Orioles.com writer Spencer Fordin posted an excellent article yesterday discussing the Orioles plans for the starting rotation this September. The club (rightly) plans to protect its young pitchers and may move to a six man rotation for the season's final month. I don't know for sure whether a stretched out rotation or simply piggybacking potential starters (i.e., Matusz for five innings, followed by a long man) is a better idea, but I think that adding a man to the rotation is probably the way to go since it forces the young kids to pitch fewer innings than would be possible under a five man rotation; there will be fewer opportunities to abandon a solid outing to try and get a win in a game that is meaningless in the standings. Also, while we've rightly been critical of Dave Trembley's in-game strategizing, he makes some very sensible comments in this article:
"The thing that I've noticed is how much more difficult it is for the young guys, and how much harder they seem to have to work at this level," said Trembley. "The other teams will grind you. Toronto, the other day, they just waited Matusz out. I think you have to look at the pitch count and add 20-25 pitches to it. Physically, it's pretty taxing for them. Outs don't come easy and they really have to work to get them. In that sense, I think you have to be very wise about how long you leave them out there, how many innings they throw and how hard they work."Trembley may not be the guy to manage this team long-term, but I do believe he's done a very good job putting the development needs of the organization first. I'm sure he knows the fan base is unhappy, and it can't be easy for him to keep Jason Berken's name on his starting pitching calendar, but he's done so. That is admirable.