From Peter Abraham:
Joba Chamberlain finished the season having thrown only 100 1/3 innings because of a shoulder injury that caused him to miss a month. If the Yankees stick to their organizational beliefs, the 23-year-old right-hander will be limited to 140 innings next season.
Like many teams, the Yankees believe the research that shows young pitchers should have their workload increased gradually.
But after two seasons of treating the 235-pound Chamberlain with great care, the Yankees might be ready to just let him pitch in 2009.
Chamberlain wants to start next season in the rotation, and Yankees manager Joe Girardi sounded inclined to grant that wish yesterday.
"Will the inning restrictions be there next year? Possibly," Girardi said. "But he's going to be a year stronger. He's got 100 innings, and part of that was rehabbing a little bit. It's something we'll discuss."
"There are a lot of different things where you can be creative," Girardi said. "If you have depth in your rotation, (Chamberlain doesn't) have to make 32 starts like everybody else. ... You skip a start here, those type of things."After seeing what he could do as a starter this season, I'm convinced that's where he needs to be. Next year the bullpen should be fine, it's the starting rotation that has me worried.
Chamberlain was glad to hear that the team's thinking might be changing.
"I've told them what I want to do. I've talked to Joe about it," he said. "Obviously we want to do what's best for the team. I'm sure we will."