The more Billy Eppler talks about the possibility of using a six-man rotation, the more it seems to be a foregone conclusion. The Angels’ general manager gave a passionate defense of the merits of a six-man rotation, invoking terms like “moral responsibility,” on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. He said he is convinced that he can keep his starters healthy by giving them extra rest between starts. “I can tell you medically, that I have had reputable doctors and biomechanists say that a six-man would be advantageous when rehabilitating players,” Eppler said. “These are professionals who went to school for this and have dedicated their lives to studying these things.” The topic of a six-man rotation, instead of the customary five, has come into vogue because of Shohei Ohtani’s arrival in the majors. He pitched once every seven days in Japan, and sometimes even less frequently. In order to ease his transition to the majors, the clubs that were courting him discussed using six starters to space out his work more. Eppler said this is something he believes is the right thing to do, regardless of whether or not they would have gotten Ohtani. “We’re tasked with doing what we feel is best for the long-term health of our players,” he said. “That’s really important to me. You’re striking a chord of my DNA. I’m not putting players at risk. If there’s a methodology that can help players out, we’re going to present it to them. I feel I have a moral responsibility to that.” Perhaps all that’s stopping the Angels from announcing that they are, in fact, going to try this is that Eppler hasn’t yet spoken to the other starting pitchers about it. He said the decision will be made by the front office, coaching staff and medical staff, and he’ll eventually seek the starters’ input.
Angels leaning toward six-man rotation to help all pitchers, not just Shohei Ohtani
Orange County Register | Dec 13