Your starting rotation (yes it includes Joba Chamberlain)

wang_250_022009.JPGBy Jon Lane
One story that received attention in the middle of the A-Rod melodrama was Chien-Ming Wang, a two-time 19-game winner recovering from a torn Lisfranc ligament now flying under the radar. Wang broke into the Majors at age 25 and made such an impact, erstwhile manager Joe Torre had to remind us – and himself – that he was still a youngster and a rookie not expected to carry a rotation. Yet he was the horse of the staff whose lone weakness remains his 1-3, 7.58 ERA record in four postseason starts.  With CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett here, Wang is a No. 2 or 3 starter teams would kill for to be their ace.

Barring an injury or a near-perfect Grapefruit season, Phil Hughes and
Ian Kennedy will begin the season in Triple-A. The worst-case scenario
is the duo pitches full and healthy seasons for Scranton and move into
the Major League rotation in 2010 a year older and wiser. Not too

The Yankees’ projected starting rotation:
CC Sabathia
A.J. Burnett
Chien-Ming Wang
Andy Pettitte
Joba Chamberlain

If this holds form, Sabathia would start the Yankees’ home opener on April 16 and the rotation for the first series April 24-26 at Fenway Park would be Wang, Pettitte and Sabathia. Remember that the Yankees want to retain an innings limit on Chamberlain, whose health will be guarded more closely than Fort Knox. As the projected fifth starter, Chamberlain will be skipped whenever the Yankees encounter an off day.

New York Daily News columnist John Harper is cautiously optimistic, but provides plenty of reasons to get excited about A.J. Burnett.

Tyler Kepner of the New York Times wrote this in January and I agree wholeheartedly:

To me — and to the Yankees, from what I can tell — there’s really no debate anymore about Joba Chamberlain’s role. Look, the Yankees already have a lights-out setup man: Brian Bruney. In 31 games from the bullpen last season, Bruney’s earned run average was 1.95, and opponents hit .153. In 30 games from the bullpen last season, Chamberlain’s E.R.A. was 2.31, and opponents hit .211. So, Bruney was actually better. Besides, if the Yankees make the playoffs, Chamberlain will probably have thrown so many innings as a starter that he’ll have to be a reliever in October, anyway. Chamberlain has the stuff to be an elite starter, and Bruney has the stuff to be an elite setup man — with the top prospect Mark Melancon poised to contribute as well. To me, it’s really pretty simple.

Joba is a future ace and you don’t put that big of a talent in an eighth-inning role. Many people don’t want to accept it, but Chamberlain is a starter today and tomorrow. Case closed. 


  1. flairforthedramatic

    Though it felt pretty good having Joba in the pen and being able to go to him without a doubt that he’d be lights out, I knew that he wanted to be a starter and is definitely much more valuable to the team as a starter. I gotta say I’m going to miss his entrance though.. not as cool as Mo’s but it had potential, lol.
    p.s. I agree with the Max. I don’t think A.J. should be #2.
    – V [ ]

  2. ewing33

    Wang won his only postseason start of the 2006 playoffs against detroit going into the seventh and giving up three runs. That game one of the series where Jeter went 5-5.

  3. ewing33

    So he is 1-3 as opposed to 0-3 not that it makes any difference given what happened against Cleveland in 2007. To the Indians credit that scouted the Yankees very well in that series and when behind in the count their batters didn’t even flinch at Wang’s sinker out of the strikezone. They also knew the Yankee batters seldom swung at the first pitch, so they simply threw strikes putting them in a good scenario to get them out. Anyway I am excited to watch quality pitching all around this year and go back to the key element that all great Yankee teams were built around.


    I love how everyone talks about where guys are lined up in the rotation. That only holds true for two times in the season. Once when they start the season and then in the postseason. The rotation is going to be completely out of order within the first month.

    Yes, CC is absolutely the Ace of the staff and the clear cut number one, but after that by midseason with injury and skipped starts the order changes.

    BTW Joba is still on an innings count, so he is going to be skipped sometimes…hence the fifth starter.

  5. dachshund4

    As long as they all remain healthy it won’t make any difference what order they are in. I would put up that 5 against any other in the game. Joba is not needed as the setup man. Brian Bruney is that man. He has nasty, nasty stuff. #27 on the way.

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