Patchwork Pitching

Well, Torre has announced his rotation. Let’s take a look at the six different pitchers he had to choose from and the last time they pitched.

Clemens- Pitched Thursday, normally wouldn’t pitch again until Tuesday
Mussina- Started Monday, pitched three innings on Thursday. Normally would start again Saturday
Pettite- Pitched Wednesday. Normally would pitch again Monday
Wells- Pitched Tuesday. Normally would pitch again Sunday
Contreras- Pitched in relief Wednesday. Could probably start Saturday
Weaver- Just Kidding

Now, Torre has taken this and gone with the following:

Game 1- Wells. Going on three days rest with an inning of relief thrown in on Thursday
Game 2- Mussina. I think he would have started Game 1 (his normal turn in the rotation) if he hadn’t pitched three innings on Thursday
Game 3- Pettite. Will have his full rest
Game 4- Clemens. Will have his full rest

From this, we can say that Clemens probably only has one start left in his career. Barring a rain out, a potential Game 7 would only give him three days rest. Torre could have set him up for Games 3+7, but chose to go with Pettite, an interesting move.

Any way you look at it, Games 1+2 will be a struggle. You cannot expect Wells or Mussina to be able to give you a lot of innings. You would have to figure Torre is looking for about 5 innings from Wells and then a couple from Contreras and maybe 1 from Rivera. Mussina could be a little stronger, but not much. Because of this, Torre needs to make two critical decisions

1- Does he trust Jeff Weaver enough to use him in the World Series? If he doesn’t he needs to get Hammond back on the playoff roster ASAP

2- Does he really think he will use Almonte in the World Series? If not, he should strongly consider adding an 11th pitcher.

I suspect that because of the games played under NL rules, Torre will try to stick with ten pitchers to give himself an extra bat off the bench. If he does, the answer to question #1 becomes vital as Torre basically played the ALCS as if he had only nine pitchers. The Yankees will not have the luxury of giving Weaver a token roster spot.