By Jon Lane
Interesting blog entry from Tyler Kepner of The New York Times:
Should Joe Girardi choose to not skip his fifth starter – the Yankees have an off day after opening the season in Baltimore on April 6 – Joba Chamberlain would line up to start the home opener April 16. The way I projected the lineup last week, I had Chamberlain being skipped and making his 2009 debut April 15 at St. Petersburg with CC Sabathia to follow. Time will tell how this shakes out.
Meanwhile, there will apparently be no serious flexing of any Joba rules with this talk about Chamberlain making roughly 30 starts. As Kepner points out, should Chamberlain average six innings per start, that would equal 180 innings – 80 more than he threw last season and well more than the Yankees want. That had Girardi admitting to times when he’d have to pull Chamberlain after five to keep down his innings.
“It’s tempting to want to leave him in, because he has the ability to shut people down,” Girardi said. “But you understand it’s a long-term project.”