage of No. 4/5 types so going with six starters wouldn't necessarily dilute the overall quality of the unit much.

Assuming they won't be adding any more legit arms, the Twins have put themselves into a bit of a quirky situation, with a high volume of potentially useful starters but a daunting shortage of reliability. In order to work these circumstances to their advantage, they might need to get a little creative.

What do you think?


  1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
    I don't think a 6-man rotation makes sense for this team, despite their accumulation of 4-5 type starters. I suspect Pelfrey to start the season on the DL, and Gibson to be in EST to start the season and limit innings on his arm. The suspect the Twins will go with a standard 5-man rotation, but that we will see a lot of different guys moving into and out of that rotation, especially early in the season.
  2. willkoky's Avatar
    Hasn't it always made sabermetric sense to have a non dominant pitcher pitch twice a week for 2 and 4 innings +/- then once per 6 days? Relievers pitch best on 1 and 2 days rest. They pitch poorly on 1 and 3 or more. Starters pitch better in innings 1-4 then 5-7. This also gives you a second point each game to bring in a reliever when a "starter" is in trouble. So why hasn't a team made a staff out of a bunch of long and short relievers yet? If ever there was a year to try it...
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