Friday, April 27, 2007

Rotation Madness

That's a bit strong. But something strange is going on here. In an earlier post I laid out what I thought was a pretty logical way for the rotation to unfold this season--a rested Max Perlman Saturday, Brad Unger Saturday afternoon, Shawn Haviland Sunday and Boomer Eadington for as long as you can ride him in the second game.

Not so, says Joe Walsh:
While the Harvard skipper normally sends out freshman Max Perlman and junior Brad Unger on Saturdays, followed by rookie Eric Eadington and junior Shawn Haviland on Sundays, Walsh expects to mix it up this weekend due to the significance of this particular series.

He plans to use Eadington out of the bullpen Saturday and possibly even Sunday and then plug someone else in as a starter alongside Haviland for the second twinbill.

“We’ve got our backs against the wall and we’ve got to win a title,” Walsh said. “We’re going to play every game like it’s our last.”

The most viable candidate as an alternative starter is sophomore Adam Cole, last season’s Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
So what's this about? My theory is that this has a lot more to do with the pen than Eadington. I think the rough outings by Jake Bruton and Cole lately have eroded Walsh's confidence in the bullpen, and he wants someone like Eadington available as another option.
If this is the reasoning behind this move, and who knows, it's the sort of thing that the commenters will have a field day over. We haven't seen much of Boomer in the pen at all, and none at all in meaningful games. Moreover, it leaves someone like Cole to start what could be a season-deciding game, days after he got shelled by Yale in his first Ivy League start all season. The Adam Cole of 2006 would be a welcome for starter, as would the Cole of recent bullpen outings. But at this point, do you know which Cole you're going to get? Harvard is, of course, saying all the right things:
While Cole was shelled for seven runs in just 2/3 of an inning in his start in Harvard’s 13-0 loss to Yale on Wednesday, he has been near-dominant out of the bullpen, including three shutout relief innings last weekend versus the Bears.

“I really hope he can just clear his mind [of Wednesday’s game],” Haviland said. “Everyone has those bad ones from time to time.”

Walsh expressed confidence in giving Cole another shot at starting. “He’s the kind of kid who can bounce back,” Walsh said. “Would I go back to him? Absolutely.”
What if he doesn't? Whom does he go to other than Cole? Presumably Eadington if he hasn't been used at all (possible against the Dartmouth lineup and with Haviland, Unger and Perlman throwing the first three). And if not? Dan Zailskas? Max Warren?

Stay tuned...


Anonymous said...

Eadington threw 6 innings of relief at FAU and dominated a tremendous lineup before running out of steam late.

Anonymous said...

The starting rotation has really been great all year, why change this weekend? Its been Perlman, Haviland on Saturday, and Unger and Eadington on Sunday. Both Bruton and Cole have been great in relief except for one time. Jason Brown looked good in the Yale game. People have roles that they are comfortable with, I say keep things right where they have been.

Anonymous said...

Haviland has to be a Sunday guy in order to get 3 days rest. Perlman is ideal for the 7-inning game and Unger has the gas to go the 9 so it is an obvious choice to use those guys on Saturday. I like that Walsh has put Boomer on notice that he might pitch because these are indeed all playoff games. Good job getting the info, SOBB.

Anonymous said...

wasn't thinking about the 3 days rest; makes sense.