When a starting pitcher is suspended for five games, in many instances it really isn't that big of a deal from a scheduling point of view because the suspended pitcher only starts once every five games anyways. Many times the starting pitcher will appeal the suspension until they pitch again, then accept the suspension right after their start so they barely miss a start.
AlexLOGIC suggests that instead of suspending a pitcher for a certain number of games, the pitcher should be suspended after a certain number of pitches into their next start.
The number of pitches should not be known to the pitcher, just that it will be within a certain range. So depending on the severity of the suspension, the pitcher could be told their suspension will occur somewhere between pitch 50 to pitch 75, or pitches 25 to 50, or 10 to 25 for really serious suspensions .
And, the starting pitcher has to start the game, they can't be brought in as a reliever to try and get around the pitch count suspension. While this idea would probably never be approved of by the players union, it would make the suspension be more of a public issue and could lead to less suspensionable offenses in the future.
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