Sep
22

Cashman: ‘No assumptions’ Joba will pitch in Oct.

By

Anyone watching the Yankees knows that Joba Chamberlain‘s last seven weeks have been tumultuous to say the least. Since starting the second half 3-0, Joba has gone 1-4 with an 8.25 ERA over his last nine starts. Limited to just 36 innings, Joba has allowed 50 hits and 21 walks while striking out just 27. Opponents are hitting .327/.409/.523, and whether we blame the Joba Rules, the extreme media attention to him, fatigue or the Moon’s current position in retrograde, everyone agrees that Joba Chamberlain has stunk up the joint lately.

While on Sunday, Joe Girardi half-heartedly committed himself to Joba in October, the Yanks’ GM was singing a different tune to Pete Caldera today. In an interview with The Record scribe, Cashman explained how Joba will have to earn a postseason roster spot. “He needs to declare himself. He’s no different than anyone else,” Cashman said. “Everybody loves his tenacity. But we’re going to take the best 10 guys. There’s no assumptions there.”

This is, of course, a warning and a threat from Brian Cashman. It’s probably an effort to light a fire under Joba, and we all know Joba could use something to spur him on. It is also an indication to watch closely tonight. In Anaheim, Chad Gaudin will take the ball and face the AL West-leading Angels. While we toss around the phrase “playoff preview” as a joke, Gaudin’s start tonight is a playoff preview. If he can hold down the Angels, he will, for better or worse, begin to inch ahead of Joba on the Yanks’ October depth charts.

So with Joba’s job in jeopardy, the Yankees will have to fill in a postseason roster somehow. Brian Cashman’s comment — “we’re going to take the best 10 guys” — gives us a starting point for a talk. The mortal locks include CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte, some guy named Mariano, Phil Hughes, Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves. That leaves us with three spots for Joba Chamberlain, Chad Gaudin, Damaso Marte, David Robertson, Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez, Sergio Mitre and Mark Melancon.

We can, after last night, dispatch with Brian Bruney. His ERA as a reliever isn’t horrible, but since Aug. 1, he has allowed 29 base runners in 16 innings. Over that stretch, he is sporting an ugly 3:4 K:BB ratio. He claimed his mechanics were fine, but the results aren’t there. Sergio Mitre, Jonathan Albaladejo and Edwar Ramirez belong in the same boat. None has have much to offer.

Melancon is an intriguing candidate because he is a highly-touted prospect, but he hasn’t sported very good control at the Major League level. He is striking out and walking 5.5 men per 9 IP and has a propensity toward hitting batters. The Yankees will, however, probably take Damaso Marte just to deploy him against lefties. His numbers are bad, but the stuff has always been tantalizing. Having two lefties in the pen would do wonders for the Yanks.

In the end, then, the Joba decision will come down to two factors. There is first the David Roberston factor. If the Yanks’ unheralded middle relief specialist can come back strong this weekend, he will join the mortal locks. After watching Bruney and Albaladejo cough up the game last night, Robertson can’t come back fast enough.

If Robertson is healthy, then, the debate will be Gaudin vs. Joba. And there we are, back to tonight’s game. Chad Gaudin and Joba Chamberlain, whether they realize or not, are auditioning for the same playoff spot. With 11 games left, this battle is the season within the season. While the last man standing so to speak won’t be that determinative of the Yanks’ October chances, we will get to see just how much faith the Yanks have in Joba Chamberlain right now.

Categories : Pitching, Playoffs

116 Comments»

  1. Andy In Sunny Daytona says:

    10 spots? They need 6 position players on the bench?

  2. Drew says:

    This isn’t much of a shocker. I mean, if he has 2 solid starts he’ll be in. Simple as that. If he gives up 12 runs over his next 6 innings I don’t see why he’d be included in the first round. It’s not brain surgery.

    As for the ten pitchers. That’s dependent on D-Rob’s health and what Marte continues to do. Assuming that anyone (other than CC, AP, AJ, Mo, Philly, Ace and probably Coke) would be one of ten would just be a pure guess. Hence, Joe using Bruney in a big spot like last night against a possible opponent is more than reasonable. At this point it’s all about shaping the post season roster.

  3. Salty Buggah says:

    Cashman talks. Joba dominates. Yankees win. Done deal.

  4. Riddering says:

    Of all the explanations for Joba’s ineffectiveness and how to deal with it, I think ‘having Cashman fire him up’ is the weakest. I honestly don’t expect all this focus and carrot/stick talk to help Joba’s performance. If that means he’s mostly shut down for the postseason, so be it. He just might not have it at this point in the season with his innings count.

    Of course, if he one-runs Boston for six innings I’ll happily eat my words and make myself a Ca$hman shirt.

    I think Cashman’s words have more of a practical edge than threatening. Of course they are going with the ten best pitchers on the roster as they are perfoming near the end of the season. A postseason spot is not voted on by the fans, any more than the MVP award is given to Paul Newman.

    In conclusion: D-ROB COME HOME.

    • AndrewYF says:

      I think people are kidding about that.

      • Riddering says:

        Rational people aren’t saying there will be a direct correlation between Cashman’s comments and Joba’s performance. But around the Yankee blogs it’s starting to become an assumption that Joba is underperforming because he’s not motivated enough/he’s got too much job security/he’s a young punk who needs a kick in the pants/etc.

        It’s the new Cano-Bowa argument.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          Meh, its the mediocre (IMO) blogs that say it anyway (I normally dont agree with them and sometimes they can get irrational and too involvved with the narratives created by the MSM…like Waswatching)

    • Lanny says:

      You really think Cashman would resort to these kind of motivational tactics? Hes just answering the question honestly. If this is what it takes to “fire” Joba up he needs to grow up.

  5. steve s says:

    It’s a pretty big mea culpa for the Yankee brass to leave Joba off the playoff roster based on merit. I don’t believe that would ever happen short of coming up with an injury to blame it on.

    • Drew says:

      He was suppose to go five innings the other day. He went 3. If he pulls that over his final two starts, why would he be on the playoff roster?

      • Pete says:

        Right, it’s not like he’s dominant for a short stretch – he’s pretty much awful all the way through these days. Even if he was lights out for 2 or 3 innings, you could absolutely make a case for using him out of the pen in the playoffs…

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      So you’re saying you think the Yankees would waste a roster spot on Joba even if they had no intention of using him?

      • steve s says:

        I think that the decision has political implications for Cashman and so that decision won’t be made strictly on the merits. I’m sure the Yanks intend to use Joba if he’s on the roster so it won’t be a case of wasting a roster spot.

        • Sweet Dick Willie says:

          I’m sure the Yanks intend to use Joba if he’s on the roster so it won’t be a case of wasting a roster spot.

          I agree that the Yanks wouldn’t include Joba on the post season roster unless they thought there would be a situation where they would use him.

          But that’s not what you said in your previous post. You said I don’t believe that would ever happen short of coming up with an injury to blame it on, which implies that the Yanks would include him on the roster (for, as you said, political reasons) even though they had no intentions of using him.

          I have total confidence that the Yankees will go with the post season roster that they believe gives them the best shot at winning each series.

          If Cashman believes that Joba does not increase the Yanks chance of winning, he (Joba) will not be on the roster. There is too much riding on the post season to let “politics” get in the way of the best decision.

    • Slugger27 says:

      couldnt disagree more.

      winning comes first… they dont care if they hurt peoples feelings, they want a championship

  6. Pete says:

    The only thing getting me through these next few weeks is that we had Kenny Rogers in ’96.

    • Slugger27 says:

      look at the phillies last year

      no. 4 startes only start one game in a series, and 90% of the time theyre GOING AGAINST THE OTHER TEAM’S NO. 4 STARTER

      itd be nice to get a dominant performance, but as long as whoever it is doesnt just completely take us out of the game, i think we’ll be fine either way

  7. OmgZombies! says:

    Thats good to hear. If Joba continues to suck then he does not deserve any spot really. If he cannot get out of the first few innings without giving up alot of runs then he can enjoy a early Nebraska vacation.

  8. AndrewYF says:

    What I don’t get is how the new mantra is that the Yankees somehow ‘screwed Joba up’, like he was pitching like Greg Maddux and then the Yankees jerked him around. No, he was pitching like crap, so they tried something different. From all the caterwauling you would think the Yankees had him randomly start one day and then pitch in relief the day after, then sent him down to the minors and benched him then had him pitch in extended spring training, then brought him back to the majors, made him throw underhanded on his knees.

    Is there a more idiotic segment of sports journalism than that regarding Joba Chamberlain?

    • Mike HC says:

      Many starting pitchers preach that routine is a very important. The Yanks have messed with Joba’s routine ever since he was on the Major League roster. Everything the Yanks did was to balance “win now” and his future development, but not being consistent with him clearly has had some consequences.

      • AndrewYF says:

        No doubt their shuttling him between rotation and bullpen effected him in those years, but the only thing that could have carried over to this year is the lack of innings he threw (or his shoulder injury). This year was the first year they actually gave Joba a consistent spot in the rotation, and this year is the year he performed the worst. The real answer is much more likely that Joba is a young pitcher with inconsistent mechanics, who is pitching innings far beyond what he has pitched before.

        • Mike HC says:

          I can see that. Playing an entire Major League season is not only physically demanding, but mentally demanding. It can take a couple of years for young guys to really understand how to handle an entire MLB season mentally, with all of the ups and downs. Pitching mechanics can be effected by mental exhaustion as well as physical exhaustion. I have no clue if that is the case, but I guess it is possible.

    • andrew says:

      Not really. He wasn’t pitching like crap. He was pitching to a 3.58 ERA until they started trying him out on extended rest. He’s sucked ever since then. The pitching like crap didn’t come until after the switch.

      • He was pitching to a 3.58 ERA until they started trying him out on extended rest.

        Not true. He had a 3.98 ERA when they gave him one stint of extended rest. He was also coming off three bad starts during which his ERA was 6.75. He had allowed 18 hits and 12 walks in 16 IP while striking out 12. At that point, he was at 126.2 innings, far above his previous career high and giving him a rest seemed reasonable. Let’s not rewrite history here.

  9. Mike HC says:

    Give me a break. He should clearly be on the postseason roster unless he gets hurt or starts averaging 88 mph with his fastball. Whether a starter, long reliever or one inning guy, Joba is unquestionably one of our 10 best pitchers. This is a calculated move to get Joba going as opposed to a real threat in my opinion.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Agreed. I’d much rather him pitching, even in garbage time, than Albaladejo, Edwar, or Melancon.

      • Drew says:

        None of those three will be on the roster regardless of where Joba is, I’d bet on that.

      • Slugger27 says:

        well, yes, but none of those guys are gonna make the postseason roster…

        the question isnt would u rather have him over alby, edwar, and melancon, the question is would u rather have him over gaudin

        right now, the choice either way isnt an obvious one

        • Drew says:

          yepp. that’s why we’ve got 11 games left, to help us make that choice. I think if Bruney fumbles, or if Marte doesn’t pitch well, Gaudin will be on the postseason roster regardless of Jober.

          • Slugger27 says:

            i think marte is one of the locks… girardi likes 2 lefties, not to mention they signed him to that deal cuz they believe in him

            i think marte is in for sure, and if robertson is healthy, he is too

            that only leaves 1 spot

            • That entirely depends on how many spots we have.

              If we carry an 11 man pitching staff, there’s room for both Joba and Gaudin. If it’s only a 10 man staff, then no.

              But if it’s a 10 man staff, it’s a 6 man bench. Right now, the 5 man bench is probably Molina/Cervelli (take your pick), Gardner, Hairston, Hinske, and Guzman. Is Peña the sixth over Joba? I don’t know what value he adds over Joba.

              • Slugger27 says:

                right, but i just went with the 10man scenario cuz thats what cashman said

                if its 11, then youre right, joba would make it

    • Drew says:

      …too early to say. Again, if he pitches how he did in Seattle over his next couple starts, what post season role would he fit in?

      Now, all this can be forgotten if he goes out and pitches how he is capable of.

    • Evan NYC says:

      He is unquestionably our best pitcher posting an 8.42 ERA over his last 8 games while opposing hitters a putting up a .331 BA. By all means, sign me up! As long as he thinks he is throwing the ball great, then it works for me!

      • Mike HC says:

        It was a bad stretch which directly coincided with the Yankees changing him from a starting pitcher into a pitch once every 8-10 days guys into a pitch 3 innings guy. Joba has a career 3.55 era in which he started 41 games and appeared in 90. I would trust his overall body of work over an eight game stretch where the Yanks were just trying to limit his innings and not maximize his effectiveness.

        Also, it would be a pretty bad decision for Cashman to call Joba out like that if the Yanks weren’t pretty sure he would respond.

        • Evan NYC says:

          Right, but how is he going to transition from pitching 3 inning stints for a six weeks, to throwing 7-8 innings? He has to be at a 50-60 pitch max right now. In two starts he can get up to what, 75, 80? For Joba 80 pitches will get him through the first four innings. I don’t think we really need a four inning start in the playoffs, do you?

          • Mike HC says:

            He would be in the pen then. While I believe he would pitch well as a starter, all I am saying is that he is at least our tenth best pitcher. And that is an understatement.

            When push comes to shove, would you really prefer Gaudin to Joba in the playoffs? Does one good stretch of Gaudin compared to one bad stretch from Joba, as opposed to their entire body of work, affect who you want to see in extra innings when the Yanks are down to their last couple of pitchers. I would put my money on Joba

  10. alex gonzalez says:

    i remember hoping that someone in the yankees organization was watching joba struggle through his last start. this is good news that they were paying attention to it and are starting to address it. this has been an issue brewing for a while and it has finally reached the point where the kettle boils over. thank goodness.

    • Evan NYC says:

      I just think that from his post-game comments that he thinks his spot in the rotation is set in stone. I hope that this shakes him up a little bit and he realizes that guys like Gaudin are going to bust their asses to get that last spot. If he assumes that he is going to coast into that role by performances like he has been giving recently, he has another thing coming. Whether this is true of what Cashman said or not, I hope it lights a fire under him and he starts pitching like he did after the AS break. Or even close to it…

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        I just think that from his post-game comments that he thinks his spot in the rotation is set in stone.

        Because it is. Long term speaking unless this continues for a couple years which we have no evidence of it happening.

      • Drew says:

        Sorry man, I doubt you know what Joba thinks. I can’t stand the use of “I think he thinks” when supporting an argument.

        • TheLastClown says:

          This.

          You could easily interpret his comments from earlier in the season as:

          “Maybe I start, maybe I’m in the bullpen, maybe I’m sent down to the minors. Being that all of these options involve pitching a baseball for money, I’ll still have a job tomorrow.”

          And I don’t disagree totally with his comments from his last start. His assessment of his stuff was pretty accurate, and anyone who watched the game knew his control was off. I just hope that “coming back fighting” means he’s going to do some work with Dave Eiland on, well, whatever Eiland thinks is appropriate.

          I’d love to see IPK get a couple of shots, perform well, and shadow Joba in his October starts.

  11. Makavelli says:

    This isn’t the way to work with a guy like Joba Chamberlain. Don’t guarantee him anything. Make him work for it. If he knows he’s going to pitch in October regardless he may not be AS likely to work harder to get there…

    If you leave it up in the air…even if you already know you’re going to pitch Joba…you still leave it open in regards to Joba knowing…that way he works harder to get there…

    Assuming that “working harder” is what needs to be done at least. And even if it isn’t…if he’s not producing…there’s no reason to start him there.

    This will also force Gaudin to work harder and perform better perhaps…knowing that there’s a chance that he can make a playoff rotation for a team with a very good chance to win it all…

    • alex gonzalez says:

      exactly these kids have senses of entitlement. just like kennedy and hughes having spots in the rotation last year. how many wins did they combine for. make joba earn his spot, dont have him born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

      • Slugger27 says:

        exactly these kids have senses of entitlement.

        no, they dont. joba might have had a sense of entitlement back in june, but he sure doesnt right now. he knows hes pitching for his job, and hes fully aware the yanks are terrified of him pitching in a playoff game right now

        also, just because u say hughes and kennedy has that same sense of entitlement last year doesnt make it true… they were given rotation spots, tried their best, and it didnt work out… i think ur assuming a lot here, especially with hughes, cuz ive never seen anything but humility and modesty from him

    • Makavelli says:

      Haha I looked at this as “No Assumptions, Joba will pitch in October” for whatever reason…

      Anyway, sorry about that…

      • Tom Zig says:

        I read the title the same way, but then read the article and realized the opposite.

        • Makavelli says:

          I read the title and the first paragraph on this one and sounded the same…I’m at work so sometimes I can’t exactly read everything through. I took a gamble on this one and lost lol. Either way, the same points still stand. Just in a different “dialogue” perhaps

          • Tom Zig says:

            Fair enough. If the article went the way we originally thought it was, I would have agreed with your sentiment.

            As for working harder though, what should we make him do? Run laps around the South Bronx?

            • Makavelli says:

              Another one of you “literal” mongers I see.

              Working harder doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t working hard to beging with. It doesn’t mean you have to go from one absolute extreme to the other…

              He could have been working hard but just taking everything in stride…thinking that things would just fall into place, etc. As you’ve heard him talk about thinking his pitches were thrown well but just hit…

              This will make him scratch his head a little more and perhaps search for more answers than he was willing to search for before…

              • Tom Zig says:

                I was only kidding around about the run laps part. I was just wanted you to expand on your point.

                • Tom Zig says:

                  I was just wanted you to expand on your point.

                • Makavelli says:

                  Yeah sorry, a lot of my posts come across as defensive…when in actuality I’m just really writing a regular response. I understand it’s hard to determine though especially since I have been in a lot of back-and-forth style arguments thus far here.

                  Anyway, hope it cleared it up at least a little bit…

                • Tom Zig says:

                  Internet, lack of tone of voice, etc.

                  It’s all good brotha

    • Salty Buggah says:

      Eh, it’s one thing to say he has to earn his spot (which he really does have to no matter what people think. He’s being given a chance but he can blow it still) and it’s another thing to question his work ethic. I’m sure most MLB players work hard but it doesnt necessarily make them better or good. If they dont work hard, it will almost always make them worse but working hard doesnt have to improve anything. It all comes down to execution in games.

  12. Slugger27 says:

    If he knows he’s going to pitch in October regardless he may not be AS likely to work harder to get there…

    i find this ridiculous. all these guys have pride and want to succeed. its embarrassing to pitch the way hes been pitching and joba knows that. i guarantee he is more frustrated than anyone over his performance, despite his comments to the media.

    i just dont see how any public stance would impact their work ethic… im willing to bet both of them are working their asses off regarding of the teams public stance

    • Slugger27 says:

      REPLY fail

    • Drew says:

      No, Joba wants to give up 7 runs in 3 innings!!11!! He doesn’t care!!11!

    • Makavelli says:

      Does being on this blog force you to take everything as literally as possible…or is it just a coincidence that you all meshed together some how?

      There have been threads in the past on how Melky Cabrera’s stats show that he plays A LOT better when Brett Gardner is there breathing down his neck…

      There might also be a reason why players usually play a lot better during “walk-years”.

      Do we know for sure? Of course not…but you can speculate just like anything else.

      What’s ridiculous is to assume that absolutely NOTHING around you has any baring on your performance at all what-so-ever. That’s what’s ridiculous…

      • Slugger27 says:

        we may have to just agree to disagree i guess

        i cant imagine cashman saying joba is definitely our no. 4 guy would cause joba to think “well i have the spot locked up, why try as hard as i can? ill just go out there and coast through a few more mediocre starts before october”

        what you said implies joba’s work ethic depends on what cashman says publicly to the beat writers… THAT is whats ridiculous

        also, this is an online forum… if i shouldnt take whats written on here literally, how the hell should i interpret it? am i supposed to be able to hear your tone of voice on the keyboard through the computer?

        • Makavelli says:

          i cant imagine cashman saying joba is definitely our no. 4 guy would cause joba to think “well i have the spot locked up, why try as hard as i can? ill just go out there and coast through a few more mediocre starts before october”

          Here is you being stubborn and looking at things at either one extreme or another.

          what you said implies joba’s work ethic depends on what cashman says publicly to the beat writers… THAT is whats ridiculous

          From YOUR narrowminded perspective what I said “implies” joba’s work ethic that way. Personally, I never thought that once…so it must be just you (and whoever else is about to come to your aid just to disagree with me)

          also, this is an online forum… if i shouldnt take whats written on here literally, how the hell should i interpret it? am i supposed to be able to hear your tone of voice on the keyboard through the computer?

          This excuse is a little played out now. I don’t see where just because it’s on a message board…the rules are now “it’s either one extreme or the other! there’s no in between!!”

          But yes, at least you were right in your first paragraph. Let’s agree to disagree.

      • Here’s an idea. If you don’t mean something literally, don’t write it, unless it’s clear that you’re joking.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        Correlation does not equal causation. For the Melky thing, it could be just a coincidence. Look at his recent stats, he’s in a 1-19 slump, even though Gardy has returned. Those other correlations probably be all coincidence.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          Ugh, totally messed up the last sentence.

        • pete says:

          that, and the fact that when gardner is there, melky only hits when Girardi thinks he will fare better, as in if he is hot or the matchup is favorable to him. When Gardner isn’t around melky doesn’t say “oh thank god now i don’t have to try as hard” its more along the lines of “oh fuck now i have to face everybody, so my inflated numbers will shrink back to where they would normally be”

  13. Charlie says:

    why didn’t you include bruney in the running for one of the three spots? i know he sucks, but you wrote edwar ramirez and jon albaladejo there, which is obviously not going to happen. i would take 11 pitchers, too. no need for 6 bench players, pitchers are more valuable cause they can take up innings in case there’s a blowout. it should be d-rob, joba, marte, and gaudin

  14. jsbrendog says:

    gaudin pitches 5 or 6 good innings tonight and gets 4th starter status in october. joba goes home.

    book it.

    next year joba, uber peesed off comes back and flat dominates!!!

    book it.

  15. Drew says:

    Does anyone else think Joba is going to kill it vs. Boston? I do. Then we won’t have to worry about all this madness.

  16. [...] to RAB) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)There is nothing wrong with JobaHmmm…Joba plan [...]

  17. Drew says:

    Roster:
    Jeter
    Damon
    Teix
    Al
    Matsui
    Posada
    Swisher
    Cano
    Melky
    Gardner
    Molina
    Hinske
    Hairston

    I’m not 100% sold that we’re only taking 10 pitchers. If we have 11 guys pitching good I think we might take them all.

    If we only take 10 pitchers, that leaves two spots.
    Do we want two rookies (Cervs and Ram-Pen)?
    Do we want a pinchrunner/6th outfieder in Guzman?

    I’m not so sure we need 6 men on the bench.

    • Tom Zig says:

      3 catchers is wholly unnecessary.

      Guzman could be a weapon late in the game and give us one hell of an outfield defense.

    • Drew says:

      Now that I think about it, Cervelli probably isn’t even an option.

      It’s not like you PH for our starting catcher. If we pinch run for him we’ll just need the one backup in Molina.

      • Tom Zig says:

        Plus Molina doesn’t get on base ever, so we wouldn’t be pinch running for him. Also Hairston is the “emergency catcher”

  18. Joba Chamberlain, 2009:

    April – 4 starts, 23.0 IP (5.75 IP/S), 3.13 ERA, 1.522 WHIP
    May – 5 starts, 22.1 IP (4.46 IP/S), 4.84 ERA, 1.612 WHIP
    June – 6 starts, 35.2 IP (5.94 IP/S), 3.79 ERA, 1.346 WHIP
    July – 5 starts, 29.2 IP (5.93 IP/S), 2.73 ERA, 1.213 WHIP
    August – 5 starts, 23.0 IP (4.6 IP/S), 8.22 ERA, 2.000 WHIP
    September – 4 starts, 13.0 IP (3.25 IP/S), 8.31 ERA, 1.923 WHIP

    I’d say the story of Joba’s 2009 goes like this:

    He started off kinda lucky, pitching to a little better result than he probably deserved; then put the pieces together in the middle and was an effective/borderline dominant starter, and then the wheels came off at the end probably due to a combination of fatigue (this is the most innings and most starts he’s ever thrown) and the subtler effects of the twin strategies of first throwing him on irregular rest and then limiting his innings per start.

    Meaning he is currently A) out of sync, B) out of sorts as he feels the need to be too economical due to artificial innings limits, and C) just plain ol’ out of gas.

    I think he probably still gives us the best chance to win a Game 4 in the playoffs compared to any of the rest of our options, but he’s a crapshoot at the moment, and the best course of action is probably to just put him in the bullpen and use all the rest days we figure to have to go with a 3-man rotation throughout all three rounds of playoffs if possible.

    He’s not going to be lights out 2007 Joba in the bullpen this time, but he can probably still contribute a quality inning at a time.

  19. ADam says:

    Cash hit this on the nose.. Way to take initiative and tell it strait. not only did Cash take this by the horns and not guarantee him a spot on the starting rotation, He didn’t guarantee him a spot on the roster…

    I love this move by cash, I think it will prove to be huge…

  20. Salty Buggah says:

    I know Gaudin misses bats and all but FWIW (because some value this stat less than others, his FIP is 5.61 while Mitre’s is 5.32.

  21. MikeD says:

    How about Joba to the bullpen? Wait, did I just type those words? Seriously, though, if he’s not cutting it as a starter, and Bruney has been bringing his pile of suck to the park, let’s see if Joba can be effective out of the pen for the play-offs if he’s NOT going to be a starter. Frankly, Joba may simply need to rediscover what once made him good. Being agressive in the stikezone, and a short-term return to the pen might help here.

  22. Playoff Roster:

    Starters (3)
    CC, AJ, Andy
    Releivers (6)
    Mo, Hughes, Ace, DRob, Marte, Coke
    Swingmen (1)
    Gaudin
    Starting lineup (9)
    Jeter, Damon, Tex, Nails Krzyzewski, Matsui, Posada, Cano, Swisher, Melky
    Bench (4)
    Molvelli, Hairston, Hinske, Gardner

    That’s 23 guys who are probably locks (although Gaudin is the only non-lock as he can still pitch his way OFF the roster; everyone else gets there on resume alone), 10 pitchers and 13 position players. The last two spots will either be an 11th pitcher and a 14th position player, or a 14th and 15th position player.

    In the running are Joba as a second swingman, Albaladejo as a 7th pure reliever, Peña as a third LIDR, and Guzman as a pinch-runner. I think those four are the only four left in consideration for those last two spots; everyone else has either accumulated too much negative evidence (Bruney, Edwar, Mitre, Shelley, Towers) or is just too young/inexperienced/rusty (Miranda, Dunn, Melancon, Kennedy) to be considered.

    I handicap the race for the last two spots as follows, from likeliest to least likely:
    1) Guzman. Elite pinchrunners are always handy.
    2) Joba. If he shows anything at all good in the last two starts, he’s the 11th pitcher.
    3) Peña. Good defense is also always handy.
    4) Albie. Just not enough ability to make outs in critical situations. Less trustworthy than even a diminished Joba.

    JMHO.

  23. TheLastClown says:

    If Joba is indeed fatigued, I for one wouldn’t mind letting him take the ALDS off & add him to the ALCS.

  24. Lanny says:

    I really doubt that the 4 starter is going to make or break this team in the playoffs.

    Also cant see them not taking both Gaudin and Joba and if Gaudin starts better than Joba the next few starts than he’ll get the game 4 start and Joba will be the long man/7th guy

  25. Mouch "half man half couch" says:

    Zack Greinke told WEEI.com’s Alex Speier that he wouldn’t have trouble pitching in any city except New York. The Cy Young contender sounds confident that he could thrive in other places, but suggested he might struggle if asked to pitch in the Big Apple on a regular basis.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      So, of course, Boston’s 2011 rotation:

      Felix Hernndez
      Jon Lester
      Josh Beckett
      Zack Greinke
      Clay Buchholz

      • Tom Zig says:

        You forgot halladay

      • No, Buchholz will stay in Pawtucket to give the Sox their insane pitching depth, as usual. After Casey Kelly throws his fourth-straight perfect game at AAA, making Buchholz superfluous, Clay will be dealt midseason for THREE Smoak-type bats and Albert Pujols (with St. Louis kicking in some salary).

        The fifth starter for Boston next year will be the reanimated corpse of Walter Johnson. He’ll go 29-2 with a 0.94 ERA, which will be good for second place in the Cy Young voting behind Diasuke Matsuzaka, who steps in for Jon Lester when he gets cancer again in Spring Training; Dice-K then goes 36-0 with a 0.08 ERA. Lester will beat cancer again in a week and replace Papelbon as closer (going a perfect 81-for-81 in save opportunities), freeing up Papelbon to be traded to the Phillies for Chase Utley (who moves to SS) and Raul Ibañez (who moves to backup catcher, giving Jason Varitek the one day off a week he needs to refresh his legs so he can hit .420/.593/.881 and win the MVP).

        For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.

  26. Bill O says:

    We don’t need 7 players on the bench. So if it comes down to Joba or Gaudin and both are pitching reasonably well we’ll just keep both. We’ll only keep 7 bench players if their isn’t another pitcher that deserves that last spot more than say Pena or Guzman. Although I can’t see why we’ll need a guy like Pena. Hairston is a good defender but we’re unlikely to pull any of our INF’s for defensive replacements.

  27. [...] has gone from lights out setup man to questionable postseason roster candidate. The Yankees will take only 10 pitchers to the ALDS, and Bruney doesn’t appear to be one of the 10 best on the roster. Can they trust [...]

  28. [...] roster, not always the easiest task. Brian Cashman has already hinted that the team will use a 10-man pitching staff for at least the Division Series, which means we’re looking at a six man [...]

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