For more than five innings in tonight’s 4-3 loss at Miami, the Mets were treated to a solid performance from Rafael Montero to where the idea could be floated of considering a six-man rotation.
Doing so would give everybody an additional day of rest. Specifically, the real goal would be to give Matt Harvey an additional day and ultimately preserve his workload.
While that objective is worthwhile, why do something to impact all the other starters, while the prudent option would be to stick with – but so far ignored – plan of reducing his innings on a per start basis?
The Mets could have shaved three innings off Harvey’s last start, and two the one before that, which would have given him five to play with in September.
However, could a six-man rotation work for the long term? For something that unconventional to work, it can’t be imposed a month into the season. I suggested something similar in the offseason that would have enabled the rest of the rotation to get into a routine.
At one time teams utilized four-man rotations, which ultimately were expanded to five-man rotations. With teams looking to protect their investments in young pitching, I can see them wanting to reduce the number of starts for their frontline pitchers.
The plus is it saves wear-and-tear. The downside is many rotations are already thin and this makes them thinner. Another downside is the inevitable need for relievers, which subsequently creates a thin bench like the Mets had at the start of the season.
For this to work the entire season would have to be mapped out in advance factoring in off days.
For now, the Mets could keep Montero for the bullpen until David Wright is activated, but I don’t like the idea of going into the Washington series with a short bench.
The game is constantly changing and perhaps someday a six-man rotation could come into play, but it would have to come with an expanded roster. For now, the Mets will have to do what they’ve done all year with their pitching – play it by ear.