With Gavin Floyd coming off the DL, the Braves have the dilemma of having six (Actually seven) starts in Julio Teheran, Aaron Harang, Ervin Santana, Mike Minor, Gavin Floyd, and Alex Wood (with David Hale being a more than reliable option for a fifth starter) with only five rotation spots. Most of the time, the proposition of a six man rotation sounds absurd, however with the Braves rotation being the only way they can win, I believe it should be considered. There are pros and cons of a six man rotation, and I do not expect, if one were to be used, to be used an entire season.
-The Braves have young arms, Julio Teheran is only twenty three and Alex Wood is only a year out of college. By enforcing a six man rotation, the young arms in Teheran and Wood automatically have their innings reduced by technically missing a start(Considering the team plays twenty eight games in thirty to thirty one days: 28/5= 5.6 starts while 28/6= 4.67 starts, along with the off days, they could possibly save an approximately 18 innings in two months if two months worth of off days would equal another start, and assuming both Wood and Teheran averaged six innings a start. Although 18 innings doesn't seem like much, I believe it would be enough not to sit Teheran later in the season if the Braves were to make a run at the playoffs and it means Wood may only have to miss two or three starts if he were to remain in the rotation)
-The Braves have unreliable arms. Aaron Harang is out pitching himself, and can not be expected to maintain even close to his stats right now. Harang, who currently has an ERA of 2.98 and his Baseball Reference currently sits at .4 (especially since were only in May) is certainly out pitching him preseason projections (which I don't know how to find and is expected to regress a little, if not a lot. Gavin Floyd coming of of Tommy John surgery is also a concern (although he pitched well in his debut) with pitchers being unpredictable coming of of Tommy John surgery (John Smoltz vs. more recently, Brandon Beachy). The advantage in a six man rotation for Floyd is not having to stress his arm out as often, and keeping Harang rested and hopefully more reliable.
- The Kris Medlen danger. With a five man rotation, Alex Wood would be the odd one out, as he would be pitching in the bullpen to "limit" his innings. However, with Fredi's bullpen management, I am worried that he would be, one used to often, and two, would become like Kris Medlen switching from bullpen to rotation constantly (which I believe is one factor in Medlen's first Tommy John surgery).
- Too many days off. Some of you guys seem to think that Harang and Wood's unexpected pitching explosion may have had to do with their extended days off. With a six man rotation, a pitcher is in danger of going at most eight days with out pitching (having two days off in between starts.)
- Harang or Floyd might not pitch well. If Harang were to pitch like we expected him to at the beginning of the season, or Floyd's Tommy John surgery were to have affected him, the Braves would have to revert back to a five man rotation, and still limit Wood's innings.
- Unconventional. The Braves could end up having Their back end of the rotation face the front end of a Dodger or Cardinal like rotation, and with the Braves offense, the back end of the rotation would have to allow less than a run to even give the Braves a chance (hopefully not though).
Although I don't really like a six man rotation, a believe with all of the pitching staff pitching at a level comparable throughout the entire pitching staff, I do believe it should be an option, the option I go with at this very moment, despite what Fredi says.