Yankees Vs Rays: What History Gerrit Cole Says About Pitcher At Low Rest As Tyler Glasnow Game 2


Friday’s ALDS Game 5 between the Yankees and the Rays will decide who goes on to face Astro in the ALCS. In particular, the decisive tilt will also feature starting pitchers going on short rests. Ace Gerrit Cole leaves for the Yankees on a three-day rest, and fellow right-hander Tyler Glasowe collides for Tampa Bay two days after pitching five innings in Game 2.

Nor has ever made a debut on low rest, which means that we are flying to an extent without equipment. The only thing we can evaluate is how the pitches started in recent history on short rest. It is discussed that German is only for Cole for a few reasons:

  • Glasnow is almost certainly not a traditional debut and chances are it won’t even make a full time through the Yankees’ order. He probably isn’t quite the “opener” in Game 5, but it’s hard to imagine manager Kevin Cash letting him take more than two innings. This is especially the case as fellow starter Blake Snell is also available to give cash starting or three.
  • Glasgow recorded a relief appearance on two occasions on two occasions in his career, and that is the essence of what he will do in Game 5.

For those reasons, historical models do not really apply to what Glasgow asked for on Friday night. Cole, however, called the figures to introduce a more traditional short-rest, which means five innings or so.

The good news for the Yankees is that Cole had been preparing for this possibility since the start of his Game 1, so he didn’t have to adjust his routine with a little notice. That said, history suggests that Cole may be in for a significant drop in performance. Here’s how pitches have started in the usual four days of the first three days of rest since the beginning of the wild-card era – that is, 1995 and beyond. From that starting point we get a large data sample, while the four-man rotation is sufficiently clear for days. Also, the power of modern crimes is for the most part baked into this range. Now across MLB in the Question Hour are the numbers for all such starts:

Three days (1995-2020)

1984

4.92

1.85

0.792

Four days (1995-2020)

61,037

4.39

2.24

0.754

As you can see, this is a broad-based decline at all stages. The ERA jumps by more than half the run, and in related cases pitchers have worsened at the command-and-control level over a three-day rest and when it comes to limiting base runners and power off the bat. It is also worth noting that these are generally the best pitchers who are pressed into short-rest duty, which means that the numbers above short-rest the population overall, better then the general-rest population. Still and yet, performance degradation is significant.

Now let’s see if something changes when we limit the samples to just the last decade, or 2011-20.

Three days (2011-2020)

459

4.97

2.08

0.797

Four days (2011-2020)

20,676

4.16

2.72

0.735

Over the past decade, the decline from full rest to three days of rest has been even more rapid. None of this is particularly surprising. Contemporary starting pitchers are trained to pitch more and more every fifth day, and pitchers are well-known creatures of routine. Topping all the stuff that has been hardened over the years, and they themselves won’t be on the mound.

It may be that the pit truly starting the elite has the goods to counter these trends. Manager Aaron Boon can certainly help matters by allowing Cole on a maximum of two trips through the opposition batting order. Booney could get some length from Devi Garcia and Luis Sesa if necessary, and Aroldis Chapman and Zach Britton would certainly be available for high-leverage that would be in the late frame. The question is whether Cole can have the least damage on the board with the ball in his first taste of rest. The past says it will be difficult.