From SABR member Rob Arthur at FiveThirtyEight on June 4, 2015:
Noah Syndergaard, the New York Mets’ phenomenal young starting pitcher, throws 99 mph fastballs and hits home runs to straight center field. Dillon Gee, the guy Syndergaard replaced in the rotation in May, does not do those things. After a trip to the disabled list, Gee is back, but the Mets couldn’t just send a rookie nicknamed Thor back down to the minors. They also couldn’t keep Gee, a perfectly solid back-of-the-rotation pitcher, there either.
So, flush with pitching talent, the Mets are trying something novel: They are deploying a six-man rotation. It might just be a brilliant way to safeguard the health of their pitchers.
Earlier this year, sabermetrician Russell Carleton wrote that six-man rotations offer few obvious benefits in terms of pitching performance: The extra day of rest doesn’t seem to increase pitcher strikeout rates or reduce walk rates. And, because the extra man entails splitting up the workload among a larger group of people, it tends to dilute the effect of truly great starting pitchers. Over a full season, a six-man rotation results in about 30-50 fewer innings per starter. For a top-heavy Mets rotation that can send Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard to the mound, reducing their workload appears costly and counterintuitive.
Read the full article here: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/are-six-man-rotations-ever-worth-it/
Originally published: June 4, 2015. Last Updated: June 4, 2015.