Based on the success the team had with giving Schilling and Josh Beckett more than seven days’ rest on several occasions late in the season and the fact that Daisuke Matsuzaka thrived on five days’ rest in his native Japan, the team is considering a switch to a six-man pitching rotation.
MLB.com has a story up that gets Theo Epstein on the record regarding the Sox’ exploratory efforts towards this oddball scenario. How does one measure the benefits? Surely certain pitchers might thrive on the extra rest, and who knows what it might mean for long-term durability. On the other hand, why would you willingly start Josh Beckett and a potenially improved Daisuke Matsuzaka 5.4 fewer times each (that’s 11 starts from your #1 and #2) over the course of a season, theoretically speaking?
The Sox have an innings-capped guy in Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester in his first full season as a major leaguer, an aging Curt Schilling, a Japanese pitcher accustomed to the five days of rest thing, a gimpy knuckleballer, and…Josh Beckett. I appreciate the Sox considering this option, for sure. I just have no idea how the team makes a decision like this. Get those computers working, front-office nerds!