Yankees Rotation On Short Rest

During the liveblog for Game 4 of the World Series yesterday, we discussed whether CC Sabathia should have started the game on short rest or if the Yankees should have let Chad Gaudin start and pushed CC back to Game 5 to pitch on normal rest. I took a look at the issue over at MLB Notebook. There’s an excerpt below; click through for the full version.

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“In The Book there was a study about effectiveness for different rest periods, and the results seemed to be about a 17 point increase in wOBA against for a pitcher starting on 3 days rest as opposed to the usual 4 days. That would translate into about a half run difference over the course of a game.

I didn’t want to do full on projections for the various New York starters, so I just weighted by recent years 5-4-3 and split it evenly between FIP and tERA (and penalized Chad Gaudin a little for pitching largely in relief in 2008).

That produced the following rankings:

CC Sabathia – 3.28
CC Sabathia (short rest) – 3.78
AJ Burnett – 4.03
Andy Pettitte – 4.04
Chad Gaudin – 4.50
AJ Burnett (short rest) – 4.53
Andy Pettitte (short rest) – 4.54

Even on short rest, CC is the best starter the Yankees have. The last three are pretty much a wash, so starting Burnett and Pettitte on short rest is more than defensible – and likely the correct decision – especially with Gaudin not having pitched in almost two weeks. Some recent struggles aside, the Yankees still have a good bullpen so if they need to take a starter out early they wouldn’t be in too much trouble anyway.”