While the Yanks win in Baltimore, Hank awakens from his slumberBy
The Yanks won today, and as is often the case when the Yankees win, I’m happy not to nitpick the game.
I could write about how Jason Giambi is 3 for 3 with 2 HR and 4 RBI against Mike Timlin and 2 for 43 with no home runs and 2 RBIs against everyone else. But SG at RLYW did a better job writing about Giambi and his potential future in New York in this post.
I could opine about the silver lining in the timing of A-Rod‘s injury. His wife is due to give birth this week, and his quad strain can heal while he attends to Cynthia. But Kat O’Brien already wrote a whole story about A-Rod’s injury.
Instead, I’ll write about the words of wisdom that Hank Steinbrenner, quiet through the season’s first 20 games, threw our way this evening. Take it away, Michael S. Schmidt:
With the Yankees off to a 10-10 start, and with two of their young starters struggling, the Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said there was one thing in particular he would like to change: He wants Joba Chamberlain, the Yankees’ hard-throwing setup man, to move into the rotation.
“I want him as a starter and so does everyone else, including him, and that is what we are working toward and we need him there now,” Steinbrenner said Sunday by telephone. “There is no question about it, you don’t have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don’t do that. You have to be an idiot to do that.”
Here at RAB, we try to be a bit more diplomatic about it than Hank is, but the man’s got a point. He continued: “The mistake was already made last year switching him to the bullpen out of panic or whatever. I had no say in it last year and I wouldn’t have allowed it. That was done last year, so now we have to catch up. It has to be done on a schedule so we don’t rush him.”
Hank, for the record, also feels that Mike Mussina “just needs to learn how to pitch like Jamie Moyer.” And I agree; as I’ve said numerous times, Mussina simply cannot get hitters out by blowing them away with his 85-mph fastball. In fact, he’s gotten few swing-and-misses this year. Mussina instead must get by while command and guile. He has seemingly yet to embrace that.
But Mike Mussina aside, the good stuff here is really about Joba. Hank wants his hard-throwing power pitching throwing innings that count. He doesn’t want him throwing rather meaningless 8th innings in three-run games. Hank sees a rotation struggling with command, struggling with getting guys out, and he knows that a potential fix is waiting in the Yankee bullpen.
Right now, simply because of innings limits, the Yanks can’t rush Joba into the starting rotation. But the tide is turing; the Yankees will deploy Joba in the rotation sooner rather than later. And it seems to me that, as Hank professed his faith in Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, Mike Mussina is now on notice. Shape up; those footsteps you hear are from the 22-year-old fan-favorite will four Major League-caliber pitches under his belt.