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In five short hours, Joba Chamberlain will climb aboard the Yankee Stadium mound and begin his tenure as a starter. We’ll have our thoughts and analysis as the afternoon goes on, but we’re not alone in assessing a move that’s made headlines among the Yankee literati for the last few months.
Today, though, the debate is flowing fast and furious, but it’s a different kind of debate. We start with Hank Steinbrenner’s predicting greatness for Joba over the next ten years. “This is about what Joba can do for us over the next 10 years,” Steinbrenner said to Pete Caldera of The Record. “That’s what we’re going to look at in a lot of way, with the new dynasty, hopefully, we can build.”
Meanwhile, as PeteAbe notes, Hank doesn’t understand innings limits. “Again, I would have perferred to start the year with him as a starter, but this is the way they have come up with,” Hank said. Always good for a quote, that Steinbrenner. I’m sure he’ll have some in-depth analysis after the game tonight as well.
Picking up where I left off this morning with claims of a mishandled transition as it relates to the bullpen, Brian, the world’s only Yankees/Flyers/Eagles fan writing at Depressed Fan, believes that the transition on the Joba end was handled poorly as well. Brian, who feels that Hank is just contributing to this circus, writes:
The problem: He isn’t ready. He can’t be. The Yankees have completely botched this transition and there’s no way he should be starting a game this soon, and there’s no way he’s ready to be stretched to 70 pitches. If I had to guess, I’d say the pressure is coming from the top down. Hank said he wants Joba to start, so they began the transition. The transition consisted of three outings of 35, 40 and 28 pitches, respectively. His previous high this season was 33. Hardly a stretch.
Yes, he followed those outings up with a bullpen session, but there was no pressure on him. Joba’s arm and his body are not ready for 70 pitches. He very well may get through 70 later tonight, but at what price? He’s going to be running on adrenaline. I can only hope he doesn’t get hurt.
I’ve toyed with this idea in my head over the last few weeks. I think it was especially glaring when Joba didn’t pitch in the extra-inning game in Baltimore and then threw just 28 pitches the next night. It seemed like the Yanks were implementing half of a plan, and now, they’re just throwing Joba into the fire for a few innings.
In the end, I have to put my faith in the Yankees Brain Trust. They know what they have in Joba Chamberlain, and they appear to know what they are doing with him. They managed to stretch him out without losing him to the Minors for ten days. I just wish today’s start didn’t have that Hail Mary feeling about it.