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Ideal Starting Rotation
- David Price
- Alex Cobb
- Chris Archer
- Matt Moore
If I were the Tampa Bay Rays, I'd move to a four-man rotation by the beginning of next week.
Jeremy Hellickson is scheduled to start Thursday against Boston, but after that, I'm not so sure he should stay in the rotation.
Although Hellickson gave up no runs in 5.1 innings against the Angels on Sept. 4, his ERA is still at 5.04 for the year.
With the Rays desperately trying to hang onto a spot in the wild card, they can't take any chances of Hellickson going back to his old habits from this year.
I know some people will think I'm crazy since the Rays enjoyed their final day off of the season on Monday. But they have to do something to ensure Hellickson doesn't screw things up on the mound. Sure it's only one start every five days, but that could be the difference between going to the playoffs and going home.
And even if they don't fully remove him out of the lineup, at least work a little magic in the rotation. Have him go every sixth day, with each pitcher going one day early.
As it currently stands, the Rays are scheduled out through Sept. 16, the day before it would be Hellickson's turn in the rotation again. Have Archer go on the 17th, with Hellickson on the 18th. Then you resume with Moore, Price, Cobb, Archer and Moore again before Hellickson would pitch on the 24th.
After that, Price, Cobb, Archer, Moore and Price again to finish the year. Of course, that would mean you would have Cobb or Archer in the wild card game, but so be it. I'm confident either could go and succeed for the Rays.
The one I'm not confident in is Hellickson, which is why I'm suggesting this.