Friday, December 21, 2007

Joba to stay in the bullpen in '08?

Buster Olney reports

If all goes well in spring training for the Yankees, Joba Chamberlain is likely to start next season in the Yankees' bullpen, as part of the team's effort to limit his innings. Chamberlain will go to spring training and, at the outset, prepare to pitch out of the rotation, along with five other rotation candidates: Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, Mike Mussina and Ian Kennedy. Assuming that none of the other five has a physical or performance breakdown, Chamberlain would then open 2008 in the bullpen, as a set-up man, for at least the start of the season -- under the Joba Rules.

The Yankees want to restrict the number of innings Chamberlain throws, and working him out of the bullpen for at least a couple of months will allow them to do that. Chamberlain may return to the rotation sometime in the middle of the season, depending on the Yankees' needs.

I like this as long as they stick to the plan and eventually get Joba into the starting rotation. For 2008 it may be best for Joba, and the Yankees, if he's the setup man, but in the future the Yankees can not waste an arm like Joba's in the bullpen. All I've been hearing about all off season is that this team needs an ace, Chamberlain has the potential to become that ace.

UPDATE:
Newsdays' Kat O'Brien posted this on her blog today -

"One thing -- I've talked to several people in the Yankees organization today, and everyone expects Joba Chamberlain to be a starter. So don't worry about a change in plans. He should be in the rotation."
So does this mean he's going to start? Maybe, but you never know. The only thing I do know is that anything can change at any moment with this team.

3 Comments:

Greg M said...

Obviously the organization is making the right move limiting Joba's innings next year. Keeping him in the Pen is an efficient way to do that. The track record of protecting young pitchers is proven at this point, and we do not want to see another repeat of Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

That said, I question whether we will actually see Joba slide into the starting rotation because we all know how dominant he will be pitching the 8th.

Personally, I want to see what he is made of taking the hill every fifth day, but we will have to see if Olney's implications are true. Remember we kept hearing Papelbon was going to relinquish his closer role to be a starter too.

Nice work on the blog.

BigGuy said...

Must be a slow news day. Buster's got at least a 50% chance of being right.

Good luck with the blog.

Paddy said...

Hey Smoke
Its Paddy. Great sight. The olney report was only on his blog. Not much to it...I hope. End of last year, Joba and Cash said he was to be a starter...not a reliever. Till they say something diff. I assume that he is still starting. BTW google Joe D...check out some of the pics of his slides. You would love them for the site...guarantee. I'll post one on your thread back at the yes site.