We all want the Mets to win, right? But how do we expect them to do that with a depleted rotation thanks to Dickey and Pelfrey, and a less than average bullpen? It seems impossible right? Well, thanks to a thing I call Dual Pitching, both their rotation and bullpen can receive valuable gains in performance.
Dual Pitching is essentially when the team has two 5th starters who alternate who starts each time through the rotation. Therefore, each of those two pitchers would start once every ten games and would allow both to pitch without having a six man rotation which would take starts away from the other starters.
That seems a bit simple and elementary doesn’t it? But wait, there’s more. During one trip through the rotation, one of the two will be used as the starter while the other will be in the bullpen.
In order to better understand the concept, let’s say that the Mets were to sign Roy Oswalt. Marcum and Oswalt would both split the job as the 5th starter. During the first trip through the rotation, Marcum would start in the 5th spot and Oswalt would play two or three games from the bullpen.
After the first time through the rotation, they switch jobs. Let’s say Oswalts third game from the bullpen was during the 5th game. He would then get his regular four days of rest and then start the 5th game.
Marcum, who would have started on the 5th day, would get three days of rest and then would pitch from the bullpen one or two innings per game during games four and five. They would then alternate between who would be the starter and who would be in the bullpen each time through the rotation.
If they were to do this for the whole season, both of them would end the year with 16 starts. They would also each amass up to 32 appearances from the bullpen, maybe more.
Let’s say that they were both limited to six innings per start and were to throw one inning per relief outing 7 out of 8 times.(The 8th time let’s say they throw two innings.) They would each amass 96 innings as a starter and as much as 36 innings from the bullpen. The Mets would have these two good pitchers who are both starting and relieving under essentially one spot throw over 260 innings over the course of the season.
Now let’s say that Wheeler were to come up at the end of June and take the 5th spot. Now you can place both Marcum and Oswalt as relievers and they can now finish the season with an even better bullpen that consists of players who are originally starters.
Their rotation would improve by having six, maybe seven good starters taking up five spots, and their bullpen would improve by having two starters work as relievers for a good part of the season.
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to have an extra starter just in case somebody gets injured. Let’s again say that Wheeler was to come up by mid to late June, (Or even earlier) and was to take the 5th spot. The Mets would now have two starters in the bullpen who could easily replace somebody such as Gee or Santana if they were to injure themselves again.
No matter how you look at it, it’s a win-win –win situation for everybody.