Jon Heyman wants Joba in the pen

Yankees win the SALCS...
ALCS Preview: The Outfields

So who’s the first reporter seduced by 1.2 innings of ALDS work? Why, it’s Jon Heyman of course. In his latest Daily Scoop post, Heyman drops the following tidbit:

There is growing sentiment around baseball that Joba Chamberlain will be a reliever next year, especially after he looked great in that role in the Division Series.

Now, the skeptic in me says that this “growing sentiment around baseball” is none other than Heyman himself. He has long been an outspoken B-Jobber, firm in his belief that young Mr. Chamberlain is better suited for the bullpen than the starting rotation. The truth of the matter is that Jon Heyman’s opinion just doesn’t matter.

Let’s, though, assume that Heyman is telling the truth. Let’s assume that some anonymous people around baseball think that Joba will be a reliever next year. The truth remains that, well, their opinions just don’t count. Unless that sentiment comes from Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi, it doesn’t matter. The Yankees are committed to Joba the Starter, and no amount of media blustering can change that fact.

We can’t ignore the fact that Joba as a reliever is a tempting proposition. At the very least, he’s comfortable coming out of the pen and, despite early-season reports concerning his shoulder, he had no problems warming up to come on as a reliever during the ALDS match-up against the Twins. The real question though surrounds his stuff. How did he play as a reliever?

In terms of results, Joba mostly got the job done. He threw 1.2 innings over three games and allowed two hits and no runs. After struggling with the base on balls during the regular season, he walked none but struck out only one. His one hiccup came during Game 3. With out in the sixth and the Yanks clinging to a 2-1 lead, he came in and gave up a double to Delmon Young. At the time, I was surprised Girardi would go with Joba instead of Aceves or Coke, his usual 7th inning guys, but Joba got the next two outs to escape the inning unscathed.

On the stuff side of his apperances, Joba’s fastball and command were better than the regular season. In Game 1, he hovered around 94, but in Games 2 and 3, he nearly hit 97 with his fastball. He slider was around 89, and his one postseason curveball was at 82. So yes, Joba flashed the velocity and the breaking pitches.

But the truth remains that good starters make good relievers. Joba Chamberlain, despite his second half struggles, was not a terrible Major League Baseball starter. He threw 157.1 innings and didn’t get hurt. The only start he missed, in fact, was when the Yanks made him skip an outing. He’ll be in the rotation again, and for now, Jon Heyman’s desires aside, he will be a starting pitcher.

email
Yankees win the SALCS...
ALCS Preview: The Outfields
  • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

    You can’t judge Joba’s starting role over a few years of “controlled” pitching…

    He’s looked absolutely brilliant in several starts…and he’s looked God-awful in some others. There is a large space in between both of them…and you can contribute the latter (or worse) outings to the “control” and lack of IP factors. The brilliant games were simply there because he has the ability.

    Why not look at him with the leash off before we continue to jump to conclusions? If he even puts up a couple brilliant games and is 3.75 ERA the rest of the way…that’s still much more valuable than an inning here or there in relief obviously.

  • Tank Foster

    I am sure I want Joba as a starter, if he proves he can do it. This season, he didn’t prove he can be a reliable starter. The scattered brilliance he showed means that there is still hope, but if he continues pitching in the pattern of 2009, I would conclude he’s better suited to relief.

    I give him half of next season as a starter. If he can’t prove by then that he’s capable of getting through 6-7 innings consistently, and getting guys out, I think you make him a reliever. I don’t need him to be a stopper; he can be a #3 starter caliber, even. But if he still is using up 100 pitches by the 4th inning after 1.5-2 seasons of starting pitching, I think that’s pretty good evidence he’s not cut out to be a starter.

    Am I being too rash in this judgement? Should he receive ALL of next season?

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      I think you might be a little rash. He should get all of next year, and I could probably be convinced for the year after too.

      Though he is younger, and a lefty, look at Kershaw last night. He had a successful year (granted in the weaker NL), and everyone had decided he arrived. Then he shat the bed in the 5th and didn’t escape the inning. Kershaw last night should be the perfect example of why you can’t write off Joba yet. Kershaw has had more success as a ML starter than Joba, and yet he still battles control/pitch count issues. I don’t think people in LA or in “baseball circles” are calling for Kershaw to move to the 8th.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      This season, he didn’t prove he can be a reliable starter.

      Why not? He made all his starts except for one, and from April through July, he was essentially average. Once he got past ~110 IP, he started to fall apart. That could be because he’d never pitched that many innings before, it could be that he just hit a two month stretch of shitty pitching. He wasn’t fantastic and not what we expected, but maybe our expectations were entirely too lofty. I’d say the fact that he made all his starts hints towards the reliable thing.

      Am I being too rash in this judgement? Should he receive ALL of next season?

      Yes, and at least another season after that. I’ll readily admit that if what happened this year happens again next year, then there’s definitely something to worry about; but I wouldn’t be willing to support a move to the bullpen at that point.

      • Tank Foster

        This season, he didn’t prove he can be a reliable starter.

        Why not? He made all his starts except for one, and from April through July, he was essentially average. Once he got past ~110 IP, he started to fall apart. That could be because he’d never pitched that many innings before, it could be that he just hit a two month stretch of shitty pitching. He wasn’t fantastic and not what we expected, but maybe our expectations were entirely too lofty. I’d say the fact that he made all his starts hints towards the reliable thing.

        Maybe my memory of this season is off….I agree he got worse toward the end, but I never felt like he was steady. I guess he had 3 good starts in a row after the allstar game, but otherwise it seemed to me he was very inconsistent. He’d have one good start (which I define as something like the QS stat…6 innings, 3-4 runs or less), and sometimes it was a great start, then would have 3 mediocre ones. I think if a pitcher can’t get through the 6th inning on around 100 pitches consistently (90% of the time), it’s a problem. Not saying they have to be good 90% of the time, but they have to be able to get through a certain number of innings economically, whether they are on or not, or they overtax the bullpen.

        Again….maybe my leash is too short. I would be surprised if the Yankees let him pitch the way he pitched this season for 2 more full seasons.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Again….maybe my leash is too short. I would be surprised if the Yankees let him pitch the way he pitched this season for 2 more full seasons.

          Yea, I think it is way too short. I would not be surprised to see Chamberlain be a starter for the next 3 years, even if he doesn’t become what we all think he can be.

          As to the other part of your post, yeah, he had a trouble with consistency…but young pitchers tend to struggle with consistency like that. It’s part of the growing process. I’ve repeated this line ad nauseum but I think as Yankee fans, we haven’t seen the development of a pitcher in a long, long time, and thus we’re not used to seeing growing pains so we don’t quite no how to react.

          • Tank Foster

            I think as Yankee fans, we haven’t seen the development of a pitcher in a long, long time, and thus we’re not used to seeing growing pains so we don’t quite no how to react.

            Well said.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              “no” should obviously be “know.”

              Mega fail.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Agreed. People haven’t really seen us break in a young starter since Andy in 1995.

              And remember, Andy made his ML debut as a 23 year old. Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy were 21, 21, and 22 when they came up. Andy was much more refined in the minors than this new class of young turks because A) there was a greater need for the new kids at the ML level due to less overall pitching depth today and B) the new kids conquered the minors quicker and more thoroughly in less time, likely because they have higher ceilings than Andy did and their stuff dominated minor league hitters easier.

              So Andy’s early success is, paradoxically, due to the fact that he’s not quite as good of a prospect and thus, had to wait longer and mature more on a smaller stage. We’re watching Joba, Phil, and Ian’s growth curve here in the Bronx (rather than not watching it in Scranton or Columbus).

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Yes, all of next season and them some. Look how long it took Adam Wainwright to break out.

      • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

        Is Joba’s potential up to Wainwright’s status? Or was Wainwright always seen as better?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          No, Wainwright had to potential to be good, but no one thought he could be this good. He got hurt in the minors and was a throw-in in the JD Drew trade a few years back.

      • Reggie C.

        + i’m pretty sure the Yanks could strengthen the pen with FA acquisitions or mid-season trades.

        i’ve always wanted Huston Street caliber reliever setting up the 8th and moving into the closer spot when Mo hangs ‘em up.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Am I being too rash in this judgement? Should he receive ALL of next season?

      Yes. He should receive all of next season, and the season after that, and the season after that to fully nail down being a starting pitcher.

      And probably the season after that and the season after that as well.

      • Tank Foster

        I sense the humor gene kicking in there…seriously, if he went 2 more seasons like 2009, you don’t think it would be a good idea to see if he could be the Mo replacement (assuming Mo eventually hangs it up, which I guess is no given)?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I’m not being humorous. I’m dead fucking serious.

          If Joba has two more seasons as a starting pitcher in 2010 and 2011 and they’re every bit as mediocre as his 2009 was, I STILL keep him as a starter for 2012, 2013, 2014.

          He’ll figure it out, and even if he doesn’t, he’s still more valuable as a #3 starter than as an ace reliever.

          • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            But if he continues having seasons like 2009, he’s not a suitable #3 starter for the Yankees.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Fair enough.

              If he’s only a #3 starter by the conclusion of the 2012 season, we can revisit the bullpen idea.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          seriously, if he went 2 more seasons like 2009, you don’t think it would be a good idea to see if he could be the Mo replacement?

          No. It wouldn’t.

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

          If Joba has two more seasons like 2009 then he definitely has to stay a starter because relievers who walk that many people are playing with fire.

      • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I’ve always been firmly in the ‘Joba should be a starter’ camp, but I think maybe sometimes we take it a bit too far. If Joba can’t hold down an MLB rotation spot by the time he’s either 27 or 28, he should probably be used out of the ‘pen. At some point the Yankees will have to look at their investment and, if that investment has turned into a 27 year old MiLB starter/MLB 5th 6th starter, they’ll have to decide how the MLB team is going to get the best return on that investment. I couldn’t be more in favor of foregoing the potential benefit of having Joba in the ‘pen in 2009-2010-2011-2012 in the interest of developing Joba as a starter, since the potential pay-out of Joba as a starter is so exponentially better than Joba as a reliever, but at some point as the years go by that equation is going to change and, if it does, the Yanks will have to get something out of their investment instead of stubbornly holding on to an aging lottery ticket.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          If Joba can’t hold down an MLB rotation spot by the time he’s either 27 or 28, he should probably be used out of the ‘pen.

          I agree.

          Joba Chamberlain will turn 27 in September, 2012. I’ll see you then, buddy!

          (internet high five)

          • http://www.newyorkjets.com/image_assets/8997/052109_coach_rex_ryan_presser_320.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Totally… But in your comment you said:

            “If Joba has two more seasons as a starting pitcher in 2010 and 2011 and they’re every bit as mediocre as his 2009 was, I STILL keep him as a starter for 2012, 2013, 2014.”

            I just think we have to be careful to be reasonable and not take it too far, that’s what riles up the villagers and brings out the torches and pitchforks.

          • dkidd

            and humanity will end three months later

            /mayan calendar’d

            • bobtaco

              +2012

  • gc

    Jon Heyman interviews himself in the mirror and then goes on air and talks to Mike Francesa every other day, and to him, that constitutes “growing sentiment around baseball.”

    • jsbrendog

      well played

      • All praise be to Mo

        +1

    • Zack

      Those two will never let this end, everytime they’re together thats the #1 topic they talk about.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    Unless that sentiment comes from Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi, it doesn’t matter. The Yankees are committed to Joba the Starter, and no amount of media blustering can change that fact.

    This.

    • Accent Shallow

      Yup. It doesn’t matter what the assistant GM of the Angels thinks, or some crusty old Red Sox scout, or one of the coaches on the Phillies.

      It would be borderline insane to give up on Joba as a starter at this point.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        It would be borderline totally and horrendously retarded and utterly batshit insane to give up on Joba as a starter at this point.

        There ain’t no “borderline” about it.

  • http://www.ominousred.com/blog/0901/090112_busey06.jpg Gary Busey’s Face

    But the truth remains that good starters make good relievers.

    Yes. But at this point we don’t know that he is a good starter. It’s been axiomatic that he is a “future ace”, a “frontline starter”, but at this point we need to question that assumption.

    Not advocating moving him to the pen, not a B-Jobber, but we need to reexamine our presuppositions about what Joba is, and what he can be.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      No, not after his first full season. The flashes of brilliance, like the three starts after the break, are enough to tell you that he has that kind of ability in there.

      The AL East is a tough place for a young pitcher to grow up. Look at Lester’s first few years. Hideous.

      • http://www.ominousred.com/blog/0901/090112_busey06.jpg Gary Busey’s Face

        I’m not saying he won’t turn into something great. I am just saying that its not axiomatic that he will. There’s no guarantee that he’s a future Lester or Wainwright. And I think too often we just presume that it’ll happen.

        • Zack

          No one said there’s a guarantee- that doesnt mean you quit before even trying.

          • http://www.ominousred.com/blog/0901/090112_busey06.jpg Gary Busey’s Face

            False dichotomy.

            Not saying you quit before trying. Not saying he should go to the pen.

            Just combating the presumption that he will turn into Lester or Wainwright if we’re only patient. There’s tons that could go wrong, plenty of risk (esp. w/ his frame, mechanics), etc.

            I hope they do leave him in the rotation, but I think this season is a good eye-opener w/r/t the potential pitfalls Joba faces.

            • Zack

              I still dont understand, if he doesnt turn into Lester/Wainwright and he’s in a #2 starter then that is still more valuable that 70IP in the bullpen.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Exactly.

                Whether Joba is a future Cy Young winner or merely a future #3 starter is moot. Both of those outcomes are better than the best relief pitcher could possibly be.

  • Bo

    Long term the guy is a closer. Obviously he can start. Plenty of relievers can. It doesnt make them frontline starters. Longterm his value lies in the pen. Hes just flat out better in that role. Why force the kid into being an average starter when he can be an elite reliever? As we’ve all seen the pen is very important. I know everyone wants the Yanks to grow their own Beckett but even Boston didnt grow their own. They traded for him.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Long term the guy is a closer.

      Says who? You? Sorry, doesn’t count.

      Obviously he can start. Plenty of relievers can. It doesnt make them frontline starters.

      Most pitchers aren’t frontline starters in their first full years of starting pitching.

      Longterm his value lies in the pen. Hes just flat out better in that role.

      I’d be willing to be that just about any pitcher would put up better numbers in the bullpen than in the rotation. That doesn’t mean they should be relievers.

      Why force the kid into being an average starter when he can be an elite reliever?

      Because chances are he’ll be better than an average starter. And, even if he was just an average starter, I’d take that over the elite reliever going forward.

      As we’ve all seen the pen is very important.

      Yep, but the bullpen becomes a lot less important when the starting rotation isn’t strong enough (see: 2008 Yankees). Also, a solid rotation can cover the flaws of a not-so-hot bullpen (see: 2009 Phillies).

      • Tom Zig

        and bingo was his name-o

    • Zack

      Yup, after 1 full season his ceiling is an average starter.
      And Beckett isnt their ace, it’s Lester- and they didnt trade for him.

    • http://www.ominousred.com/blog/0901/090112_busey06.jpg Gary Busey’s Face

      Yikes.

    • jsbrendog

      batshit insane.

      and plenty of relievers are in the bull[en because they cannot start. and an average starter >>>>>>>>>> elite reliever. therefore why they get paid 2 or 3x an elitye reliever.

      elite reliever ceiling 6 mil, 7 at MOST.

      average starter 11-16 mill

      • Chris

        an average starter >>>>>>>>>> elite reliever

        This gets throw around with such regularity around here, but it’s false. An average (i.e. 3rd) starter is equal in value to an elite reliever. Just look at someone like Phil Hughes. One month of his as a reliever this year was more valuable than one month of him as a starter.

        That being said, Joba should still be a starter until he’s at least 25-26 to see if he can develop into a good or great starter.

        • whozat

          a) 3rd starters are NOT league-average. A good third starter is an above average starting pitcher.

          b) Phil Hughes’ starting this season wasn’t that good, so that’s not a useful comparison

          c) a good third starter throws 36 or so innings of 4ish ERA in a month. Phil Hughes was throwing what…12 innings in a month?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Average starters are more valuable than great relievers. Andy Pettitte and AJ Burnett were far more important to the Yankees this year than Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera.

      • pat

        Take it back.

      • Reggie C.

        ergh … really?

        Andy was more important than Hughes?

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

          Absolutely. Look at how fantastic Andy was in the second half.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Seconded.

            • pete

              thirded

        • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

          If you have good starters…you don’t need the bullpen as much. If you have bad starters…you need the bullpen more and they’re taxed more…and eventually all hell breaks loose.

          Good Starter > Good Reliever

          That’s why they get the big bucks…

  • All praise be to Mo

    As a 24 year old starter in the toughest division in baseball he posted:
    ERA W-L SO WHIP
    4.75 9-6 133 1.54

    Keep in mind, most inning she’s ever pitched and with that incredible upside remember he’s our #4 starter. If everything went as planned this year with Wang being healthy he would have been our #5 starter. What else do you want there? Let him mature for another year or two with no innings restraints and if he proves then after a few years that it’s not working out then in 2 years when Mo retires we have an in house replacement.
    24 year old cost controlled starters with stuff like Joba don’t grow on trees, we’ve been complaining about not having anyone like this since Pettite in the late 90’s and now that we have him and Hughes all we want to do is throw them in the bullpen? Patience fellow Yankees fans, patience.

  • Steve S

    I also think that Heyman is short sighted. Who are the Yankees fourth and fifth starters next year? Assuming Hughes moves into the rotation, hell do so with an innings limit. They’ll have AJ Burnett at age 33, with an injury history and (and its not 100%) a 38 year old Andy Pettitte occupying the other spot. Joba as a starter is a major issue for this team going forward. To be honest it makes more sense to leave Hughes in the bullpen rather than Joba, considering next year will essentially be the first time Joba doesn’t have any major constraints on his work load. NOT that I am endorsing that move but if you do move Joba to the pen, then you are looking at signing a free agent pitcher OR relying on Ian Kennedy who also has innings limitations. And with respect to signing free agents, they will also have holes to fill in the outfield and they are operating on some kind of budget.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      The only way I see a free agent pitcher being brought in by the Yankees is if Pettitte retires and the Yankees get in on a high-upside guy (like the Red Sox did last year) such as Harden, Sheets, or maybe Hudson or Webb if they’re available.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        I think they need someone more reliable than those four, especially if Pettitte retires. It’s not hard to envision a scenario where Harden/Sheets/Hudson/Webb is on the DL, Hughes is in the bullpen, and Joba is in AAA in the middle of next summer.

        Who’s in the rotation then? CC, AJ, Aceves, Gaudin, Nova? Yikes.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Who do you think could be an option, then? If Pettitte retires and they dip into the FA market to replace him, it’s rather bare. I don’t think they’d be willing to give a long term deal to John Lackey. Perhaps they could spin a trade?

          • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

            Pineiro is cheap, no? He wouldn’t cost that much money…though he may want to stay with St. Louis.

            There really isn’t much out there. Even mediocre starting pitchers get a good chunk of change these days…and seem to require some good prospects in a trade as well.

            Hopefully Andy stays…but I’m sure what happens this year will play a role in his decision.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Eeeh, I’m not sold on Piniero. I also don’t think he’d come all that cheap, considering he’s coming off his best year ever. I bet he stays in the NL, and probably with StL.

              • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                You’re right…once I posted that all I kept thinking about was the barrage of characters we had signed over the past decade that didn’t pan out…he fits that mold to a “T”

        • Tom Zig

          don’t scare me like that

        • pat

          Ivan Fuckin Nova baby. He’s gettin ready for his closeup.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      Heyman has actually been pro-Hughes into the rotation for most of the year. People just got stuck on Joba in a different way for whatever reason.

  • BxBomber

    We need to stop trying to make Hughes and Joba starters. One of Stick’s greatest moves ever was giving up on making Mariano a starter back in the mid 90’s and making him a reliever. 15 years later we have the greatest reliever to ever lace them up. We can have the same thing with Joba and Hughes being our 8th and 9th inning guys for the next 15 years which would be a lot better than having them as average to decently good starters in the rotation in the AL.

    If you guys haven’t already seen that Joba is not starter material, I just can’t call it. He can’t come out firing 95 all game like AJ or CC, the 2nd time thru the batting order his pitches are predictable and if he’s even remotely off with his control, he’s gone by the 4th or 5th inning. That’s not a starter, that’s Jose Contreras when he was a Yankee material. Anyone want that or a potential Mariano-Wetteland combo for the next 15 years?

    • Tom Zig

      Sure I’d love a mariano-wetteland combo, but not at the expense of putting Joba or Hughes in the bullpen

      Mariano is a different situation than Joba and Hughes.

      • UWS

        To add to that, we’ll never know what Mariano might have become had he been given a chance to ply his trade as a starter. Sure, he was mediocre, but they never bothered to wait and see if he might improve.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          …because they had little reason to wait and see if he might improve, because he never profiled as a potential starter with room to grow because he was only a one-pitch pitcher who couldn’t turn a lineup over multiple times.

          • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

            He had more than one pitch, TSJC! I’m disappointed you don’t recall.

            Fastball + changeup. Still not enough for most guys.

        • Chris

          Mo was a starter basically through his entire age 25 season, and had an ERA over 5. If Joba can’t maintain an ERA under 5 at age 25, then you give up on the idea of him being a starter and just move him to the pen.

    • UWS

      Oh dear.

      Ohhh dear.

    • All praise be to Mo

      Mariano was made a reliever because he was a complete failure as a starter. Joba and Phil have both shown the ability to dominate hitters as starters and must be given every chance to fulfill that promise.

    • pat

      Interestingly enough Mo was not “given up on” until he was 26. So Joba gets 2 more years and Hughes gets 3. Also, Mo didn’t have nearly as diverse a repertoire as either of these kids at the same age.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Also, Mo didn’t have nearly as diverse a repertoire as either of these kids at the same age.

        I have nothing to add, I just wanted to repeat that louder so everyone could hear it.

        • Chris

          I’m not sure whether that’s true or not. Now he throws basically a cutter and the occasional 4-seam fastball. Back then he had a fastball, slider and I believe a changeup.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            The slider and change pretty much sucked, though. Which is why they were scrapped.

            • Chris

              The change was scrapped because he was moved to the pen. You don’t need as wide a variety of pitches when you’re a short reliever.

              The slider was a primary weapon that he used in ’96 and ’97 when he was still a fastball-slider pitcher.

    • Zack

      That’s because having 1 successful pitch doesnt work as a starter, but it does as a reliever

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      If you wanna go the Mariano to the ‘pen route, then what about the rash decision to make Righetti a reliever? Isn’t the complaint about those mid-80’s teams that they were fine, but just missing that one good starter to put them over the top.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      We need to stop trying to make Hughes and Joba starters.

      That is just not true. The Yankees were not “trying to make” them startes, they were starters all along. They were starters in HS and/or college and in the minors. The Yankees didn’t find those two shut-down relievers somewhere and thought: “Hey, let’s try to make those two guys starters and if it fucks up their development – who cares?”

  • Disappointed Reader

    I’m completely shocked at the number of Joba in the bullpen discussions that take place on here.

    People have repeatedly said that the discussion is pretty tired. Yet, you guys continue to post stories about it. There is a playoff game tonight and the best thing you can talk about is Joba’s role next year? Save it for the offseason.

    I read your work in the playoffs for opinions about the games and what to expect. Now you have started pumping out more of the same Joba rhetoric.

    I honestly cannot continue to come here if this is the type of story on here during such a critical time during the season. I’m disappointed in you guys.

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

      I never understood this kind of comment. We post at least eight times a day. We’re bound to touch on subjects that you don’t like. It happens. But that’s why there are at least eight posts a day.

      Can’t please all the people all the time.

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        If I can’t be pleased at all times by RAB I will give up rooting for the Yankees and become a Natinals fanboy!

        • JMK aka The Overshare

          Better uniforms. Sponsored by Merriam-Webster. Who but?!

      • SCT

        That’s the best thing about RAB; Multiple posts per day, ranging a variety of topics. If I read another ALCS preview post, my head may explode. As for pushing Joba back to the pen, after only 1 full season as a starter in the majors is absolutely ridiculous in my eyes. The guys what, 24 years old? First full season in the majors, showed flashes of brilliance mixed in with mediocrity. The guys still learning in the toughest division in baseball, and at times has been dominating. IMO we as Yankee fans need to show some patience with our young starters, if in 1.5-2 more seasons he’s still consistently inconsistent and can’t seem to adjust mixed in with fatigue/injury, sure let him go back to the pen where he can go all out. But until then, we have a young pitcher with nasty stuff who has shown he can get major league hitters out. With more experience under his belt, and his amount of talent (health permitting) the Yankees brass would be morons to lose faith in this guy so quickly, and ship him to the pen…My rambling aside, I’m obviously in the 3-4 average starter >>>> great, fantastic, lights out reliever, crowd.

        Yanks in 6!!

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

          “If I read another ALCS preview post, my head may explode.”

          Avert your eyes at 11:30.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            (crosses fingers and hopes its the Wives and Girlfriends breakdown post)

            • SCT

              IETC

    • pat

      First of all, cry about it. Second of all, there has been absolutely ZERO content to write about since Monday. You think it’s easy coming up with 6 or 7 topics a day to write about during an off week?

      • Reggie C.

        We could always kick around the significance of the Dow returning to the 10,000 mark , which first happened in 1999 … a year the Yanks WON THE WS !! AW SHIT! I kinda sorta just blew my …. nevermind.

        • pat

          Reginald, I enjoy the cut of your jib.

    • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

      Who cares?

      • Arman Tamzarian

        Not to mention that it became a relevant topic becuase he’s throwing out of the bullpen again after being a starter.

        • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

          The “who cares?” was for the “Disappointed Reader”…I wasn’t agreeing with him saying “who cares” about the topic…I don’t understand why it bothers him so much. He must really hate the news…or almost anything in life (there’s a lot of repetition in life)

    • gc

      Uhh, you’re not doing anyone any favors by coming here. There is the simplest thing you can do if you don’t want to read a particular topic. DON’T READ IT. Move on to another. There IS a playoff game tonight and the past several days have seen plenty of topics talking about it. Get over yourself.

    • Tom Zig

      You don’t like the Joba posts? Too bad, so sad. Don’t read them then. Not that hard.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I honestly cannot continue to come here if this is the type of story on here during such a critical time during the season. I’m disappointed in you guys.

      Bye. Have fun elsewhere.

      • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

        On a scale from 1-10 how much does it bother you that he’s disappointed in not only this story…but also you specifically?

  • Reggie C.

    Joba could be our Neftali Perez.

    Why deny him that future?

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

      Neftali Perez Feliz is a starter.

      • Reggie C.

        My bad. I knew Neftali’s last name ended in Z.

        Your quick thought: Feliz or Chamberlain – who’s better from a fantasy perspective in 2010?

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

          What’s funny is that I used to write his name as Perez, too. I have no idea why, and it was a hard habit o break.

          I’d go Joba, just because he’s been at it a bit longer.

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            I’d go with Feliz because Joba has a bull in a chinatown mentality that will never work as a starter.

            • Jon

              i agree thats why david wells never made it at as starter

              • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

                Or Josh Beckett…

                • Mattingly’s Love Child

                  Or Roger Clemens, or Nolan Ryan, or Curt Schilling, or Tom Seaver….

            • Zack

              Mo is too under control to be a successful closer

    • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

      The future aint what it used to be – Yogi Berra

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    “Jon Heyman wants Joba in the pen”

    Jon Heyman wants lots of things.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOKK8mAkiUI

  • Jon

    the most valuable reliever in the game this year was Jonathan Broxton his WAR was 2.9 (Hughes was 2.2 and Mo was 2.0)

    If we wanted to find a starter who was worth a WAR of 2.9 we have to go down to the 50th highest rated starting pitcher John Danks

    and just to look at the WAR of our starters who went around 200 innings

    CC 6.0
    AJ 3.1
    Andy 3.3

    • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

      What was David Robertson’s if you don’t mind me asking…

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        0.7

      • pat

        .7

        http://www.Fangraphs.com awesome site, they have everybody’s WAR, UZR, all sorts of pitch f/x numbers. Don’t leave home without it.

  • UWS

    What is it about people not being able to understand than even an average starter is more valuable than a shutdown reliever? Yes, it’s all well and good when you have a CC-type handing leads over to Jobber/Hughes/Mo. But if you have a mediocre guy who gives up 5-6 runs to put his team behind right away, it won’t matter if you have Goose Gossage, Dennis Eckersley and Mariano Rivera chilling in the pen because they won’t have a f*ing lead to protect!

    /rant

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      But if you have a mediocre guy who gives up 5-6 runs to put his team behind right away, it won’t matter if you have Goose Gossage, Dennis Eckersley and Mariano Rivera chilling in the pen because they won’t have a f*ing lead to protect!

      Again, nothing to add, just repeating what you said louder to make sure everyone heard it.

    • BxBomber

      We can afford to buy average starters like they were candy. Shutdown relievers are not always available until their price tag is already thru the roof. Would you rather develop the next KRod or pay 10-15 mil a year for him? I’d rather save that money for the true aces and other needs when we can CLEARLY see we have two studs in the bullpen. They are animals coming out the pen but they are average at best as starters. We HOPE they become animals in the rotation but what we’ve seen from them might be their ceiling already. Personally I just don’t feel like taking that chance with Mariano hanging it up soon.

      We don’t go into rebuilding modes in the Bx anymore, if we did, I’d might agree with the ‘give Joba/Hughes some time to develop’ camp. But if we want to put the best team on the field every year for the next 15, those dudes need to be in the bullpen.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        We can afford to buy average starters like they were candy.

        How did that strategy work out for the Yankees for the last 10 or so years? It didn’t. “Buying” starters is expensive and usually not cost beneficial, unless you’re buying a guy like Sabathia. It’s a bad plan.

        Shutdown relievers are not always available until their price tag is already thru the roof.

        The same exact thing goes for starting pitchers and position players.

        I’d rather save that money for the true aces and other needs when we can CLEARLY see we have two studs in the bullpen.

        And that’s not an effective use of money. Buying starters has not worked for the Yankees in the past and the lack of developing pitchers has clearly hurt them.

        They are animals coming out the pen but they are average at best as starters

        I’m glad you’ve come to that determination after these two have put together what? Maybe 2 full seasons in the rotation combined?

        but what we’ve seen from them might be their ceiling already

        I highly doubt that.

        Personally I just don’t feel like taking that chance with Mariano hanging it up soon.

        So you’d rather weaken the rotation? A weak rotation means the bullpen doesn’t matter. If Chamberlain and Hughes should be in the bullpen, what should the rotation be next year?

        We don’t go into rebuilding modes in the Bx anymore, if we did, I’d might agree with the ‘give Joba/Hughes some time to develop’ camp

        No the Yankees don’t “rebuild” but they now have a team strong enough in terms of pitching (CC/A.J. at the front specifically) that they can afford to do the developing of a pitcher at the same time–like they did this year–and still be successful.

        But if we want to put the best team on the field every year for the next 15, those dudes need to be in the bullpen.

        That’s highly doubtful.

        • BxBomber

          Ok, let’s make this simple.

          I want Hughes/Joba to impact up to 5, maybe even 6 games a week, vs just 1-2 where they might not even give us a quality outing. And yes, I make my determinations early in a person’s career. You either have “it” or you don’t very early on. “it” doesn’t just come on after a while, especially after the league has seen you for a few years and the scouting report is thicker. Can anyone deny that both have “it” as relievers?

          Also, you act like this “let’s keep the training wheels on” approach doesn’t hurt us. When we got two guys who cant even get past the 5th with any consistency in our rotation, it kills our bullpen, something that comes back to bite you eventually. Thank god for Aceves, without him this year, we’da lost most of Joba’s starts. If I’m not mistaken, I think he had more wins than Joba. Think that can happen year in and year out?

          • PhukTheHeck

            I make my determinations early in a person’s career. You either have “it” or you don’t very early on. “it” doesn’t just come on after a while, especially after the league has seen you for a few years and the scouting report is thicker

            There’s a certain lefty with an amazing double entendre name who never posted an ERA+ over 110 until he was 29, a full 5 seasons and 1100+IP in the majors, and then exploded into one of the greatest lefties ever.

            http://www.baseball-reference......ra05.shtml

            Give him time

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            I want Hughes/Joba to impact up to 5, maybe even 6 games a week, vs just 1-2 where they might not even give us a quality outing.

            First of all, no relievers pitch that much. Second of all, if they were starting, they could impact 10-18 innings per week, which is better and more valuable than 5-6.

            And yes, I make my determinations early in a person’s career. You either have “it” or you don’t very early on. “it” doesn’t just come on after a while, especially after the league has seen you for a few years and the scouting report is thicker. Can anyone deny that both have “it” as relievers?

            So basically you would’ve given up on how many pitchers over the years? Most guys don’t come in and just click in the rotation right away. It takes more than one full season of starting to determine whether a guy can stick there or not.

            Also, you act like this “let’s keep the training wheels on” approach doesn’t hurt us. When we got two guys who cant even get past the 5th with any consistency in our rotation, it kills our bullpen, something that comes back to bite you eventually.

            The “training wheels” approach is going to help the team in the long run because Chamberlain isn’t going to be worn out next year and be more open to injury, which would hurt the team more than short starts.

            I think he had more wins than Joba. Think that can happen year in and year out?

            Did Aceves only get wins during games which Chamberlain pitched?

            Also, if you want Hughes and Chamberlain in the bullpen next season, who do you trot out to start? CC/AJ/Andy/Gaudin/Mitre? With a rotation like that, the bullpen won’t matter.

  • TheZack

    I hate this thread and I don’t ever want to talk about it again.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      This winter is gonna suck for you.

      Hell, the next 1-4 years are gonna suck for you, until all three pitchers are established starting pitchers and a replacement for Mo has finally been found.

      • ROBTEN

        It will never stop because it is not based upon rational thought.

        Just like the discussion of Torii Hunter’s defense. We remember the big plays, but not the small unmade ones. With closers, we remember the blown saves, but not that in most cases good pitchers can get three outs without giving up a lead.

        Anytime Joba or Hughes struggles in the future, the media will become nostalgic for when they were “lights-out” in the bullpen.

        Picture it, Yankee Stadium, 2011:

        John: That was a rough inning for Joba. Do you remember what it was like when he came out of the pen.

        Suzyn: Yeah, he told me that he liked coming out of the bullpen because he didn’t have to think. He could just throw. I think he thinks too much as a starter and it just gets him into trouble.

        John: You might be right. Annnnddd ttthhhee pitch…

        • Pasqua

          What I learned from this: Joba hates thinking.

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    How can you justify a tabloid ban on the site when you’re willing to write about Sports Illustrated guys? NY Post stories about A-Rod’s wife are 100% as relevant and well researched as anything Heyman has to contribute.

  • pete

    2009 angels. 2009 phillies. 2009 red sox. ’05, ’06 yankees.
    all of these teams made the playoffs with mediocre bullpens.

    2008 yankees, 200anything Blue Jays. Great bullpens, no playoffs.

    Here’s my suggestion:
    If, in his ages 26-28 seasons, he can average 175 innings of sub-4.30 ERA, he is, barring injury, a starter. Forever. That is wayyyy more valuable to a team than any level of awesome relief, no matter how much fun those relievers are to watch. Joba would unquestionably be more effective out of the bullpen. So would CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and just about every other pitcher ever.

    Alfredo Aceves is a good example of this, in my opinion. This is a guy who could probably give you, in a full season, at best, slightly-below average starting (170 IP, 5+ERA). In the bullpen, he is about as valuable as a reliever can be. His WHIP is Mo-like, his ERA not far behind, and he can be used in multiple roles to almost the same level of effectiveness.

  • Pasqua

    Bill Madden joined the “I’m hearing Joba to the ‘pen” followers today on Jody MacDonald’s radio show. It annoys me to no end that these guys act like they have some great insight when their “source” could be a hot dog vendor. Funny how all the reporters who favor Joba as a reliever insist that they’re going to be right. This good ol’ boys fraternity of bad reporting is getting nauseating, especially with the onset of better analysis on the ‘net.