Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle announced over the weekend that the Bucs would be going to a six-man rotation for the time being, allowing Kevin Correia to make another start and to allow for the rest of the rotation to get some needed rest down the stretch.
I’ve never been a fan of the six-man, mostly because it takes each pitcher off their regular five day routine they have been on the entire season.
I’m not a fan of this current six-man rotatation though for a couple different reasons.
First of all, if the Bucs stick with a five man rotation, then A.J. Burnett will get the ball nine more times the rest of the season. In a six-man rotation, Hurdle is handing the ball to his ace only eight times. Burnett is a veteran who is accustommed to the heavy workload. The way he has pitched this season, Hurdle should be looking for ways to get the ball in his hands, not take it away from him.
The next reason I hate it is the fact that it is the wrong six guys getting the ball.
I have no problem getting Correia a couple extra starts. He’s outperformed guys like Jeff Karstens and Erik Bedard and I felt it was a mistake from the beginning to remove Correia from the rotation and leave Karstens in. Karstens is versatille enough to pitch in different roles as he’s done in the past and his performance this season has been up-and-down at best.
However if Correia is the reason Hurdle is going to a six-man rotation, then it’s a mistake. He’s not that good that Hurdle should be making changes.
With Jeff Locke on the roster right now, Correia isn’t even the guy I would be giving the ball to as a sixth starter.
Locke should without a doubt be the sixth starter for the Pirates. He’s earned at least a look with an outstanding Triple-A season and a fine debut in a Pirates uniform Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If Hurdle really wants to get Correia back in the rotation, the better opportunity might be to give him the ball in place of James McDonald, who’s second half struggles are well documented.
Going to a six-man rotation just appears to be a sign of desperation.
The smarter move should be to adjust the regular five man unit and give the ball to the right people.