Okay, not everyone. But there’s a strong likelihood that Maddon is going to institute a No. 5 and a 5a in the rotation. The current favorites for the jobs are Mike Montgomery and recently acquired Brett Anderson. And in the grand scheme, this isn’t novelty–this is brilliance. Especially when you look at the health of the starters, as well as Anderson’s over his career.
The Cubs’ starters have been healthy–knock on wood–but have logged a heavy amount of innings over the past few years. The Cubs brought in several former starters including Anderson and Eddie Butler as a safety net. With Jake Arrieta looking at free agency after this season, this could be a two-fold move. First, to take the stress off the starters and keep them fresh. The second as an audition for next season when the Cubs are likely to have two spots to fill in the rotation (John Lackey is in his final year of his contract).
Have a six-man rotation isn’t “new”, but most managers haven’t gone to it for a full-season. Many have used it towards the end of a season to give pitchers an extra day of rest. Although, many have stressed that they prefer the schedule of every fifth day so they can keep their routine. Could the “Mad Hatter” in Maddon be on to something here?