By Nick Patterson Herald Writer
EVERETT — In recent days, it’s seemed the Everett AquaSox pitching staff had not so much a starting rotation as it had a starting pool, considering the vast number of different hurlers who were starting games for the Sox. But now things are settling back into normalcy.
“It’s been complicated,” Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera said. “It got a little messed up, but now it’s good. Now we can go forward with all our pitchers.”
The past two weeks have seen chaos among Everett’s rotation. When Lukas Schiraldi took the mound to start Friday night’s game, he was the seventh different starter in the Sox’s past seven games.
The primary culprit in the irregularity was Everett’s road trip to Vancouver last weekend, when nine members of the team were unable to cross the border into Canada because of passport or visa issues. Among those who couldn’t travel with the team were rotation members Ryan Yarbrough, Luiz Gohara and Jeffeson Medina, as well as piggyback relievers Ramire Cleto and Noel De La Cruz, who would have been the natural replacements. Therefore, the starters in Vancouver were those who were available, as opposed to those on rotation. That included Jake Zokan, who was flown in from High Desert of the California league just to start one game.
Then another wrench was thrown into the works Thursday when the Sox had to make room for James Paxton, the Seattle Mariners pitcher who made a rehabilitation start with Everett.
Even those who remained in the rotation throughout were affected by the chaos, as no starter in the past 10 days has thrown on regular rest. The number of days between starts has ranged anywhere from three days (Dan Altavilla) to nine days (Ryan Yarbrough). The irregularity of the schedule has wreaked havoc with routines.
“When you have a routine, you want to keep that routine,” Cabrera said. “They haven’t been able to have that same routine because at times we had a six-man rotation and at times we had a five-man rotation. From now on we’re going to have a five-man rotation.”
Schiraldi, Altavilla, Gohara, Yarbrough and Medina will serve as the starters going forward. Yarbrough, who’s been limited to three innings in his starts because of a busy spring pitching for Old Dominion University, will continue to be kept to three frames. Cleto will continue to piggyback on Yarbrough’s starts, making long relief appearances. De La Cruz had been piggybacking on Schiraldi’s starts, but Cabrera said that may not continue as Schiraldi is gradually allowed to go longer in his starts.