After the enormous success of the Royals six man rotation last summer, it seems the Royals are going to boldly lead Major League Baseball into a new era of pitching. Ned Yost announced yesterday that the Royals would return to the six man rotation.
A six man rotation makes huge sense for the Royals, who have one of the strongest groups of starting pitchers in the league. There were really no other choices available to get all of Kansas City's pitching studs the innings they deserve. How else would the Royals have managed innings for Pacific Coast League stud muffin Luis Mendoza?
The Royals aren't permanently going with the six man rotation? It's only for the early weeks of Spring Training?
I can see the logic here. In fact, while I hanging out in the depths of my parent's basement, in between battles with Orcs in the World of Warcraft and handfuls of cheetos, I've been known to utilize the six man rotation in Spring Training while playing Out of the Park Baseball.
The Royals will be able to evaluate all of the starters competing for rotation spots. Six guys will start games and in the early weeks, and six more will be able to piggy back start. This allows the Royals to evaluate 12 rotation candidates. Do the Royals have 12 legitimate big league starters? No. But do the Royals have 12 starters in camp needing innings? Yes.
My only concern with the six man rotation, would be the delay in allowing the starters to get into their season routines. However, this concern is only minor and the fact that the Texas Rangers have used this Spring Training strategy before makes me much more confident in its benefits. Not to mention, that the competing starters have all had plenty of experience in five man rotations If a starter doesn't have a routine at this point in his career, well, no wonder they aren't a lock for the rotation.
The other thing I should mention, is that with each passing day a sickness grows in my stomach. It is the same feeling I get from overdoing the chips and queso at the local Mexican joint. Every day I get a stronger feeling that Luis Mendoza will open camp as the fifth starter. Mendoza is out of waivers and I believe the Royals are deathly afraid that if they cut him he'll be a beast in another team's rotation.
When breaking camp teams often look to control inventory. Duffy has options, Mendoza doesn't. For this reason I expect Mendoza to open as the five starter, with Duffy logging some innings in Omaha to begin the season. Although, there is an even worse scenario that involves Paulino struggling this Spring, but I don't even want to think about that.