Ordering organ meats at a fancy restaurant. Growing a mustache. Driving to a natural disaster site and throwing my wallet and cell phone into some burnt or flooded-0ut rubble in order to provide sufficient cover for me to fake my death and start anew in some strange but carefree land.* Doesn’t mean I’m going to do any of those crazy things.
Bartolo Colon has been cleared to come off the disabled list and start tomorrow at Citi Field. Phil Hughes feels healthy and is anxious to be activated himself. Meanwhile, the Yankees have four starting pitchers all throwing well lately. That leaves six pitchers for five spots.
Or does it?
Yankees manager Joe Girardi left the door open yesterday to going with a six-man rotation.
“It’s something we’re going to think about,” he said.
In the end, it seems like there’s little percentage for a Yankees manager to go with a six-man rotation. It takes innings away from some pitchers who are doing pretty well right now. It smacks of indecisiveness. If either the number five or number six guy have a bad outing, Girardi would get killed. Yes, he’d get killed if the guy he chose as his definitive fifth guy in a five-man rotation got lit up too, but at least that would have been a conventional choice, thereby limiting the avenues of criticism.
In the end, though, fear of media criticism is not a good basis for decision making. I’d avoid the six man here simply because it seems like something you should do if and only if you have a lot of similar, unspectacular pitchers, several of whom would benefit from extra rest. That’s not the Yankees’ situation, though.
*Note: I may have considered this a lot more seriously about four or five years ago than I do now.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.