Leyland: We can’t have innings for everybody (updated)
Update: Jim Leyland said after Saturday’s game that he is not close to deciding anything on the fifth starter spot, not even whittling down the candidates.
“I think at some point, you’ll probably eliminate two [candidates], and then go from there,” Leyland said. “But we’re not even close to that yet. I’m not any closer than I was at the start of camp. And that goes for starter and bullpen.”
The topic of getting pitchers enough innings came up before the game. Leyland confirmed that Matt Hoffman was good to get back into action after taking a comebacker off his knee last Sunday, and he branched into the topic of finding time for his pitchers.
“The problem we’re running into now: As the starting pitchers start to extend out a little bit, that means less innings available,” Leyland said. “So we’re trying to be real careful. Oliver’s going to pitch Monday. Smyly’s pitching tomorrow. We’re working through things, but we’re getting to the point … even from the get-go, you can’t get nine, 10 guys ready to start. It’s pretty impossible, but you try to do the best you can to get them out there.”
When asked if there comes a point where they just can’t have five guys battling for one open starting spot, Leyland answered, “That’s a good point. I would say that’s accurate.”
After Leyland’s later remarks, that point doesn’t seem to be close just yet.
“I don’t have a clue,” Leyland said. “I don’t think anybody does. In fact, we haven’t talked seriously about that yet.”