While other teams are pondering using six-man pitching rotations this season, Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash is going with the opposite mindset and is planning to use a four-man rotation throughout the 2018 season.
Under Cash’s plan, four pitchers will still work on regular rest, but instead of going with a regular starter on every fifth day, Cash said it will be a bullpen day and he’ll have three or four relief pitchers go through the batting order once.
“It’s not part of baseball,” Hamels said March 3. “I know that’s the new analytical side of trying to reinvent the wheel, but I was brought up in the minor leagues on the five-man [rotation], and that’s what I’m designed and conditioned for.
The Los Angeles Angels also have discussed using a six-man rotation, while the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs tried it in 2017.
“We don’t discuss family politics or family issues, but he’s part of this family,” general manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday. “Actions beget consequences. No player is bigger than the organization.”
Romero, a left-handed pitcher out of the University of Houston, was a first-round pick last summer. Although some considered him a top-10 talent, he was selected 25th overall after a tumultuous junior year with the Cougars.
Romero, 21, was suspended for the first two weeks of the 2017 season for conduct detrimental to the team. He was later suspended again, with the Houston Chronicle reporting the suspension stemmed from a failed drug test. A third incident in May 2017 led to his dismissal from the Houston program.
Romero, who was recently ranked as Washington’s fourth-best prospect by ESPN’s Keith Law, pitched to a 5.40 ERA in six appearances with the Nationals’ low-A affiliate last season, tallying 32 strikeouts in 20 innings.
“Hopefully when he gets back here he’ll be better for it,” Rizzo said.
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