Should Wedge juggle the rotation?

After the way Elarton pitched last night, and after watching the Indians take two of three from the Sox, this may seem like a foolish question but should Wedge consider adjusting his rotation a bit so that C.C. and/or Lee can go in next weekend’s Sox series? As the rotation currently stands, the Indians will be running the same trio of starters out for that series (Millwood, Westbrook and Elarton), and while each starter pitched well enough to win (or well enough for the Indians to win, anyway) this time around, this scenario just makes me nervous.

Sabathia and Lee are arguably your two best pitchers, but at the very least Sabathia, Lee and Millwood are your three best — how you slot them is up for debate. C.C. may be the hottest pitcher in baseball right now and Lee, on some writers’ scorecards, has vaulted into Cy Young contention in the AL. With a series that potentially is going to have so much riding on it, you almost hate to have two of your best starters on the bench watching the drama unfold.

Of course, the argument against juggling the rotation would be two-fold. First, why mess with success? Millwood, Westbrook and Elarton led the Tribe to a series victory this time around, so why couldn’t they do it again? And second, adjusting the rotation could have a negative effect rather than a positive one. These guys are used to a routine, and taking them out of that routine by moving starts up or back could take them out of their rhythm and cause the move to backfire on the Tribe. Plus, if you adjust the rotation for the Sox series, how does that affect your potential playoff rotation?

These are, of course, valid points, but what if that weekend series rolls around and the Indians need a sweep to get into the playoffs? Or what if they need to win two of three but split the first two games? Who do you go with Sunday? You could always have C.C. and Lee ready to go in the bullpen if needed, but will that be enough? Would they even be effective in relief? These are all questions Wedge needs to consider now because, if he is going to make some changes, now’s the time to do it in preparation for next weekend. Most people would probably elect to stand pat and go with what got you here, and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Wedge did just that, running Millwood, Westbrook and Elarton out there next weekend. But it would be such a shame to see this team miss out on the playoffs by a game or two while their two best pitchers are riding the pine.

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