Missing Joba

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Fat lot of good Joba would have done in the eighth inning tonight. No, elite setup men tend not to enter the eighth inning when their team is down 7-3. The only thing that could have helped us at that point was an offensive surge. No pitcher — not Koufax, nor Gibson, nor Maddux, nor Mo — can take runs off the board. But they can prevent them from getting there in the first place.

You can see where I’m going with this. Joba the starter would have been nice tonight (in theory, of course). As is often the case, the innings before the eighth were more important than that one singular inning. This is why good starters are so valuable — and so overpaid on the free agent market. If you can find a guy who keeps runs off the board early in the game, the need for an elite setup corps is diminished.

This is why you have to give Joba every shot to succeed as a starter. Yes, I understand the idea of deploying him in the 7th and 8th innings, thereby making it a “six-inning game.” But to illustrate the benefits of having Joba in the rotation, you need to look no further than our opponent last night.

Joba has the potential to be every bit as good, if not better than Josh Beckett. There’s no guarantee that he reaches that level, but why not give him every chance to do so? Imagine if that was Joba instead of Moose tonight. Wouldn’t you rather have a guy like that going every five days, rather than every couple of days for an inning or two from the bullpen?

You can’t take runs off the board. That’s why every inning matters. When you have a guy with the potential to be a frontline starter, you want him out there preventing runs for as many innings as possible. And if he reaches his potential, I’m sure there will be plenty of times where he does pitch in the eighth inning…of his own start.

(I apologize to anyone who is sick of hearing this debate. This is what I was thinking about during the game, and I doubt anyone wants to read a recap. Hence, it is the game story.)

Struggles continue for Marquez
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  • YankeeGirl

    Joseph, you’re preaching to the choir. I really doubt people like Mike and the Maddog read RAB. I actually doubt if they can read at all.

  • Lanny

    There is no discussion here.

    Starters are more valued than set up men.

    Its not even a consideration. How many set up men are in the Hall of Fame?

    Beckett is more valued than Okajima.
    Carmona is more valued than Jensen Lewis.
    Halladay is more valued than Accardo.

    Chamberlain is an ace and you dont waste aces in relief. You move him into the rotation in late June/July and you get him his 140-150 innings this yr.

  • CB

    Let’s say hypothetically Joba had been available to pitch for the team the past two games.

    Over the 5 games that the yanks have played the sox Joba would have likely only pitched 1 total inning over those 5 games. He would have thrown the seventh inning of the 15-9 game. And as it was, Bruney got through that inning.

    It’s very easy to see when and how Joba helps in the pen. People who want him in the pen aren’t seeing the very large opportunity cost the team is paying by keeping him in the pen.

    1 inning over 5 games against the sox.

    Not much of a weapon if you don’t get into the games.

  • Youk’s Pointy Chin Music

    Imagine our postseason rotation (yeah, yeah, “assuming”)

    1. Wang
    2. Pettitte
    3. Hughes
    4. Joba
    5. IPK (if nec., long relief, etc.)

    I’d take that mix of veteran presence and stuff any day.

    • RollignWave

      actually, in the post season, it might actually make more sense to use Joba as the reliever. because leverage is so much higher. espically true if you could field 3 solid to good SPs.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Chris Russo can barely speak English, so I doubt the man can read.

    I don’t get tired of this debate for one reason only, the casual fan has been utterly brainwashed by the voiced in the media who advocate that the 8th inning is more valuable than 1-7. Therefore the more posts there are about this out there on the net, hopefully he more people it will reach and people can begin to understand that a starter is more valuable than a god damn set-up man.

    You know what’s really said is that other than Peter Abraham and Tyler Kepner, there is no major NY sports writer that advocates the move for Joba to the rotation. So all you ever hear is the plain wrong decision to keep him in the bullpen. I’m especially disappointed in Joel Sherman, the man does have a brain but he unfortunately is a Joba-to-the-pen guy.

  • Chris

    One of the key questions is whether he’ll truly reach his potential as a starter. In his brief time facing major league hitters he’s shown a different mindset as a reliever than as a starter. Is it worth sacrificing an elite reliever for the possibility that he may some day develop into an elite starter (or he may be a complete bust as a starter – like Edwin Jackson or Daniel Cabrera).

    Besides, no one has shown that he’d actually prevent more runs as a starter than as a reliever. If you project him as having an ERA of 1.5 as a reliever and 3.5 as a starter, then it’s basically equal.

    Finally, you can’t argue that just because no one else does it is a reason that the Yankees shouldn’t. Maybe the conventional wisdom is wrong – just like with batting average and pitcher win-loss records.

    • Mike P

      That’s just plain wrong. A starter with 3.50 ERA is a lot harder to replace and pitches 3 times more innings. That means that over the season, the difference between a 3.50 ERA and a 4.50 ERA in the rotation equates to the difference between a 1.50 ERA and a 4.50 ERA in the bullpen. I’m talking in terms of runs conceded per year.

      There are far more sub 4.50 ERA relievers then starters. The fact is every earned run per 9 innings from a starter is worth about 3 earned runs per 9 from a reliever. It’s just maths.

      • Chris

        70 IP x 4.5 ERA = 35 runs
        70 IP x 1.5 ERA = 12 runs

        210 IP x 4.5 ERA = 105 runs
        210 IP x 3.5 ERA = 82 runs

        In both cases, the lower ERA saves 23 runs. If anything, the runs saved by the reliever are more valuable, because there will always be games that you win 10-2, where the starter pitches great, but even a crappy outing would have given you a win. A top reliever would never have pitched in that game (that’s what you have Farnsworth for).

        • Mike P

          That is exactly my point man. If you replace joba with a reliever with twice the ERA you save 12 more runs per season. If you replace Joba with Farnsworth (!), you still end up more or less equal: maybe some bullpen innings are more valuable, but then again a bad starter knocks you out of games early.

          The fact is a starter with a sub 4.00 ERA is a lot rarer than sub 4 in the pen. There’s just no disputing that. Look at Hawkins’ ERA last year! Also, look no further than Ohlendorf to see how many young pitchers (a Yankee strength) can be above average in the pen when they could only be average in the rotation.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmjHrtzPuEM Youk’s Pointy Chin Music

    LINK:Haha doesnt this vid (i remixed the Joba commercial) remind you of Dustin Pedroia getting owned…?)

    8th inning is for guys that come out of nowhere (Raffy Betancourt) and guys who are good relievers but cant close for one reason or another (Kyle Far…. nevermind).

    Hey I wont knock Kyle, though, he ALWAYS pitches well against the BoSox, including today, when he made Manny pee his baggy pants.

  • Ivan

    Joba should be a starter and shouldn’t even be an arguement.

    Guys in the Media more times than not look at the short term and don’t look at the big picture. What have killed the yankees for the last couple years have been the starting rotation.

    Mike Francesa said something pretty dumb. He said that Joba can never be as good as a starter than he is in the bullpen. Here’s the problem with that opinion. First, you haven’t seen his start before so how would you know that. Second, if that is the case, the Felix might as well be in the Bullpen, same with Beckett, because with his stuff he will have a 1.1 ERA. Hey I guess the Royals are dumb to take out Zack Greinke out of the bullpen and put him in the rotation because Greinke was so lights out in the pen. That is just dumb thinking.

    Third, after the 08 season is finish, Mussina is pretty much for the yanks, and there is a possibility that Pettite might be gone. You groom Joba now, take his lumps and what not and not help in the rotation this year but next year with IP to spare. Sure the yankees can sign another pitcher that is just watse of money really.

    This shouldn’t be issue, but the NY media just have to be a bunch of dim witted people.

    And of course my fav part, well with Joba and Mo, you have the new 96 Mo to Wettland. That is great, no question, but here’s the problem, Mo and wettland had starters go deep into games that help their performances. (plus, can yankee fans stop living in the past too)

    Joba for starter please. Sure Joba is probably only gives ya 5 or 6 IP but so does Moose. Regardless, you are in similar situation, but the difference is Joba has better stuff and while will take some lumps, will have electricfying games. Plus, you find your long reliever with Moose. See now things are like a dominoe affect. Moose is better than Karsten and Rasner, so use him as a LR where he can be useful and help the big three out with innings. It’s not like he’s gonna lack work especially with three young pitchers where the chances of them being knocked out a game is a little high.

    • kunaldo

      totally agree ivan….one more thing too though…i am SO glad that a smart guy like cashman is make this decision…this is his legacy, and he’s going to make sure joba gets the chance to become an ace

  • zack

    Amen brother, amen…

  • Ivan

    Plus, Joba Chamberlain was the best pitching prospect coming into the 08 season. He was the one that shielded from the Santana talks. Yet we wan’t to use him as a reliever for this year and for the rest of his career. Get the Fuck out of here.

    No Franchise takes the best pitching prospect and use him a reliever unless he just absolutely falters. Hey, Detroit is dumb they use Verlander as a starter instead of a reliever. If joba was gonna be a reliever for the rest of career, you might as well trade him for Santana if that was the case. Point is, he’s a starter who has the potential to be a ace and along with Hughes and Kennedy have to potential to be awesome pitchers.

    • Chris

      In 1995, no franchise looked past BA to more advanced stats like OPS. Should we go back to that way of life too?

      Just because no one else is doing it doesn’t means it’s wrong…

  • Bknocks

    maybe not this year but i think the yankees have a better chance at finding good starters on the free agent market than they do somebody to replace Mo..and Joba can be that guy. he can be the closer for this team for the next 15 years. they can find starters anywhere but this guy has that insane intensity to pitch in the 9th when the game is on the line. even though he has been a starter for his whole career i can’t imagine him bringing that same intensity to starting every 5 th day for that many innings..this guy was built to be a top closer..the next Mo.

    • Peequay

      Bknocks, have you read Joe’s post above? At all?


    • kunaldo

      you, my friend, need to stop listening to WFAN, and start reading the stuff they have here at RAB….in the words of a great man, ERRONEOUS!

    • kunaldo

      My reply was for bknocks by the way

    • Chip

      If Mo would have dominated the minors the way Joba did (yes he had good minor league numbers but not quite as good as Joba) and the Yankees had a huge hole in the rotation in 1996, there would have been no Mo in the bullpen. Mo also did start in the majors for the latter part of 1995 and didn’t do well, yes he was 5-3 but had an ERA of 5.5 with a WHIP of 1.5 and a small GB/FB ratio. They put him in the bullpen and he was dominant.

      The Yankees will put him in the rotation and he won’t see the bullpen again unless he gets hurt, is ineffective or possibly in the playoffs.

  • Rich

    It seems obvious to me.

  • Bknocks

    i read it..and i think that he would be a better closer..you have wang, kennedy and hughes who are only going to get better..once they clear the giambi and pavano money they are going to have loads of money to get 2 more starters not to mention whatever moose is getting paid this year which i believe is about 11 mil…that gives the yankees about 50 mil to sign 2 starters and a 1st baseman…they don’t NEED joba as a starter if they play it right….a closer with the potential of joba can be is once in a lifetime just like mo.

    • Peequay

      I give up. Are we allowed to call other commenters idiots? I’ve only briefly glanced through the commenter guidelines.

      Hey, pop quiz: What is the role of a closer in a game when the starting pitcher gives up 8 runs in 4 innings, and the offense can’t seem to get anything started?

    • Peequay

      Oh, by the way.. Someone should let Seattle and Detroit in on the secret. They are completely WASTING Verlander and King Felix in the starting rotation. They should be closers!

      One more thing. Let’s say all this baseball discussion isn’t getting through to you. Let’s talk about this in simple terms.

      How much is Mariano Rivera, possibly the greatest closer of all time, making per year?

      Now how much is Johan Santana making per year?

      Any guesses as to why the ace starting pitcher is making almost TWICE what the hall of fame closer is?

  • Brian

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if Harlan was fine and Joba was actually in Tampa preparing to be a starter? Harlan would be proud.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/11036-Ryan_Barry barry

    I’m with you. Joba has too many above-league-average pitches in his arsenal to be a set-up man. I’m not saying that Joba is a locked in guaranteed gas throwing ace but with skills like that you have to use him where he’s most valuable, and thats getting the game to the bullpen with the lead. In all honesty games where Moose pitches, and nothing against Moose personally he’s just no longer effective, are most likely not going enable Joba to be used. If the other 2/3 of the big 3 have growing pains in 1/3 of their starts a peice then it’s not going to happen either. The team stands a better shot with 3 kids who can be great in the rotation, not 2 in the rotation 1 out. I think a lot of people fail to realize, probably from not reading this site, that the organization has a few other great pitchers on their way up that can have a good chance of becoming the successful setup men and closers of the future.
    On the same note, wouldnt you want someone who isn’t worthless making millions of dollars on your roster? No, I’m not talking about Pavano (he was worth it when we paid it, but we see how that paid off), I’m talking about Wilson Betemit and Morgan Ensberg. Just checking out the payroll for some random reason and I get pissed at seeing what those two make when people actually contributing are making a lot less. Screw these retreads.

  • r.w.g.

    Well his bullpen status is sort of reflective of how the Yankees have rushed him through the system. He’s on a really measly innings limit for a starter, about 140

    I guess the plan is to move him into the rotation at the break, but maybe it would be a decent idea to spot start him a bit here and there, let him go 5 or 6 innings once in a while.

    I think he has too many plus pitches to be in the bullpen, but there’s no doubt that Joba definitely kinda likes coming out of the pen and putting a little fear into the other teams. You can see it on his face.

    I don’t think it would be a bad idea to let Joba have some longer outings out of the pen, either. Kind of like a real closer — pitching the last 2-4 innings of a ball game to really wrap it up and also get those innings in, stretch him out. I heard talk of them sending him to the minors to stretch out.. that’s a terrible idea. He needs to get outs for us.

  • Mike P

    Spot on r.w.g.- the reason Joba’s in the bullpen is because he was so damn good as a minor league starter he went all the way to the big leagues in one year so hadn’t built up his innings limit.

    That’s why he’s the no1 pitching prospect, not because he was a top closer in the minors. Also, all this crap about Joba/Mo making games 6 innings long is funny. Beckett made the game 1 inning long yesterday and Wang made it 0 innings long last week. Both in “High leverage” games. It’s just a pointless argument and unbelievable what people spew out of their mouths about Joba.

    • kanst

      I think part of it is comfort. Yankee fans have gone through a lot of really bad relievers and thus really stressful 7th and 8th innings. Those fans dont want to give up the comfort of having a lights out 8th inning guy.

      • Mike P

        I think you’re probably right. Fans also watch the later innings more than the early ones. Hence they will have seen a higher percentage of Joba’s innings than Wang’s. It’s the only explanation for not understanding the value of starting pitching!

    • Glen L

      “Beckett made the game 1 inning long yesterday and Wang made it 0 innings long last week”


  • http://yetanotheryankeeblogger.blogspot.com/ Wolf Williams

    Both sides have dug in so deep on this issue, it’s difficult to get anyone to subtract emotion from their posts. So I’ll give it a try.

    The ‘Joba must start’ crowd seem to believe this guy is can’t miss, that he will no doubt be good for 17.5 wins a season for the next 12-15 years…. and that would be great if they could guarantee that, because that would give him a better career than Andy Pettitte, and we’d all be thrilled with that. And since you guys are arguing that we should all take the long view, well, that’s the long view.

    The ‘keep him in the pen’ faction admittedly takes the short view, relying on verifiable data to make their claim that Joba is most valuable now where he offers himself as a known commodity: out of the bullpen, getting big league hitters out in clutch situations late in close games. And since the other candidates for that set-up role are inconsistent, at best, the bullpen backers have a point.

    We’ve all been around baseball long enough to know that there are no sure things — because if there were, there wouldn’t be GMs hoisted onto the scrap heap for the terrible decisions they made, and there wouldn’t be any David Clyde or Mark Fidrych stories out there. (Likewise, there wouldn’t be any Robbie Cano stories about guys who were never that valued, yet made believers out of people by just being good.)

    And since there are no sure things, and Joba has been BRILLIANT as a set-up reliever, who can blame the Yankees for refusing to go in the opposite direction from something that has worked out better than anyone could have imagined? I can’t blame them for that, even though I agree that aces at the front of the starting rotation are worth more than strictly-8th-inning set-up men. How often in baseball do you try something — such as bringing Joba up for relief work late last season — and have that effort rewarded by absolutely mind-boggling performance? It rarely happens, and when it does, teams should be reluctant to abandon the approach.

    But reluctance doesn’t equal refusal. If the Yankees want to make Joba a starter, it’s their decision to make. If it pans out, everyone goes home happy. The Chamberlain-Hughes-Kennedy trio will combine for more than 650 wins and the Yankees will win at least three more WS titles before they’re all done.

    But what if Mo retires after 2010 and we get no reliable reliever to replace him? Do we ask Joba, after two and a half seasons as a starter, to hold down that fort until we find someone, or do we become the Braves of the 1990s, win a ton of division titles only to watch our bullpen blow save after save in the postseason?

    I have no idea what the answers to those questions are. I’m just pointing out the what-ifs, because you know that’s what has to be going through the mind of Cashman every day. I can’t recall a team being faced with this kind of decision before (maybe the Sox and Papelbon, but that seemed like a done deal from the moment he took the closer role). With the state of the Yankee pen after Mo-Joba, (a better nickname combo than Joba/Mo, don’t you think? …. because I want mo’ Joba, don’t you?) you can’t blame the Yankees for sitting on a pat hand. But the prospect of Joba as an ace is motuh-watering to anyone who can imagine seeing him throw that wicked shit he has for seven innings twice a week.

    I know that I’m just glad I’m not Brian Cashman. And if I were, and I had my arm twisted, I’d probably make Joba a starter. After all… would I rather have had Tom Seaver for the life of his career, or Bruce Sutter? I can’t find a single reason to think Sutter would have been more valuable to my team. The same goes if the question considers Roger Clemens/Dennis Eckersley, Greg Maddux/Lee Smith, or Jim Palmer/Goose Gossage. I think I’d take the starter in any of those comparisons.

    Please be gentle in your (kind) rebuttals…..

    • Chris

      I basically agree with everything you’ve said. For everyone that says you never take an elite starter and make him a reliever, isn’t that what the braves did with Smoltz? That worked out pretty well…

      Also, if you have an elite closer with a large variety of pitches, you have to stretch him out to 2-3 innings an appearance, and give him >100 IP in a year.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

        To rebut:

        1) Smoltz was converted to a reliever out of necessity. He was coming off elbow surgery.

        2) Mo was an elite closer with a large variety of pieces (http://tinyurl.com/464w3f). But he eventually settled in as a one-inning guy with one pitch.

      • Mike P

        The thing that gets me though is that everyone’s so worried about replacing Joba in the pen. If Joba’s an above average starter, you only need an average reliever to make the move worth while. You do not need an elite reliever to replace Joba if he is replacing an average starter.

        The thing is, the differences between elite relievers and good relievers are actually not that huge. Most successful teams do it without hall of fame closers. GM’s are paid because they think ahead (at least should do). And if Chamberlain bombs as a starter- stick him back in the pen!

  • Rob_in_CT

    Joba should be a starter until such time as he proves he’s not a good one. If he busts as a starter, you stick him back in the bullpen, knowing you have an excellent reliever. You see, the *worst case scenario* (other than injury, of course) is that you have found Mo’s successor. The best case scenario is that you’ve found the next [insert your favorite ace starter’s name here]. And it’s not a matter of “making him a starter.” He is a starter who has been made a reliever for ~35 innings in the show. It’s not like the kid will be heading out into the great unknown!

    You don’t take a guy who has three pitches like he does and decide he’s a reliever without giving him a proper trial as a starter. Mariano is the closer b/c he put up an ERA over 5 as a starter, and unless I’m mistaken his secondary pitches were so-so. Joba might struggle a bit at first. Young pitchers often do. But I say you gotta give him at least 150 innings worth of ML starting (so that means some this year, some next) before you declare him a reliever.

    • http://yetanotheryankeeblogger.blogspot.com/ Wolf Williams

      Excellent points…. And after my angry blog rant this morning, I’m inclined to say get Moose out of the rotation now and let’s see what Joba has in him.

      But I’m still hot after last night, so maybe that’s a bad call.

      Anyway, you’re points are well-taken. The worst-case/best-case approach makes some sense.

  • Curramba

    Funny you have this last night before the game even started I told my friend that I don’t trust Moose.

  • Patch

    Who else can we call up to start in place of Moose?

    Joba will need to stretch his arm out, and will be on an innings limit, so I don’t see how we can put him in the rotation just yet.

    Who else do we have?

    Chase Wright?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Chase Wright is in AA. He’s behind most everyone in AAA for a rotation audition.

  • Bo

    Moose is the 5th starter.

    The 5th starter in April usually isnt the 5th starter in July. He belongs in the NL.

  • Curramba

    The Yankees have plenty of relievers in the minors who are up and coming who can replace Joba as the setup guy. Two in particular come to mind Melacon and Sanchez. For those of you who want Joba to stay as the setup guy just keep those two names in mind because they will be part of the relieve corp and have great potential to be just as good as Joba. On the other hand the Yankees don’t have any starters who have the potential that Joba has. Joba along with Hughes have the potential to be an ACEs for a long time.

    • Micky#7

      Great reply…Those guys are (have been) on Chass’ radar from last year.
      They need to get up to speed yet, but they are coming. We also have; Patterson, Britton, Alan Horne, J.B. Cox and Marquez. Alan is a starter…with injury problems, put him in BP. J.B. Cox coming off TJ. Alan/J.B., Sanchez, may make it later this year, if needed. 27/08.

  • Curramba

    Why would you pay millions for two starters when you have Joba? Yes, Joba has the potential to be a great starter and as I mentioned before there are a few relievers in the minors who could pitch as well as Joba. The only starter I would look at this coming off season if I were Cashman would be CC and even then it would be dependent on the $$ and length of the contract.

  • Rob

    Here’s hoping they trade Moose to the Phillies. We’ll take Ryan Howard, thanks.

  • Yankee1010

    The thing that attracts me to River Ave. Blues is that it is usually full of people who get it. There are more Joba in the Bullpen people here than there used to be. These people amaze me. It is completely mind-blowing that people are so caught up with this oh-so-pretty 8th inning. Sure, let’s take a guy with 2 80 pitches, a 70 pitch and a developing (50) changeup and put him in the 8th and have him pitch 75 innings a year instead of 200. Eminently reasonable.

    Cano hit a pinchi-hit HR in the 8th earlier in the week. Maybe the Yanks should play Gonzalez the first 7 innings and save Cano for a pinch-hit opportunity in the late innings.

    Is there any way we can get the Joba to the Bullpen people to go over to Was Watching and they can all have a giant idiot party?

    • Sam

      Yeah, I feel that way too. Joba needs to be in the rotation. We all saw what happened w/ Moose last year in terms of falling off (I know, he was decent in September), but again — he’s going to look alright against the weaker teams. Good hitting teams are going to continue to absolutely TATTOO his pitching. We’ve seen it multiple times already.

      Even if Joba is going 5 or 6 innings at a time, it’s still farther than Moose. He’s stubborn and I’m getting sick of hearing him talk about how he “just didn’t have it” or was “lousy” after each start. I know it’s early in the year but all games count as a win or loss. I hope the Yanks aren’t looking back in September on a few extra wins they wish they could have had … games that might have come out differently w/out Moose in the rotation.

  • Glen L

    “Cano hit a pinchi-hit HR in the 8th earlier in the week. Maybe the Yanks should play Gonzalez the first 7 innings and save Cano for a pinch-hit opportunity in the late innings. ”

    This is completely analogous to the Joba in the pen argument … doesn’t it sound utterly ridiculous??

    • Yankee1010

      Yes, it’s completely ridiculous.

      Maybe the Yanks should save A-Rod for the 8th too. If the Yanks are down 7-0 in the 8th, it’s OK, because he’ll hit an 8-run HR. Doesn’t everybody know? HRs in the 8th are worth a whole lot more than ones hit earlier.

  • Patch

    Here are the players we have in AA that are starters.

    Player W L ERA G GS CG SHO ER
    Jason Jones 3 0 1.50 3 3 0 0 0 18.0 1.17
    Daniel McCutchen 2 1 1.02 3 3 0 0 0 17.2 0.96
    Chase Wright 2 1 2.12 3 3 0 0 0 17.0 0.82

    That McCutchen can thrown some heat. i would like to see him get the call.

    For AAA only Darell Rasner is looking good:
    2 0 1.06 3 3 1.62

    I say bring up McCutchen or Rasner to replace Moose. I just can’t handle 3 innings and 6 earned runs any more.

  • Curramba

    The Yankees have other starters in triple A like Horne and Marquez who will be fine and are better than Rasner and Karstens.

  • jsbrendog

    With Ramirez enjoying his latest outburst against his favorite foe, New York reliever Kyle Farnsworth threw a 97 mph fastball behind the slugger’s neck on the first pitch of the seventh inning, drawing cheers from the sellout crowd of 55,088.

    i think we could learn to like thisd guy if he continues to be a badass

    • Glen L

      it will be right in line with what Farnsworth usually does … giving guys free passes to first base

      i’m familiar with the tough guy rhetoric … but come on, in games where you’re behind the last thing you need is to intentionally put guys on base by hitting them

      luckily farnsworth control is terrible and he missed manny :)

      • barry

        c’mon Glen everyone knows that he did that to shake Manny up and it was a smart baseball move. If farnsworth wanted to hit him he would of, no doubt about it in my mind. I think Leiter put it best last nite, saying that no one was attacking Manny and he was too comfortable, so Farns threw behind him and the result was a groundout instead of HR 3 on the night.

        • Glen L

          I’m sorry .. i fail to believe anything rattles Manny … i’m not sure he lives enough outside of any given moment to appreciate anything other than how he’s gonna crush the next pitch

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Yeah, I would not boo Farnsworth if he kept throwing at Manny. Even if that was all he ever did.

      • jsbrendog

        thats put very well. i agree indeed

  • Mike P

    “Maybe the Yanks should save A-Rod for the 8th too. If the Yanks are down 7-0 in the 8th, it’s OK, because he’ll hit an 8-run HR. Doesn’t everybody know? HRs in the 8th are worth a whole lot more than ones hit earlier.”

    That made me think. Are the guys who want Joba in the pen the same who would choose Ortiz over A-Rod because he “hits in the clutch”, despite his weaker overall stats. I mean all those extra runs produced by A-Rod don’t mean anything if they’re not in 8th inning “clutch situations”. Come on, we’ve got no hope for the playoffs if we don’t have that 8th inning “clutch hitter”.

    • barry

      A-Rod has actually proven himself to be an excellent hitter at the end of the game. I agree though although it is a strange analogy.

  • Number 27

    great article. it’s always easy to point out the cases where ‘if joba was in the bull pen that wouldn’t have happened’. great example of a case where his potential value is proven for the rotation.

    nice work.

  • gxpanos

    I mean, let’s go people. Joba’s a starter until he proves he’s not good at it. The only way for that to happen is for him to start some games. Which he hasnt done, and which (I sincerely hope) he’ll get to do after the as break.

    First, let me say, somewhat sacrilegiously I suppose, that Joba’s better than Mo, or at least 22 (23?) year old Joba is better than was 22 year old Mo. That NY Times article said that Mo, at 26, had a “fierce slider.” I mean, he didnt have a fierce slider. If he had one, he’d be throwing it in relief. He throws all kind of fastballs, and that’s it. I remember watching his horrible few starts in ’95. He was “developing” a change, at 26. Joba’s apparently got an OK change already, at 22. Mo is the perfect closer, just as Smoltz was or Beckett/Verlander would be the imperfect (though outstanding) closer. Mo doesnt have the tools to be a good starter! But he does to be a closer! We’re reeaaally lucky to to have Mo; he’s dominant as a closer, and made the decision to make him one easy, because he couldnt have been a starter.

    The fact remains that, gun to my head, I’d release Mo before Wang. A starter pitches 200+ innings; HE HAS MORE IMPACT. This debate is ridiculous! Asinine, I say! Unbelievable, even.

    Let’s think about it this way. Let’s take as gospel, for the sake of argument, that Joba is more valuable as a reliever than a starter: that Joba, as presently deployed, is more valuable than an ACE, which is what M and the MD think, as they would have the Yankees never even TRY him in the rotation. Then it stands to reason that, since a great reliever is more important than a great starter, a good reliever is more important than a good starter, and an average reliever is more important than an average starter, and so on down the line.

    Well, fine. For the sake of argument, we’ve accepted this. Why, then, have starters to begin with? Let’s carry the 12 pitchers who are best in 1-2 inning spurts, and play every game like the other day in KC before IPK came in. Pitch about 6 pitchers a game, get about 120 innings from every pitcher on the staff. It would be a headache for Girardi, but it’s the logical destination of Mike Francesa’s and the rest of the Bullpenners’ ideas.

    Are there problems with this model? I believe so, and I believe Mike Francesa would even think so. Perhaps it’s faulty, trying to balance on a totally erroneous premise about value in pitching.

  • Micky#7

    I remember (as do you) Mo and Andy coming up as starters.
    Mo would start getting ripped the 2/3 time around…he had the cutter and nothing more. Nobody could hit his cutter, but he would go from about 95 down to 90 as he tiered out…therefore, he’s in the pen. I’ve been waiting a long time to post that about Mo. Mo rocks, in the BP. 27/08.

  • Chip

    Chris, are you trying to blow your closers arm off? 130 IP out of the bullpen is much worse than 200 IP as a starter. So you want to bring Mo into a close game in the seventh? What happens the next day when the Sox are rallying in the ninth and Mo is already spent from the long outing the day before? I’m sorry but you’re just wrong.

    Also, that Smoltz guy was pretty darn good in the pen, what is he doing now? O yeah, they moved him back to the starting rotation. Man, those Braves are sure dumb. I mean seriously, he’s only averaging about 15 wins and sportin a low 3’s ERA the past three years. That obviously didn’t pay off for them did it?

  • Pingback: Why Joba Needs to Start « Glienke’s Thoughts

  • http://2009 Haggs

    Make him a starter in spring training of 2009, and have him finish the ’09 season in the bullpen once he reaches his innings cap.

    This gives the Yankees the best chance to win in both ’08 and ’09, and by 2010 he’s a full fledged starter.

    To try to break three rookies into the rotation during the same season, and to significantly weaken your bullpen in the process, makes no sense to me. Its taking an unnecessary step backward to go forward.

    By ’09, Hawkins and Farnsworth won’t be clogging up the pen, creating spots for youngsters not quite ready this year to fill the void created by Joba’s departure.

    It’s obvious Joba deserves a shot in the rotation, but rushing him into it mid-season is detrimental to Joba and to the team. There would be too much pressure to hurry him back to the Bronx. If you don’t believe they’d rush him look how quickly the Joba rules went out the window. Spring training is the best time to do this. The Yankees have planned this poorly.