By Kevin K & John Russo
There have been recent talks by fans that the Phillies should move to a 6-man rotation, and we totally agree.
On Monday the Phillies entered the last 31 days of the season, with 33 games left. Yes you heard right, the Phillies have a few double headers approaching and no rest for the everyday starters. A 6-man rotation will help give extra rest to the starters while setting up a rotation set for the double headers they have coming up.
There is also a situation in which Kyle Kendrick (who is currently in the bullpen as a long reliever) and his wife, Stephenie, are having a baby. This would give Kendrick few days off for paternity leave - he would be the third Phillies player to take it this season - but won’t affect the Phillies bullpen, as Kendrick would be the 6th starter.
The upcoming schedule allows for the Phillies to make this switch with ease. The two doubleheaders lie on September 15 and 20, five days a part from each other. Having Kendrick pitch the day after the doubleheader will allow the rest of the five starters to stay on their normal rest. By the time the two doubleheaders are finished, the Phillies will have eight games remaining and have a playoff position locked up.
If you look at the possible pitchers as the season winds down [posted at the end of the post], you see that the season ends on Roy Oswalt. Kendrick allows Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee to not finish the season, resting the two for the NLDS. It also rests Cole Hamels a little more, especially with people still a little concerned for his shoulder
You can also look at it this way. The Phillies are currently 7.5 games up in the NL East on the Braves (who are 8.5 games up in the Wild Card) and are set to clinch a Playoff position either through the NL East or Wild Card (yes I know, Phillies fans dread not winning the East). It would take a total collapse (which shouldn’t happen) for the Phillies not to be in the Playoffs, and a 6-man rotation won’t hurt that.
Plus, given that you have a 6-man rotation, it would the “big four” pitchers be rested, healthy, and ready to go in the postseason. The key thing to success in the postseason is a healthy pitching staff, and that is exactly what you want Halladay, Hamels, Lee, and Oswalt to be for the rest of the season. Going with a 6-man rotation will only help them because they will get the extra rest they would need to stay healthy.
A 6-man rotation could only help the Phillies chances of success in the Playoffs.
Here will be the Phillies schedule as the season winds down if they switch to a six-man rotation:
9/1 Vance Worley
9/2 Roy Oswalt
9/3 Cole Hamels
9/4 Roy Halladay
9/5 Cliff Lee
9/15 Lee & Worley
9/16 Kyle Kendrick
9/20 Lee & Worley