Over the past few weeks, the Mets have gone back and forth on the subject of using a six-man rotation. Initially, their intention was to use six starters, but that was until they backtracked and relegated Dillon Gee to the bullpen. More recently the phrase six-man "light" rotation has been used to describe the situation.
With Gee due to make another start on Sunday, Terry Collins spoke at length about the rotation before last night's game in an effort to explain the Mets' rationale for seemingly waffling on the issue. Collins insisted that the Mets have been consistent in implementing their plan in order to conserve innings. He explained that the ultimate goal is to make sure the Mets' younger pitchers—he specifically excluded Bartolo Colon—make it through August and September.
When asked specifically about Gee making periodic starts, Collins responded,
It all depends, again, as we've looked, our starting pitchers have gotten fairly deep into games so we think they need an extra day right now. This is when we thought, you know what, we'll put Dillon in there for a spot start and then as we get into next week we'll see where we are.
Collins referred to Gee as a spot starter, and he will be used to spell the other starters from time to time, especially during longer stretches when the Mets don't have any days off. This will allow the starters to stay on a schedule that has them pitching on five days rest, rather than six.