Friday, September 28, 2007

Postseason Rotation

Ed Price reports Joe Torre revealed his playoff plans for the starting rotation. There aren't any surprises, except an official confirmation that Mike Mussina is slotted in as the Game 4 starter.

Chien-Ming Wang and Andy Pettitte will start the first two games of the AL Division Series for the Yankees, manager Joe Torre said.

Roger Clemens -- if he recovers from a sore left hamstring -- will pitch Game 3. If the Yankees are in the series that opens next Thursday, they will need four starters, and Mike Mussina would be fourth. Otherwise, he may be a long reliever.

Not to sound like a broken record, but if the Moose turns back the clock by shutting down a powerful Cleveland lineup, I will gladly eat my words. Until then, I truly believe the best strategy would involve kicking Mussina into the bullpen, and handing Phil Hughes the ball for Game 4.

Mussina better fits into the long reliever role, and is only an 85 mph fastball away from destroying a potential elimination game. This is not to say that the rookie is impenetrable, but I fear Hughes (whose stuff is probably at about 85%) much more than Moose at full strength. Seeing Phil mix in his changeup and slider with astonishing frequency Thursday illustrates the type of versatility he can show batters.

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