=== Strategy and Tactics, Dept. ===
In chess, "strategy" refers to general, overarc'ing plans. I am a pawn ahead, so I should trade pieces, get my rook behind my passed pawn, stop invasions, and get the pawn moving.
"Tactics" refer to specific, moment-to-moment, smaller-scale activites. He goes there, I go there, then he goes there, then I go there. If I play PxP, he plays NxP, then I play B-B4, then he goes B-K3. That's tactics.
In Fortune 500, upper management deals in strategy -- should we keep selling camera film, or should we start making printers? First-level supervisors deal in tactics. Does our store need three employees on for Saturday or does it need four?
Strategically, Jack Zduriencik needs to be asking what he WANTS out of his rotation. Does he want to place pressure on the rotation to win a playoff spot for him? Then he better gamble on Taijuan Walker. Does he simply need competent pitching, to support the new #3-4 hitters and the breakthroughs he expects from Montero, Ackley and Smoak? Then maybe he can afford a 95 ERA out of Jon Garland or Jeremy Bonderman.
Maybe Zduriencik doesn't think 2013 is the year? Fine. Then somebody explain the presence of Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse, please, in one-syllable words, so even I can understand them.
To Dr. D it looks quite obvious that this Strategic Plan requires for a couple of blue-chippers to pull off a couple of Michael Pinedas. He has no idea where a safe, comfortable MLB(TM) Jeremy "Mound Presence" Bonderman fits in from the 30,000-foot view.
He brought in the #3 and #4 hitters, and even the #3 starter -- all on one-year contracts. He's got to select the rotation with this year in mind.
In chess they refer to this as "consistency." If one move brings force to bear on the queenside, and the next move brings force to bear on the kingside, and the move after that does neither ... well, your opponent spent all three moves bringing force to bear on the queenside. Guess where there will be a breach first?
You pick an objective, and you hit it with all you've got.
Jay-Z has to select his rotation with a view to 2013. This does NOT (necessarily) mean selecting the rotation with the most experienced pitchers in mind. Maybe it does, or doesn't. It means selecting those pitchers which give him the best CHANCE to justify his one-year imports.
=== Tactically ===
Sgt. Wedge isn't likely to be thinking strategically; I'm not even sure it's his job to do so. He's going to be wondering about who can give him the best start on Tuesday afternoon. You understand why he cannot be faulted for this, do you not? An organization NEEDS somebody to worry about this facet of the problem.
We have given full disclosure as to SSI's strategic imperative. But let's put that aside for a second, and talk about what we fans are watching for this March -- tactically.