Monday, March 29, 2010

You know the baseball season is among us when the Joba Chamberlain starter or reliever question is the hot topic of the past couple of days. As you all know, Phil Hughes was named the fifth starter last week, and questions arose about the status of Joba Chamberlain. Should they put him in the bullpen as a setup man? Or do they send him down to AAA to log in innings and work on becoming a starter for next year?

Joe Girardi said Thursday that Joba was going to pitch out of the bullpen. Debate over, right? Well, not quite. Brian Cashman has publicly said that his long-term role is undetermined. In the article Cashman said, "He's going to be a starter pitching out of the pen." Ok, that doesn't make much sense. Girardi has already said if a starter is injured Sergio Mitre or Alfredo Aceves would be the backups. So are the Yankees really developing a starter by putting him in the bullpen to pitch 80 innings this year, and 180 the next?

Honestly, I feel bad for Joba. He's got a lot of talent and a lot of potential, but it seems to me the Yankees don't know what to do with him. If they keep moving him back and forth from starter to reliever he's never going to fully develop into the pitcher he can be. The Yankees need to sit down and determine what their future plans are for Joba, because if they don't know, they might as well trade to a team that's going to have a plan for him.


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