Is it so farfetched that the Giants might consider a six-man rotation?
Age, health and workloads are all serious concerns with the Giants rotation this year. Although each non-Bumgarner starter had a solid start in the postseason (although the non-Bumgarner starters combined for just one official Quality Start…that being Tim Hudson in Game 2 of the NLDS), it seemed clear that a lot of them were wearing down. They just didn’t seem as sharp.
This year, the Giants have Tim Hudson, age 39, coming off of surgery and already last year notably looked less effective later in games and later in the season; they have (apparently) Ryan Vogelsong, 37, who had a bounce back in 2014 after a poor 2013, but still isn’t the 2011 or 2012 Vogey; Jake Peavy, 33, who has already had to adjust to losing his fastball and has been a part of a six-man rotation before (with the ChiSox); Tim Lincecum, 30, who is just trying to be an effective starter at all again; Matt Cain, 30, coming off his first major injury, and Madison Bumgarner, only 25, but coming off a nearly historic postseason workload.
Of all rotations, doesn’t a six-man rotation seem natural for this team?
I don’t think the Giants would do it all season, partially just because I don’t think all six pitchers will last all season. But to start the season? It makes too much sense. Winners will emerge from this, for sure, and someone may fall off into the bullpen. And it’ll help pace even the younger pitchers get back into their games, and maybe keep them rested for the stretch run.
Of course, the other side will mean either a shorter bullpen or bench, neither of which looked particularly deep last season. But then, if Hunter Strickland gets a little more seasoning in the minors, that might be good for a pitcher who could be a future star.
The Giants, of course, won’t talk about it until Vogelsong actually signs, but don’t be surprised to hear this from the team.