A fan of the Yankees, Red Sox, and large sample sizes.
THE FOUR-MAN & THE COORS MAN
I was listening to the Phillies broadcasters announce the Philadelphia at Colorado game yesterday afternoon, and they kept harping on the fact that if you're going to try a four man rotation, it just has to be done with four veteran pitchers that can work late into games. They made it seem like this was a foregone conclusion and that the Rockies were idiots.
I hate arguing with anyone that proclaims the Rockies are idiots, but I don't think I agree with Phillies' announcers. Sure, the four Rockies' starters are on strict pitch counts, making their bullpen pitch a few innings every game. But since they know how long their starters will go, they can schedule their bullpen a little better than other teams. Plus, dropping the fifth starter gives them one more arm out of the bullpen.
So if it's not a bullpen issue, is it a development issue? Are veterans more capable of pitching every fourth day than young starters? Are young starters at risk because they're pitching more often? Nope. It's not pitching frequently that tends to be bad for the arm, but throwing pitches when tired, as in high pitch counts. By limiting pitch counts, the Rockies are likely saving their young arms. And I can't really support this claim, but perhaps pitching more often will help them improve faster.
Might these young starters on three days rest be less effective than on four days rest. Perhaps, but I don't think so. Either way, that's not a young/old issue.
One other thing to consider is the rumor that pitching at Coors takes more out of you. The lack of oxygen creates more soreness and more fatigue. Is it more helpful to recovery to pitch shorter more often, or to pitch longer less often? I don't know. It would be an interesting thing to look at at. But again, that's not a young/old issue.
I'm a fan of the four-man rotation. I think it's advantageous and not that much of a risk, especially if starting pitchers are brought up preparing for it. I can't wait for many of the organizations who use it in their minor league systems to try it at the major league level. It won't suddenly improve a team by 10 wins, but if you can add up lots of these half-game advantages, it makes a difference.
Also, is there any hitter that's more attuned to his home ballpark than Vinny Castilla?
Starts in Colorado = total domination. Moves to AL = suck. Moves to Atlanta = sucks a little less. Moves back to Colorado = total domination.
In any case, his career definitely doesn't help the "Todd Helton would be a stud anywhere" argument.
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