By Jon Lane
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this re-ignited Joba the starter vs. Joba the reliever debate, one that truly never went away. As of 1:45 p.m. Chamberlain earned 346 (53 percent) of your votes compared to Phil Hughes’ 312 (47 percent). We’ll have this on the homepage a bit longer, and you can also vote to your right.
Peter Abraham, a staunch Joba the Starter supporter, has this:
The “Joba to the pen” crew is at it again. Here is all I ask of them: Prove to me that 200 innings is less than 70 and we can talk. I want my best pitchers trying to get 600 outs, not 210. It is not really complicated. You know who would make a good pinch hitter? Albert Pujols, he’s a really good hitter. But you want him up four times, not once.
Bob Klapish, however, presented the most compelling case for Joba the Reliever to date. Among the highlights:
He’s not the pitcher he was in 2008; even while blanking the Reds, something seemed amiss.
Clearly, Chamberlain isn’t the horse the Yankees projected while he was crushing the competition in the Minor Leagues. Joba might have the unbreakable mentality of a latter-day Goose Gossage, but he’s fragile.
GM Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi should consider the possibility that Chamberlain’s 80 innings in the pen might be more valuable than 150 innings in the rotation. His outings will be shorter, more explosive, and he’ll only pitch when it’s critical.
With CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Chien-Ming Wang anchoring the pitching staff, how much would it really hurt the Yankees to use the reconstructed [Phil] Hughes in the No. 5 spot?
Will anything happen between now and April 6 for the Yankees to change their mind? Only a Joba breakdown that’s catastrophic. Another strong effort or two and this debate will [momentarily] be put to rest, but one reader had a radical suggestion: Pedro Martinez.
That will never – repeat – never happen.
Is a 2010 rotation featuring Chamberlain AND Hughes a bad thing? I think not. Even in the face of such a pressurized win-now mentality, Cashman is committed to building not just a winner, but a winning program like Gene Michael did in 1995.
CC Sabathia was pounded for five runs and a walk in 12/3 innings by the Tigers on Wednesday.
Some comments in this thread reek of sarcasm. Others are downright ridiculous.
History lessons: Last year, Sabathia’s spring ERA was 4.50. Last April with the Indians, he was 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in his first three starts and 1-4, 7.76 in five. His overall April numbers are 11-10, 4.47. Of course, some people will already label him a bust if he again starts slow because of his large contract.
Some free advice: Chill.
The Yankees are off today – completely. That means no bullpens, no BP in the indoor cages, no Minor League tune-ups and no meetings. There’s nothing like a free day in the Florida sun. In case you care, New York City will see a high of 40 degrees.
Some relevant stats through 12 Spring Training games (excluding the exhibitions against Team USA and Canada). Take them for what they’re worth.
Mark Teixeira – batting .529
Brett Gardner — .417 with three homers, five RBIs and six runs scored.
Melky Cabrera – .238-0-2
Cody Ransom –.346 with two RBIs and five runs scored
Jorge Posada –.353 with four RBIs
Mark Melancon — five innings pitched, allowing just one unearned run on three hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
Kei Igawa — five scoreless innings, two hits, no walks, four Ks. (Here’s your fifth starter.)
Phil Hughes — five scoreless hitless innings, six Ks
Joba Chamberlain – 1-0, 6.75 ERA, six hits and three Ks in four innings,