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Starting to Start
Jonah Hecht
| May 22, 2008
Students across the country right now are graduating and moving on to bigger and better things. Likewise, young Joba Chamberlain, the Yankees set-up sensation, is graduating to the starting rotation. The Yankees announced after their game last night that they this was the first step in the process of stretching Chamberlain out in order to make him a starter. The Yankees almost made Joba a starter beginning in spring training, but decided they needed him in the bullpen. After all, the bullpen is by far the most underrated aspect of the game. Just ask the '07 Red Sox, '05 White Sox, '04 Red Sox, '02 Angels, and the Yankees of the late nineties, All of whom not only had good closers, but deep bullpens and won the World Series. Without Chamberlain, this year's Yankees pen, beyond closer Mariano Rivera, is full of question marks. Chamberlain made games into seven inning affairs, but if he is a starter, opponents can breathe easier knowing that they will have to come back against the likes of Kyle Farnsworth, rather than the boy wonder. Which makes you wonder, why make Chamberlain a starter? Well, for one thing, the Yankee rotation this year has had as many question marks as the bullpen. If the starter can't give you the lead going into the eighth, it makes no difference who's pitching that inning, and because of the starters' struggles, before last night Chamberlain had not entered a game in the eighth with the lead in a week. Joba could give the rotation the dominant pitcher it's been missing. Besides, the Yankees have a policy that a young pitcher cannot pitch more than 40 innings more than the previous season. If Joba were the eighth inning guy all year, he would throw only eighty innings at most this year, meaning he could only throw 120 next year. Thus, if they don't make him a starter now, he won't be able to start for at least two more seasons, a waste of this incredible talent. The Yankees have said all year that as much as they want to win this year, they are thinking about the future more than they used to. Making Chamberlain a starter may mean blowing a few more leads and losing a few more games than they would have this year. But it also means potentially having an ace down the line that will mean many more wins in many more years. These new Yanks are more willing to wait a few years for the pomp and circumstance of another ticker tape parade
Share Your Thoughts
Adam Agata from WVBR | May 22, 2008, 8:46pm
Too be honest, I do not know what direction the Yankees want to go in. Starting Chamberlain the way they plan on is just plan stupid. He has 8 career starts above A ball, and making him pitch 2-innings instead of one is no way to condition for the 6 or 7 that is expected. I donÝt know why the Yankees will not send him down to AA or AAA to get a monthÝs worth of starts under his belt. Chamberlain has had injury worries in the past, and he is not exactly a skinny guy, which will not help his conditioning. Basically, what I donÝt get is if the Yankees are so desperate for starting pitching, why didnÝt they try harder for Santana?
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