Saturday, August 1, 2015

How the Rotation Turns

With 12 games remaining, the Phillies are considering shuffling their rotation.

How the Rotation Turns

The Phillies might skip Tyler Cloyd´s next turn in the rotation. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)
The Phillies might skip Tyler Cloyd's next turn in the rotation. (David Maialetti/Staff file photo)

Kyle Kendrick pitches for the Phillies tonight, as they open a three-game series with the Braves at Citizens Bank Park. 

He'll be followed by Roy Halladay on Saturday and Cliff Lee on Sunday.

How the Phillies handle the rotation for the remainder of the homestand hasn't been decided. With Monday's off day in the schedule, the Phils have two options:

-They can keep all five pitchers on rotation and go with Cole Hamels, Tyler Cloyd and Kendrick in the three games vs. Washington next week.

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-Or they can take advantage of Monday's day off, push Cloyd back until they absolutely need him and go with Hamels, Kendrick and Halladay (all on regular rest) against Washington.

The second scenario would mean that Cloyd wouldn't start again until a week from tomorrow (next Saturday) in Miami. And it would mean Cloyd would make just one more start in the final 12 games, while Lee would get an extra start.

That seems to make sense, right?

"We're thinking about it," pitching coach Rich Dubee said.

So what's there to think about?

"We have to see our situation, see where we're at and see if it's worth doing it," Dubee said.

The Phillies current situation is this: they sit four games back of the National League's second wild card spot with 12 games remaining in their season. In addition to catching the St. Louis Cardinals, they have to leap over the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers, too.

A lot can change by the end of the weekend. If the Phils lose their three-game series against Atlanta and are, say, six games back with nine games to play, it might not make any sense shuffling the rotation. 

Is there any other possible benefit?

"Give guys an extra day (of rest)," Dubee said. "That is a benefit."

For the time being, the Phillies are at least giving it some thought.

Here is how the rotation would unfold in both scenarios:


9/21 vs. Atlanta - Kendrick

9/22 vs. Atlanta - Halladay

9/23 vs. Atlanta - Lee

9/24 - NO GAME

9/25 vs. Washington - Hamels

9/26 vs. Washington - Kendrick

9/27 vs. Washington - Halladay

9/28 at Miami - Lee

9/29 at Miami - Cloyd

9/30 at Miami - Hamels

10/1 at Washington - Kendrick

10/2 at Washington - Halladay

10/3 at Washington - Lee



9/21 vs. Atlanta - Kendrick

9/22 vs. Atlanta - Halladay

9/23 vs. Atlanta - Lee

9/24 - NO GAME

9/25 vs. Washington - Hamels

9/26 vs. Washington - Cloyd

9/27 vs. Washington - Kendrick

9/28 at Miami - Halladay

9/29 at Miami - Lee

9/30 at Miami - Hamels

10/1 at Washington - Cloyd

10/2 at Washington - Kendrick

10/3 at Washington - Halladay


One additional benefit to pushing Cloyd back next week: instead of pitching against a hard-hitting Nationals lineup at a hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, he'd make his next start in pitcher-friendly Marlins Park against a Miami team that's as lifeless as the Mets. 

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