Since mid-June the Colorado Rockies have been employing a four-man rotation, and general manager Dan O'Dowd indicated Thursday that the team plans to use the same system for pitchers in 2013, according to a report by Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
The "piggyback" four-man rotation, as the article says, emphasizes a pitch count limit of 75 for starters, followed by four additional starters -- called "hybrid pitchers" in the report -- trained for a 50-pitch limit. The Rockies, Renck writes, believe this four-man model creates advantages such as keeping pitchers healthier, limiting the amount of times starters pitch through a batting order and exposing possibly beneficial match-ups throughout a game.
Since they went to this rotation in June, Colorado starters have seen their average ERA drop from 6.28 to 5.61, while relievers have, due to shorter outings from starters, notched more wins, going from a 12-10 cumulative record before the switch to 17-10 after.
Here's how, in theory, the rotation could look next year, according to the article:
So, hypothetically, the Rockies next year could have a starting staff of Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Jeff Francis and Drew Pomeranz, followed by the likes of Tyler Chatwood, Alex White, Juan Nicasio and Christian Friedrich as the piggyback pitchers.