Urban: Giants Rotation Change Surprising, Smart

September 29, 2010, 8:53 am
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Provingonce again that you really have no idea what to expect from these guys, theGiants have decided to make a fairly dramatic change to their starting rotationfor the week, but its not the dramatic change for which most fans have beenclamoring.Thegeneral consensus after the series victory in Colorado, if sports-talk callers(and hosts) can be considered the general consensus, is that the prudent movewould have been to move Tim Lincecum from Thursday to Friday and Barry Zitofrom Friday to Thursday.Reasonbeing, such a switch would set up the Giants for a rotation of Lincecum, MattCain and Jonathan Sanchez -- their three best pitchers at present -- to face thePadres this weekend in the Series To End All Series.It makessense, too, because it wouldnt really affect anyones preparation all thatmuch. Moving Zito to Thursday would have meant hed be working on four days ofrest instead of five, and hes made about 85 percent of his career starts onfour days of rest. Thats the norm. HoldingLincecum back until Friday would have put him in line to pitch on six days ofrest instead of the five on which hes been working recently (thanks to thekind schedule makers that gave the Giants the last three Mondays of the seasonoff), and weve seen how well the Freak has responded to extra rest; this isthe best hes ever looked this late in the season.TheGiants threw everyone something of a bender, though, by announcing thatLincecum will throw Wednesday, not Friday, so hell be onregular rest -- four days, remember? against the Diamondbacks, then beavailable on regular rest again in the event of a one-game playoff.I likeit, for several reasons. One isthat I like Lincecum over anyone but Cain in a one-game playoff, and Cainsimply wont be physically available. Another is that the move gives MadisonBumgarner, a rookie pitching deeper into a season than ever, an extra day ofrest, giving him six before he worked the finale of the Arizona series.As forwhat this means for Zito, well, it means hes going to be under a high-poweredmicroscope Friday against the Padres, and hell be on a very short leash.Kind oflike every other start hes made in the past two months, right?

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