Your suggestions about changes in MLB’s schedule seem reasonable, fan friendly and likely cost effective in the long run. Does this mean there is no possibility of them ever being implemented?
That’s exactly what it means.
Just to review: I propose to start every season April 1, schedule four day-night doubleheaders and trim four games from the schedule. If these modest suggestions were instituted, the season would end on Sept. 19.
Your are correct to say the Indians’ starting rotation looks ragged. Twice the Indians have brought a pitcher up from Triple-A Columbus and watched him pitch like a player recently promoted from Triple-A then sent him down.
Here’s my brainstorm: Maybe they should stop doing that.
Until the mid-1990’s, baseball teams used something called a “long reliever.” Typically he was a young starter who seemed too good for Triple-A but not quite ready for a starting role. He’d come in whenever the starter was knocked out early and pitch as many innings as he could, developing his craft against major-league hitters when the game was out of reach.
Many fine pitchers broke in this way; one can find books by Earl Weaver and Whitey Herzog endorsing the practice.
I know the Indians worry the pitcher might not get regular work. One would think having Ubaldo Jimenez, Brett Myers and Scott Kazmir in the rotation would be gilt-edged assurance. … but here’s another concept. Perhaps they could just leave Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco be? Maybe the “pitch well or hit the road” approach isn’t the best way to feel comfortable?
Perhaps the two unpolished starters might keep the Indians out of the playoffs. But those players might develop. That’s not something the veteran pond scum is likely to do.
Like everything else, baseball changes.
Long relievers are out of favor, because they sit too much and take a spot away from a reliever who could work more often. Most managers feel if they have two relievers who can pitch three innings, a long reliever is unnecessary.
The theory now is that a starter can develop more quickly by pitching every five days in the minors rather than occasionally as a long reliever. I can’t disagree.
Carrasco and Bauer weren’t trying out for the rotation. The Indians needed a spot starter and they were the best options. But it’s clear neither is ready to pitch up here. Keeping them would only have postponed their development.
According to my ninth-grade biology teacher, veteran pond scum usually gets off to a slow start because of the cold weather.