The Colorado Rockies are committed to their unorthodox four-man rotation. According to the Denver Post, the Rockies starter will throw 75 pitches while a reliever comes in and pitches the next 50. This, in theory, will keep arms fresh and allow the team to adapt to pitching in the brutal hitters park that is Coors Field.
The Rockies creativity is admirable. Clearly the old method of “Let’s throw our pitchers out there and duck” is not working.
This author has another suggestion, and one that might be unusual but worth a thought.
The Rockies can carry 13 pitchers next year. Of those pitchers, nine of them would be what will be called “The Blake Street Rotation.”
Nine pitchers, some veterans and some younger, will be split up into groups of three. Each group will have a pitcher throw three innings every three days. And within the group, there is a rotation of who starts, who pitches the middle innings and who throws the final three innings.
Confused? Here is how it will work. The first game, a group of three pitchers throws in a game. One pitcher is the starter and throws three. The next pitcher is the middle man and throws three. The third pitcher throws the final three.
The next game a second group does the same. Then a third group the next day.
Then it is the first group’s turn. But this time the pitcher who was the starter is throwing the last three innings. The closer throws the middle innings. The middle man starts.
That same rotation goes for each group.
And there are four relievers who can come in if a pitcher falters in their three innings or if it goes into extra innings.
In theory, each group would participate in 54 games during the year for 162 innings. Each would get 18 starts, 18 middle-relief appearances which would be the best chance to get a victory and 18 closing appearances which could pile up saves.
For young pitchers in the farm looking to break in, they would get their shot. For veterans trying to hang on, it gives them a system to plug into.
For the pitchers agents, they can be shopped after a season in Denver as either a starter or a reliever.
And for manager Jim Tracy, it would give him a shot to at least change his looks on the mound during a Coors Field game and mix and match against line ups that platoon.
Is this a crazy idea? Perhaps.
But until someone figures out how to put a winning pitching staff in Coors Field, do not instantly dismiss it.