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The A's Need To Stop Joshing Around So Much

NOTE: Monday's A's-Yankees game has been rained out and will be rescheduled for when the A's return to New York in July.

I'd like to encourage the A's to rethink their current practice of not skipping the #5 starter (Outman) when off-days or rainouts allow them to. The argument in favor of keeping Outman's turn in the rotation is that by sometimes pitching Cahill and Anderson on the 6th day, instead of the 5th day, the A's will help limit the number of innings these rookies throw by having their turn come up only, say, 28 times instead of 32. I think I have a more effective way to manage this:

You will limit a starting pitcher's innings more if you occasionally skip a start entirely than if you keep giving one extra day of rest until the days add up to an entire missed turn in the rotation. The A's should be pitching Braden, Eveland, Anderson, and Cahill on the 5th day all the time right now, meaning that you skip Outman whenever an off-day allows you to. This keeps all pitchers on turn and in rhythm, and puts your best rotation out there for the early part of the season.

Later on (June, July) you can start occasionally skipping Cahill entirely, or Anderson entirely - giving the pitcher 10 days in between starts to keep them fresh and their season's innings down. Why is this better? It's better because the pitcher slotted in to replace Cahill or Anderson will be Justin Duchscherer, or Gio Gonzalez, or a mechanically sound Sean Gallagher, or Vin Mazzaro. It's also better because right now is not when Cahill and Anderson need an extra day; right now they need to pitch.

It doesn't matter when or how Cahill and Anderson get limited to 160-170 innings, just that they are not asked to throw too many innings in the end. With off days today, Thursday, and next Monday there is no reason to have your #5 starter in the mix for the next couple weeks - there are better ways anyway to manage long-term concerns about Cahill's and Anderson's innings and they involve putting better pitchers on the mound now, and later.

{Chez Nico Reminder: There's still room for about 6-7 more people if you want to attend May 2nd's Chez Nico. Read this post and follow instructions if you want to add your name to the list!}