Six-Man Rotation: How It Could Work and Why We Should Do It

Get ready to have your mind blown. The A's should totally go with a six-man rotation. Not six dudes going in order, each taking a turn, but six dudes who are each technically part of the rotation. Up top, I want to explain why I thought this was even worth taking a look at.

1. Tommy Milone should never start a game in a small ballpark, and he probably should not start too many day games at the Coliseum either.

I think we all understand why this is. Milone is prone to the longball, which means he's safest in a night game at the Coliseum.

2. Drew Pomeranz should be able to go deeper in games that he starts.

Pomeranz gets pulled after, like, the fifth inning when he starts, no matter how he's doing. That's because he's still being stretched out from having done relief work in Spring Training and the early part of the season. You don't want to have the guy throwing 100 pitches every five days. But what about throwing 100 pitches every 10 days? He should be able to go deeper into games if he's also not having to do it once a week.

3. Dan Straily is a starting pitcher who exists in the A's organization.

As you know.

4. Our bullpen is not exactly so amazing that it would kill us to carry one fewer bullpen guy.

Again, you are aware of this.

Now, on to the nitty-gritty of how it would work. First, as I said, it wouldn't be a six-man rotation in the sense of there being six starters who all go in order. It would look more like this:

Sonny Gray
Scott Kazmir
Jesse Chavez
Tommy Milone/Drew Pomeranz/Dan Straily

Those last two spots would be determined based on situational factors. Is the game at a place and time well-suited to Milone's strengths and weaknesses? When was the last time Pomeranz pitched? Must we go with Straily?

This would require the team to do some pretty serious planning ahead. You'd have to have all of these decisions mapped out from now until the end of the season, basically. And sure, an injury could throw a wrench into the works, but that's what injuries do. You adjust as needed. So here is my vision of how a six-man rotation could be used, were it implemented today.

5/16: at Cleveland - Gray

5/17: at Cleveland - Kazmir

5/18: at Cleveland - Chavez

5/20: at Tampa - Pomeranz - We don’t go with Milone here, as the Trop is a hitters’ park.

5/21: at Tampa - Gray - The day off between the 18th and the 20th allows us to jump right back to Gray.

5/22: at Tampa - Kazmir

5/23: at Toronto - Milone - I switch Milone with Chavez to give Milone a night game.

5/24: at Toronto - Chavez

5/25: at Toronto - Straily - Pomeranz takes a turn off to rest up for his next start

5/26: vs. Detroit - Gray

5/27: vs. Detroit - Kazmir

5/28: vs. Detroit - Pomeranz

5/29: vs. LAA - Chavez

5/30: vs. LAA - Milone

5/31: vs. LAA - Gray

6/1: vs. LAA - Kazmir

6/3: at NYY - Chavez - the day off allows us to reset the rotation and get Chavez back into third position

6/4: at NYY - Straily

6/5: at NYY - Pomeranz

6/6: at Baltimore - Gray

6/7: at Baltimore - Milone - to avoid having to use Milone in a hitters’ park in the next series, I move him up to this game so he gets a night game in a pitchers’ park.

6/8: at Baltimore - Kazmir

6/9: at LAA - Chavez

6/10: at LAA - Straily

6/11: at LAA - Gray

6/13: vs. NYY - Kazmir - once again, a day off allows us to reset the rotation positions.

6/14: vs. NYY - Chavez

6/15: vs. NYY - Milone - to make sure Milone will be in position for a night game later in the homestand.

6/16: vs. Texas - Pomeranz

6/17: vs. Texas - Gray

6/18: vs. Texas - Kazmir

6/19: vs. Boston - Chavez

6/20: vs. Boston - Milone

6/21: vs. Boston - Straily

6/22: vs. Boston - Gray

6/24: at NYM - Kazmir

6/25: at NYM - Chavez

6/27: at Miami - Gray - two days off in quick succession allow us to go right back to Gray again.

6/28: at Miami - Kazmir

6/29: at Miami - Chavez

6/30: at Detroit - Milone

7/1: at Detroit - Pomeranz

7/2: at Detroit - Gray

7/3: vs. Toronto - Kazmir

7/4: vs. Toronto - Chavez

7/5: vs. Toronto - Milone

7/6: vs. Toronto - Straily

7/7: vs. San Francisco - Gray

7/8: vs. San Francisco - Kazmir

7/9: at San Francisco - Chavez

7/10: at San Francisco - Milone

7/11: at Seattle - Pomeranz

7/12: at Seattle - Gray

7/13: at Seattle - Kazmir


7/18: vs. Baltimore - Gray

7/19: vs. Baltimore - Kazmir

7/20: vs. Baltimore - Chavez

7/22: vs. Houston - Milone

7/23: vs. Houston - Gray - Day off allows us to go back to Gray here.

7/24: vs. Houston - Kazmir

7/25: at Texas - Chavez

7/26: at Texas - Pomeranz

7/27: at Texas - Milone

7/28: at Houston - Straily - just to get the guy some work

7/29: at Houston - Gray

7/30: at Houston - Kazmir

8/1: vs. Kansas City - Milone - to avoid a day game

8/2: vs. Kansas City - Chavez

8/3: vs. Kansas City - Pomeranz

8/4: vs. Tampa - Gray

8/5: vs. Tampa - Kazmir

8/6: vs. Tampa - Straily

8/7: vs. Minnesota - Chavez

8/8: vs. Minnesota - Milone

8/9: vs. Minnesota - Gray

8/10: vs. Minnesota - Kazmir

8/11: at Kansas City - Pomeranz

8/12: at Kansas City - Chavez

8/13: at Kansas City - Straily

8/14: at Kansas City - Gray

8/15: at Atlanta - Kazmir

8/16: at Atlanta - Milone

8/17: at Atlanta - Chavez

8/19: vs. NYM - Gray - day off allows a reset

8/20: vs. NYM - Kazmir

8/22: vs. LAA - Chavez

8/23: vs. LAA - Pomeranz

8/24: vs. LAA - Gray - again, day off allows a reset

8/25: at Houston - Kazmir

8/26: at Houston - Chavez

8/27: at Houston - Straily

8/28: at LAA - Milone

8/29: at LAA - Gray

8/30: at LAA - Kazmir

8/31: at LAA - Chavez

9/1: vs. Seattle - Pomeranz

9/2: vs. Seattle - Milone

9/3: vs. Seattle - Gray

9/5: vs. Houston - Kazmir

9/6: vs. Houston - Chavez

9/7: vs. Houston - Straily

9/8: at CHW - Gray

9/9: at CHW - Pomeranz

9/10: at CHW - Kazmir

9/11: at CHW - Chavez

9/12: at Seattle - Milone

9/13: at Seattle - Gray

9/14: at Seattle - Straily

9/16: vs. Texas - Kazmir

9/17: vs. Texas - Chavez

9/18: vs. Texas - Pomeranz

9/19: vs. Philadelphia - Gray

9/20: vs. Philadelphia - Straily

9/21: vs. Philadelphia - Kazmir

9/22: vs. LAA - Chavez

9/23: vs. LAA - Milone

9/24: vs. LAA - Gray

9/25: at Texas - Pomeranz

9/26: at Texas - Kazmir

9/27: at Texas - Chavez

9/28: at Texas - Straily

ALDS Game 1 - Gray

Additionally, you could conceivably be using whichever starter is not taking a turn in the rotation this week as a bullpen hand if necessary.

So anyway, there's my idea. Tear it apart.

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