Blog Entry

Joba is finally back where he belongs

Posted on: March 25, 2010 12:00 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2010 2:10 pm

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Some people who know the Yankees well believe that Joe Girardi really preferred neither Phil Hughes nor Joba Chamberlain as his fifth starter, and that his perfect scenario had Sergio Mitre in the rotation and Hughes and Chamberlain teaming to set up Mariano Rivera.

Whether or not that's true, Girardi sounded fully content this morning as he announced that Hughes will be the fifth starter and Chamberlain will head back to the bullpen.

And with good reason.

While Hughes was outstanding as a reliever last year, he looks like a starter. Chamberlain doesn't.

"Late-inning reliever," one American League scout responded quickly, when I asked what Joba looks like.

No matter what he said, no matter his arsenal of pitches, the fact is that when Chamberlain started, he rarely had the same dominating look that he has pitching one inning out of the bullpen. He didn't throw as hard, he didn't look as aggressive and his emotions often seemed out of place.

Sometimes we make this game too complicated. Sometimes you just need to step back and watch, and let your eyes tell you what should happen. With Joba, your eyes say bullpen.

Even this morning, Girardi wouldn't commit when asked about Chamberlain's long-term future. But even that is something of a change, because forever the Yankees have been insisting that whether he's a starter or reliever now, Chamberlain is a starter eventually.

"I think Joba could do either one," Girardi said. "Right now, we think Phil's ahead of him as a starter."

The Yankees liked the maturity Hughes showed this spring, and they also liked the changeup he used more often than he has in the past. Then again, as one scout said after the Yankees announced their decision and rationale, do you really think Hughes is going to rely on the changeup if he gets in trouble?

Yankee executives wanted either Hughes or Chamberlain in the rotation, because they wanted to develop at least one of the two young pitchers as a starter. While the Yankees have a deep starting staff this year, they know that one of these years Andy Pettitte is going to retire, and they know Javier Vazquez is only signed through this year.

Girardi said the future played into the decision, but he also said that the Yankees are a now team that feels the pressure to win every year.

"You talk about every scenario," he said. "When we walked out of the room, Phil was our guy."

And Joba was back in the bullpen, back where he belongs.

Does this mean the Yankees messed up the last two seasons, when they pushed Chamberlain into the rotation? Girardi argues that they didn't.

"I don't think it's wasted," he said. "We won a World Series."

True, even if they won it with Joba spending the postseason in the bullpen.

Where he belongs.


Category: MLB

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: February 20, 2012 3:00 pm

Joba is finally back where he belongs

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 2:40 am

Joba is finally back where he belongs

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 9:48 pm

Joba is finally back where he belongs

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 9:19 pm

Joba is finally back where he belongs

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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 22, 2011 1:33 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:50 am

Joba is finally back where he belongs

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Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2010 1:31 pm

Joba is finally back where he belongs

And now I realize why I don't bother reading CBS writers.  Great analysis.  I know every 24 year old starter in the AL east flourishes.  I guess David Price has one more year and then off to the bullpen.  

Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: March 26, 2010 1:46 am

Hughes Never looks Back (or Joba)

Hughes will take this opportunity and never look back . . . If the fans can take a year with a hiccup or two Hughes is a Future Star . . .

Same goes for Joba in Relief. This gives him a focus and a mentor to get him there. He's more comfortable there and Mariano (the Machine) should retire just about the time he's eligible for Social Security . . .

Respectfully, The Twins Fan (sorry about Mauer)  :)

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: March 26, 2010 12:26 am

Joba is finally back where he belongs

I don't think anything negative about the guy on a personal or really professional level. I'm just tired of hearing about a guy who apparently isn't good enough to be the 5th starter. A casual baseball fan has never heard of 95% of the setup men in baseball, but they have heard of Joba because the media has shoved him down our throats. 

Since: Dec 26, 2008
Posted on: March 25, 2010 9:28 pm

Joba is finally back where he belongs

I almost forgot... I'm looking forward to seeing that fastball and slider return to the 8th inning role.  Here's hoping the kid can get his confidence back and keep his electric stuff.

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