Analysis: Pitching a Postseason Proposal
By By Jay Sorgi
Today, Brewers fans are recovering from another mess caused by the Brewers bullpen.
(OK, I'm exaggerating.)
It brings more questions about Ned Yost's decision making when it comes to his overstuffed, under-performing bullpen.
I will 100% admit that I am not a baseball manager or pitching coach, never have been one, nor will I ever plan to be one.
So I throw this out there not claiming that it's the 100% cure-all for the Brewers pitching staff, but at least could be worth five seconds of consideration by the powers-that-be in the Miller Park clubhouse.
For the postseason, if you make it - which you should, when you have two games every three days or so (for the most part), how about a "double-starting rotation"?
"What do you mean, double starting rotation?" most of you are quizzically asking?
Well, consider this.
The Brewers have six legitimate starting pitchers who can give solid innings, especially in their first five innings of every game: CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets (when his groin isn't strained), Manny Parra, Dave Bush, Jeff Suppan and Seth McClung.
The Brewers have maybe, at best, three legitimate relievers: Salomon Torres, the closer, Carlos Villanueva, the long reliever, and Brian Shouse, the situational stopper.
Considering the playoff schedule, what the Brewers could do is have two separate rotations of starters.
Rotation one: CC Sabathia, Ben Sheets, Manny Parra.
Let each of them start all the postseason games on three days rest, but limit their pitch counts to 90 or so.
The only exception is if a guy is so on fire that he's on pace for a two-hit, 100 pitch shutout.
Then, to rest their arms for the shorter break between starts, have the "second starter" from rotation two come in after the fifth inning.
Rotation two: Dave Bush, Jeff Suppan, Seth McClung.
Let each of them know they will strictly pitch on certain days to follow one specific rotation starter, so they know they'll get the rest they need.
For example: Sabathia, followed by McClung; Sheets followed by Suppan; Parra followed by Bush.
That second starter could legitimately go three innings, possibly four.
If you need a stopper in a tough jam, bring in Shouse and force the opponent to then change up their lineup with a pinch-hitter, depleting their bench. If someone fails, you can bring in Villanueva.
Then, if you need, in the ninth, bring in Torres to end it.
And you won't ever, EVER, need Eric Gagne.
I'm not claiming my idea is the best idea, but at least that last part about not needing Gagne is certainly a good one considering his 6.81 ERA and his 12 appearances giving up a run in an inning or less.
Just a brainstorm for the decision makers in the land of Brewers hurlers.