Is baseball about to undergo a pitching revolution?

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Is baseball about to undergo a pitching revolution?

- Philadelphia, very interesting stories. Tampa Bay, even though they're playing in the division with Boston and New York, this is a very interesting story. Sergio Romo had never started a game in his big league career-- that is, until a couple of days ago. He'll pitch one inning Saturday and one inning on Sunday, then they go to the starter. It's kind of a new look-- Brian Kenny's book "Ahead of the Curve" talked about this as an option, is to put maybe your closer in there or at least a relief specialist early if the situation's right.

- Yeah, it comes down to analytics. I'm not a big fan of it. Say I'm old school, whatever it is, I just don't like the fact that you're trying to set this up. As we take a look at some of the numbers, Mike, it just doesn't make sense when you think about you can start this guy two days in a row. I think if you're a fan of baseball, I miss those days when you're going out there and you're trying to watch guys that are like a Roger Clemens or a Dave Stewart that go out there and throw and have that type of attitude, and you know you're going to be a one run game all through the day.

This just tells me that the Tampa Bay Rays have-- don't have an understanding of where they are in their identity. They have two young prospects that went down with injury and they don't have a surplus of players when it comes down to it, so they don't have a rotation pieces to give guys opportunities to get some starts in the big leagues and develop with that. So they do have to do the analytics. Matching up with the Anaheim Angels, they were right-handed dominant and Shohei Ohtani threw yesterday, so he doesn't hit the day before, the day after. It aligned perfectly because it was a lot of right-handers in that lineup, which benefited Sergio Romo's slider.

- Well, here's an interesting thought on this, I thought, anyway, when I read into it. You go with this move if you don't have your Clemens, like you talked. So you're down in around the bottom third of your rotation, your fourth, your fifth guy, right? No marquee star who's going to match up with the other team. And you realize through analytics that the third time through a lineup, a starter in today's day and age seemingly has some trouble.

So you send a guy out there like Romo who burns through the top three the first time, and if you get a decent start from your starter, who really picks up in the second, he only faces the top of that lineup, if he's efficient, maybe two times before you get into the eighth and ninth. And if you're burning Romo, you still have, really, your best setup man and your closer left to finish the game. To me, while I appreciate what you're saying and agree with it if you have the right horses, if you're a team that doesn't, this isn't the craziest idea.

- Well, if the team doesn't, it means that you're not scouting, you're not going out there and acquiring certain players. I agree with you that there's certain teams that have to be creative. We saw the Colorado Rockies try to go with a sixth man rotation, or even three guys throwing certain innings and not extending themselves.

- Yeah, like three, three, three.

- There's a lot of different scenarios that you're trying to go for. If you line up all 30 managers and you ask them, what would they like to do, would you rather have the Houston Astros' starting rotation or would you like these scenarios and try to be creative? Every single one of them is going to say, I would give anything to have guys that would throw three times through the order. That being said, go out there and acquire those, go out there and develop them. If you're not, it's shortcomings there. You're really showing that you don't have that ability to do it.

But when it comes down to it, Major League pitchers should be able to get through three times through the order. I know there's a lot of-- there's a lot of talent out there, but there's a lot of strikeouts as well, and if you can't manipulate a lineup this day and age with all the strikeouts, I think you're-- you're destined for a losing season, and then it starts creeping into what we're talking about all the time is tanking. There's a lot of tanking going on and I think it has a lot to do with that.

- Ah, it's a great point all the way around. It's still interesting to just see somebody try something--

- It sure is.

- --even if nothing else, it spurs the conversation, not only among guys who do what we do and gals out there who do the same--

- Definitely.

- --but also fans. You know, and it's just something different to think about. I don't know.