Farrell constructing Japan Series starting rotation
Manager to use Iwakuma, Guthrie, Shoemaker, Capuano, Morales, Santiago
LOS ANGELES -- With his roster set for next week's seven-game Japan All-Star Series, manager John Farrell on Friday began the process of constructing his pitching rotation.
This much Farrell knows: He has six starting pitchers at his disposal, two of which -- Hisashi Iwakuma and Jeremy Guthrie -- he plans to use just once to honor individual club requests. That leaves Matt Shoemaker, Chris Capuano, Franklin Morales and Hector Santiago to fill in the other five games. Whoever starts Game 1 of the series on Wednesday will also start Game 5, six days later, so one of the pitchers will make two starts.
Similar to the World Baseball Classic, All-Star Series rules dictate that players cannot throw more than 80 pitches in a game, among other regulations. But with an eight-man bullpen at his disposal, Farrell hopes to be able to skirt around that issue.
"We're dealing with a time of year where it's kind of unnatural for us given the calendar and the schedule," he said. "So we've got to be mindful of the repetition and the everyday play. Everyone will get mixed into this and we'll make the best of the situation, and certainly of the players that are here.
"I think one of the biggest challenges will be making sure that we get everybody on the field. All are deserving to be starting players in their own right. But I think when they look around the clubhouse, they recognize they're in with an extremely talented group."
The All-Star Series begins with an exhibition on Tuesday and ends with another on Nov. 20. Farrell plans to treat those two games in ceremonial fashion, hoping to put as many players as possible on the field.
The five other games constitute the actual All-Star Series. In those, Farrell plans to ride his starting pitchers relatively deep into the night.
"Our goal is to leave here and go over healthy, and to return in the same way," Farrell said. "That's priority No. 1. But equal to that is the competitive team that we put on the field, and to go out and compete and win. So that being said, there's a balance that we have to strike."