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Prominent on Phillies general manager Sam Fuld’s calendar this week is an interdepartmental meeting involving, among others, manager Joe Girardi to essentially discuss whether the team has enough pitching to get through a 162-game season.

It’s a topic that comes up every year in all 30 major-league front offices. But it’s particularly consequential and increasingly complex this year, less than a month before spring training is scheduled to begin, as teams grapple with how to retrain pitchers for the rigors of a six-month season after a 60-game schedule in 2020 that represented the shortest season in baseball history.

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The questions are manifold. If a pitcher threw 200 innings in 2019 and only 70 in game conditions in 2020, is it too much to expect 200 again in 2021? How far can a team reasonably stretch a young pitcher who has not yet handled a heavy workload in the majors and didn’t get the chance last year? And what about the minor leaguers who missed out entirely on a season and haven’t felt the intensity of a real game since 2019?

“It’s a really important topic, obviously,” Fuld said by phone. “I don’t think there’s enough science or evidence behind hard and fast rules. But I think you can’t spend enough time talking about it and planning for it.”

That’s why Fuld is gathering Girardi, rookie pitching coach Caleb Cotham, bullpen coach Dave Lundquist, athletic trainer Paul Buchheit, and other members of the Phillies’ medical staff for a virtual summit to share ideas and begin outlining an organizational strategy.

Everything is on the table, according to Fuld and Cotham, including the possibility of going to a six-man starting rotation for part of the season and having one starter follow another into games in a “piggyback” scenario. The Phillies also will keep lefties Ranger Suarez and Damon Jones, right-hander Ramon Rosso, and others stretched out as starters rather than looking at them for relief roles.

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