Despite Hank Steinbrenner’s demand that Joba be inserted into the rotation, that move will not happen any time soon. Not that we didn’t know that. His innings cap will keep him in a limited role until at least mid-June, and at latest until the All-Star break. From the GM himself:
“Joba’s staying in the bullpen right now,” The Yankee GM told Newsday in a telephone conversation this morning. “That’s where we’re at. [Putting him in the rotation is] not something that’s going to happen here early on, and [Hank] knows that. We’ve talked about it. I don’t know what set him off.”
I’m fairly certain that the recent performances from Hughes and IPK are what set him off. I can’t blame him one bit. During each of their last outings, I found myself tossing things across the room (pillows, thankfully), and screaming “throw strikes!!!!,” much to the chagrin of my neighbors. It’s frustrating. But it can certainly turn around.
I have faith that the kids will grow into their roles and perform well this season. It’s not like Hughes and IPK are guys with suspect control, and who are now being exploited in the majors. They’re two guys with good control (superb in Kennedy’s case) who just aren’t getting it done. They’re going to have to get back to the basics for a bit. And unfortunately, that could mean a few games where they get bombed. But I’d far rather see that than to see them racking up enormous pitch counts early in games.
Joba to the rotation is going to happen. All signs point to it. We just have to be patient. I know that’s a tall order on the Bronx, but it’s what’s required at this point. I’m very surprised more people didn’t learn that after last season.