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Reds not feeling 6-man rotation

Manager Price feels method wouldn't benefit veterans Cueto, Leake

PHILADELPHIA -- With three young pitchers in their rotation in Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard, the Mets will soon be experimenting with a six-man rotation. That's because Mets manager Terry Collins was looking for an unconventional method to limit the pitchers' innings.

The Reds also happen to have three young starters in rookies Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias. Lorenzen and Iglesias will have their innings limited at some point, but going to a six-man rotation is not something Reds manager Bryan Price is interested in trying, for two reasons: ace Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake, the rotation's two veterans.

"As much as it may benefit one or two pitchers or three … there are the negatives for the others that are in the rotation," Price said on Tuesday. "I don't think there is a benefit to Leake and Cueto … to being in an environment where they are pitching with an extra day's rest on a regular basis.

"The thing that's interesting is the fact that, to me, this [is the] first generation of pitchers where we're so conscientious of how many innings and how many pitches they throw."

In 2010, during Leake's rookie year when he went straight to the Majors from pitching for Arizona State University, Price (then the pitching coach) and the club capped his innings at 156, which included his Spring Training work. He was not in the rotation by season's end, nor part of the postseason roster.

Lorenzen, who was drafted in 2013, only had his first full season as a starter last season at Double-A Pensacola and pitched only 120 2/3 innings. Iglesias did not pitch at all in 2014 after his defection from Cuba and time spent in Haiti awaiting clearance for a visa.

The Mets are certainly not the only team that has experimented with six-man rotations or pitch and innings limits.

"It wasn't nearly as prominent of a question or concern eight to 10 years ago," Price said. "If a guy was pitching good, and he was strong, you just kept him going. That might be easier for a team that felt like they were out of the race. … I don't know if I feel that would take us where we want to go. It would definitely satisfy the innings and the pitch concerns we have. However, I don't think it leads these guys any closer to being an every-fifth-day, 200-to-200-plus innings pitcher. I might be proven wrong."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.
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