Bob Gibson wonders why everyone fusses about the World Series starters going on three days’ rest:
“What’s the big deal? I don’t get it. I don’t think it’s going to kill somebody. A pitcher can’t pitch with three days’ rest? Some of those guys make $8 million a week . . . I don’t imagine you’d want to do that all year, but for playoffs and World Series … if you can’t do it then, when the hell can you do it? I don’t quite get it.”
Gibson’s point is taken — Old Hoot kicked all kinds of butt pitching on three days’ rest in three different World Series — but he’s also missing a larger point: It’s not the number of days’ rest itself. It’s the fact that it’s shorter rest than a guy is used to. Gibson pitched in the era of four man rotations, so three days’ rest was normal rest. Andy Pettitte and A.J. Burnett and Cliff Lee pitch in the era of five man rotations, and three days is short rest. Asking someone to change their routine and force their body to adjust to it so quickly is a taller order, I think, than Gibson is giving today’s starters credit for.
And as the article reminds us, Bob Gibson actually pitched on short rest himself in the 1964 Series: two days’ rest before the clinching Game 7. And he was great. But (a) he’s Bob Gibson, not some mere mortal like Andy Pettitte or A.J. Burnett; and (b) even he said that he “didn’t feel really dynamite after that.”
So let’s cut these guys some slack, huh?
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.