With the New York Yankees receiving great news from Masahiro Tanaka‘s throwing session today, pitching coach Larry Rothschild said the team is looking into a six-man rotation for the month of September — maybe even longer.
That makes perfect sense for the team that has been dealing with injuries to their starting rotation all season long, and with the possibility of Tanaka returning, they want to make sure there is the least amount of weight on his arm to ensure they do not jeopardize losing him for next season. Giving him an extra day’s rest, as well as Michael Pineda, who has missed majority of the season, and Hiroki Kuroda, who simply looks burnt out right now, will be beneficial to everybody. Even Brandon McCarthy, who has been pitching well for the Yankees, has a history of injury and an extra day could help him as the team looks to do anything to stay in the playoff chase.
The Yankees are also looking to be playing a game everyday from here on out until Sept. 28, except one day. That gives them 38 games in 39 days. That type of pressure on pitchers without any built-in off days in the team’s schedule will surely leave them feeling tired. Having that one extra day will surely help relieve the pressure on all of the pitchers arms and shoulders.
The chances the Yankees do make the playoffs are slim-to-none, but the Yankees are invested in Tanaka until 2020 and know he is the future of the pitching staff. Taking care of him today will help the team in the future. That has to be the Yankees’ mindset, and going with a six-man rotation is the smartest thing they can do.