San Francisco Giants’ Six Man Rotation: A Fan’s Suggestion

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reiterated through Twitter that both Bruce Bochy and Dave Righetti are against the idea of a 6 man rotation. With the team bringing back Ryan Vogelsong after all, that would give the team possibly 7 capable starters.

  • One obvious drawback to the 6 man rotation is that Madison Bumgarner would get significantly less starts.
  • Also, It takes away the advantage of having starting pitching depth by using all of the depth we have.
  • If there were to be an injury, the Giants would be forced to change the rotation significantly.
  • Throwing pitchers off their regimen mid-season in any way can impact a pitcher’s performance dramatically.

All that being said, I think there are some interesting circumstances in play with this particular staff and the possibilities and benefits that could come from a 6 man rotation.

1st – Bumgarner is the only pitcher in the rotation that is coming into the 2015 season where performance was not an issue at some point last season. An extra days rest for any of the other members of the staff could be beneficial.

2nd – Because of Bumgarner’s 270 inning 2014 season, He may need extra rest at some point next season. Having a 6 man rotation in place could help with that.

3rd- I would suggest keeping Bumgarner on a 5 day regimen like normal, but still go with a 6 man rotation.

Game 1 – Bumgarner

Game 2 – Matt Cain

Game 3 – Jake Peavy

Game 4 – Tim Hudson

Game 5 – Ryan Vogelsong

Game 6 – Bumgarner

Game 7 – Tim Lincecum

Game 8 – Cain

Game 9 – Peavy

Game 10 – Hudson

Game 11 – Bumgarner

Game 12 – Vogelsong

Game 13 – Lincecum

Game 14 – Cain

Game 15 – Peavy

Game 16 – Bumgarner

4th – This would give Cain, Peavy, Hudson, Vogelsong and Lincecum 6 days between starts instead of 5, which will keep them all better rested throughout the season. All 5 of these pitchers have thrown so many innings in their careers, that spreading out their starts could have some great benefits.

5th – This also could give Bochy more options in a late inning game with a bullpen slot given to another starter since Yusmeiro Petit will make the squad as well.

6th – Speaking of Petit. If this 6 man rotation idea ends up happening and working, an injury to any of our starters would end up meaning Petit would just slide into the rotation. He was so good at doing that last season, and he should be even better this year, going into camp with a guaranteed contract and roster spot.

3 Responses

  1. Pedro_de_Leon

    Yup … keeping MBum on 5 but revolving the others is an idea that’s been proposed by a number of fans, myself included, at prominent SFG fan sites. I would go further, and suggest that if Cain comes out of the gate looking strong, it could be both of them on the 5 day, with the others revolving in behind. Or Cain could start on six, then shift back to five later in the spring if no issues pop up.

  2. Cove Chatter

    Michael. Great post! Loved the rationale you provided here (and on the excellent podcast) for the 6-man proposal. It certainly doesn’t seem like Bochy to construct a 6-man rotation in-season, but if Boch has shown one thing during his tenure with the Giants, it’s the ability to adjust when it’s necessary. I truly find it hard to believe that a guy like Vogey will start the season as a reliever, and yet those $18M that you mention make it all but a lock that Timmy will be the #5 starter. I wonder if the Giants aren’t going to use the Vogey signing as a way to ease Hudson back from his surgery a little slower. I can really envision a scenario where Hudson spends the first month of the season on the DL (or a rehab assignment). That would allow plenty of time to see who establishes himself as the #5 starter between Timmy and Vogey. I’d also be pretty surprised if Vogey doesn’t push Lincecum into a bullpen role by mid-season. I guess I see things playing out like that more than I do a 6-man rotation… but the 6-man idea certainly makes a ton of sense if everyone is healthy.

  3. Figjam_US

    It is funny how we are all concerned over the number of innings Bummy pitched in 2014, myself included. But looking back in history, it seems our forefathers were not nearly as concerned with innings pitched and pitching counts.

    Personally I think Cainer will be fine, if not better than before. Timmy is going to breakout and have a “Timmy” year – it’s all about the “contract”. Jake should be OK but after that, I am concerned. Love Huddy but he’s at the final stretch. Vogey too has seen better days and really struggled during parts of the season…

    As for a 6-pitcher rotation – if they get Shields, I’d be all for it ;o)


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