I look at the pitching roster and cannot help but think there are too many cooks in the kitchen. What will the Red Sox do? There are so many combinations to contemplate. I am not confident that Lester, Lackey, Buchholz and others can go four or five innings, which is what is expected of starting pitchers.
I think we need to start thinking outside the box with regard to pitching.
In the words of Monty Python, it is time for something completely different. Here is my crazy concept, that is admittedly way, way out of the box.
The fact is that our pitchers can stay in for only so long. We get two or three innings of top performance out of most of them. Knowing this, why couldn’t we do away with the traditional, five day rotation all together. Let’s treat every pitcher like a viable candidate, on any given day, and keep rotating them into the game two innings at a time. This will decrease the likelihood of injury among our pitchers and reduce our opponent’s run production. Basically, everyone would function as a closer, a closer for the inning, or the few innings in which he pitches. I do not believe we have any other option given how our bullpen and five man rotation consistently run hot and cold.
We see this schema applied in other sports, like hockey and basketball, where there are constant subs and line changes. I believe the only way to salvage what we have for pitching would be to abandon the conventional way we approach it, and give this a shot. This is moneyball applied to the defensive side of the game.
I realize that this will never happen, and I am completely bananas. I am a dreamer and John Lennon told me that “I am not the only one.” Looking to other sports, and going to other strategies, we may find the solution to the pitching problem. We have performers; it is just how we set them up so they can succeed that truly matters.
What do you think will happen with pitching in 2013?