Cashman: Joba a ‘starter in the bullpen’


Is Joba Chamberlain a reliever for good? We’ve heard many opine that since the Yankees announced that Phil Hughes will be the fifth starter this season. The GM doesn’t believe it, though. As Newsday’s Anthony Rieber reports (subscription required), Cashman still believes Chamberlain is a starter. “He’s a starter in the bullpen. He can do both. He’s a starter who was just beaten out in the competition. That’s what we honestly believe, but we only had one spot.” That sounds about right. It does give me some faith that, should something happen to a current member of the rotation, Joba could, and should, be first in line to get a crack.

Categories : Asides


  1. chriskeo says:

    Joba could, and should, be first in line to get a crack.

    I sure hope your right.

    • joey j says:

      Lets be truthfull it was Joba’s job to lose and he was bad during spring training. He also wasn’t that good with 30 starts last year. I think the closer role is much better suited for him. I guess time will tell.

  2. C says:

    If he’s not getting sent to AAA, I’d like to see Joba in an Aceves-type role where at least he’s somewhat stretched out if anyone gets hurt.

  3. YankeeJosh says:

    Dave Eiland was on 1050 ESPN Radio this afternoon, and he seemed to indicate his belief that Joba was a reliver for the forseeable future. He said given what happened in 2008, he did not think Joba would start at all this year. The Yanks, he said, won’t transition him from bullpen to starter in-season as they think it’s too risky.

    The interview should be on the podcast here:

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      So which bridge should I jump after I cancelled my season tickets?

      • Reggie C. says:

        Meh. If Mitre can make 9 starts last season, i’m sure Joe G. can find Joba at least half that number. Not very re-assuring, i agree, but Mitre shouldn’t be an emergency starter before Joba.

        • YankeeJosh says:

          Eiland said Joba isn’t starting this year. Yanks view him as a reliever for this year and do not plan to transition him into a starter this year.

          • Right, citing health concerns. They still have it in the back of their minds that the back and forth from 08 could have caused the shoulder tendinitis in Texas.

            • Of course, that’s the non-steer division of Texas.

              • num1yankfan says:

                i think joba should be a set-up man for rivera. when rivera wants to retire joba’s all set to take over. kind of like rivera – wettland. anyone remember how well that worked out? the yanks r still reaping the benefits of that move. i think cashman needs to stop messing with joba’s head and let him settle in somewhere, like set-up man!! they’re destroying what could be an amazing career! could be as impressive as wettland or better!

    • I heard that, and would highly recommend people listen to that.

      What stuck out to me was Eiland STILL not guaranteeing Joba ANYTHING. He said ‘he’ll make the team’ but the idea that he’s automatically the primary setup man was far from set. He made it sound like Joba could be buried in the pen, unless they see him produce pretty soon.

      This is nothing new. They’ve always had a different tact with Joba as opposed to Hughes. They’ve always seemed to be pushing Joba, like he’s someone who needs a kick in the ass here and there.

    • YankeeJosh says:

      is the link, and the Eiland interview is at 16:40.

  4. JobaWockeeZ says:

    I actually don’t think he’ll get that crack if he’s the 8th inning guy. They didn’t do that with Hughes last year when we had Mitre, Guadin and a still meh CMW starting.

    I’m just being paranoid with the recent moves and all but I don’t have much faith that he’ll actually start this year.

    • iYankees says:

      Totally agree. No way Joba gets a shot at starting if he’s in the bullpen (especially if he excels, once again, in that role). We are quick to forget that Girardi did not move Hughes from that role when the team needed starters last year, opting to run out Gaudin and Mitre, as JW noted. Why would Joba be any different? They’ll come up with an excuse for keeping him in the bullpen.

  5. vinny-b says:

    all factors considered, that makes no sense.

    Joba should be pitching as a starter in AAA.

    not to mention, the bullpen is already loaded. Joba is not needed in the bullpen. If the Yankees believe him to be a starter, he should be in AAA.

    period. End of story

  6. Jonathan says:

    This made my day

  7. chriskeo says:

    “There were things that we wanted to look at. We won a World Series. He was helpful – really, extremely helpful – when Chien-Ming Wang went down. He stepped up and was our fourth starter. Obviously, he’s moving back to the bullpen possibly this year. He’s had success there and we ask all of our guys to try and help us win another championship.”

    Cashman said this in that article.

    • I believe that was Girardi.

      • Joe, check out that Eiland clip. I commented on it above.

        • I heard, and agree with what you said. If he’s in the pen because he’s one of the 12 best pitchers on the team, well, then he’d better be one of the best two or three pitchers in the pen if he’s going to be a primary setup man. Though I’d argue that if he’s not a primary setup man then he should probably be somewhere working on his game.

          • Oh yeah, if he’s going to be buried in the pen then the argument for sending him down to AAA gets much, much stronger to me. But I don’t really believe it, I think they’re just getting on him a bit. And again, that’s been a pattern.

      • Reggie C. says:

        Are Cashman, Eiland, and Joe G. all on the same page here? There seem to be conflicting quotes. What’s happening to the front-office??

        /panicking!ll1 …

        • WIlliam says:

          Well, I don’t really care what Eiland said. It’s Cashmoney who calls the shots.

          • Not according to Cash. For example, he told Girardi how many innings he wanted Joba to throw in 09 and left the execution of it up to him. So all of that mishandling of Joba and the rules from last year was all Girardi and his staff.

            • WIlliam says:

              Yes, but whether or not Joba is a reliever or a starter is a huge decision. There’s no way Cashmoney won’t be in charge.

        • chriskeo says:

          According to everything I’ve seen in this thread:

          Cashman: Joba is a SP who has no spot in the rotation is so therefore a reliever right now.

          Girardi: Joba is moving back to the bullpen possibly this year.

          Eiland: Joba is a reliver for the forseeable future, and probably won’t get stretched out midseason.

          • bexarama says:

            one of the more frustrating things about the whole Joba thing is why can’t they just say something straight out??? I know they might still be deciding, I understand that. But say you’re still deciding!!!

            Sorry for the excess of punctuation. It’s been a long day.

            • Bexy, they don’t want to say something they have to backtrack on later. So much can happen, and nobody has a crystal ball. But all indications are they’re leaning against him starting this year.

      • chriskeo says:

        My bad, it was Girardi.

        / Fail’d

  8. Jake H says:

    I like that quote. I do wonder if the Yankees were a little tired of Joba’s pace and his inability to get on the same page with any catcher.

  9. Reggie C. says:

    So its settled: Joba will start the season with the major league club as a reliever. However, what’s done can be undone. Shoulder fatigue could afflict Pettitte at some point again, but the rest of the starters are coming off injury-free ’09 seasons. Barring significant DL time for a current starter, Joba probably doesn’t make more than 8 starts.

    Lets see how much Joba works his curveball out of the ‘pen.

  10. Rey22 says:

    I interpret that quote as “We’re sticking him in *teh eight1111* this year, and I guess next year we might go through the whole mess of transitioning him back to starter…for the millionth time”

    Unless someone in the rotation gets injured early, he’s probably in the bullpen for the year..

    • Chris says:

      If no one in the rotation gets injured (or gets dropped for sucking), then the Yankees will have the best record in baseball and it won’t matter if they make Joba the official team mascot.

  11. I’m confused. If Joba is going to the ‘pen and it’s not a role in which he’s able to be quickly stretched out to start, what happened to our depth?

    He’s not otherworldly, but Chad Gaudin at least gives you better depth. Now it’s what—Mitre, Z-Mac, Nova, Hirsh, Sanchez, Igawa, Bleich? I’d hate to say it, but that looks less impressive without Gaudin. Maybe they’ll get a decent prospect but to save $2.3 million and move Chamberlain to a one-inning role seems foolhardy.

  12. zzzzzz says:

    argh! when is melancon gonna step it up? if it was him/robertson/mo along with aceves and marte i feel like they wouldn’t just stick joba back in the pen. of course this is contingent on robertson pitching well again, melancon panning out, and aceves and marte continuing their success. stupid bullpens.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Melancon will be in the bullpen sometime this year. Don’t worry.

    • I wouldn’t worry about MM getting a shot. Bullpens are so volatile.

      Were all penciling in Marte as out main Lefty, yet he missed most of the season last year. If for some reason Robertson can’t keep his fastball down, he’ll get hammered. You never know, could be health or performance related. But someone will get called up, probably a few guys and multiple times each.

  13. Bxbomber says:

    I don’t see what the big deal is, he’s obviously the 6th starter and should be able to step in if one of the big 4 get hurt or Hughes falters. This was obvious when they made the announcement, I don’t know there was all this hand wringing over him going to the bullpen. I’m perfectly fine with him pitching a few innings every week in key situations. If he’s as good as advertised he’ll be even better than Hughes was last year which is a good thing for the team.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      I don’t think its so obvious. There’s a good chance even if someone is injured Joba will stay in the bullpen.

      • This.

        That’s what they’re saying, at least.

      • ROBTEN says:

        There’s a good chance even if someone is injured Joba will stay in the bullpen.

        This is what happened when it was clear that Wang wasn’t coming back. Even when the All-Star Break afford them the opportunity to stretch Hughes out at AAA, they left him in the bullpen.

        This is also the problem with the argument that you always break camp with the 12 best arms in the organization. If the roles are not considered interchangeable, then you’re not really dealing with an equal collection of 12 arms, but rather 5 starters and 7 relievers.

        The issue is that by putting Joba (or Hughes) in the pen, you’re not really including them among the “best arms” among starters, but instead with the “best arms” among relievers. There’s no doubt that either would be among the best arms in the pen, the problem is that by putting them in the pen you essentially put worse arms ahead of them in the starting category, when the benefits to having good arms available for the rotation outweighs the marginal benefit either Hughes or Chamberlain bring to the bullpen over other available options.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          This is also the problem with the argument that you always break camp with the 12 best arms in the organization. If the roles are not considered interchangeable, then you’re not really dealing with an equal collection of 12 arms, but rather 5 starters and 7 relievers.

          Wow that’s a good point. I agree. Excluding perhaps Aceves no one will be interchangeable form bullpen to a starter. With the depth looking as it is right now I’m still going to hope for AAA for Joba.

  14. Mike says:

    I seriously doubt that Joba is ever coming out of the bullpen. It is the best for him to remain there because that is where he is at his best. Who cares if he becomes Mo’s eventual successor? Remember Mo always wanted to start back in 1996 but look how much better things turned out that he didn’t. I think that Cashman just said this because he didn’t want to slam his player or say that he didn’t believe in him. I guarantee if Joba would have won this battle than he would say the same about Hughes. Personally I like this decision and believe Joba will turn back into the dominated reliever he was before. He probably won’t put up an era of 0.34 for full season but than again who does.

    • It is the best for him to remain there because that is where he is at his best.

      Why? It’s best for the team that he starts, which is more important.

      Remember Mo always wanted to start back in 1996 but look how much better things turned out that he didn’t.

      Fair enough, but the Yankees gave up on Rivera after just ten starts, which was likely too early. And, IIRC, the common argument was that Mo didn’t have enough pitches to remain a starter for long; Joba does.

      Personally I like this decision and believe Joba will turn back into the dominated reliever he was before.

      I’m sure he will. Most capable starters make really good relievers. Joba’s numbers will likely be better in the bullpen, but that doesn’t mean it’s better for the team or a more valuable contribution.

    • YankeeJosh says:

      I know it’s a small sample size, but Joba wasn’t exactly great out of the bullpen last year either. His post-season stats were not good, and he gave up an important game tying world series home run to Pedro Feliz. To me, for whatever reason, Joba hasn’t looked the same since his shoulder injury in 2008. He was a great reliever and a great starter before. Since, he’s been a good starter and a mediocre reliever. I don’t think we’ll see the return of the Joba of old.

  15. Craig says:

    Even though Eiland dances around the question, Joba should be able to pitch in the rotation in 2011 without any significant restrictions – 185 to 200 is plenty when you’re talking about a 4th or 5th starter. That is one of the main issues that I thought would give Joba more rope to work with in the spring, but if the Yanks are confident enough to use Hughes’ IP baseline from a career high he achieved several years ago, why wouldn’t Joba be able to build on a baseline achieved less than two years ago?

    I just can’t bring myself to believe that the Yankees are foolish enough to permanently convert Joba to a RP before he’s had the chance to prove that he can’t be an above average starter. Looks like we’ll have to wait and see next year. F*CKIN’ A.

  16. JeffG says:

    I agree with the general consensus, that it was my strong hope that Joba should have been given his chance to prove himself in the spot that he has been building towards. He’s got to be headed toward being a starter.

    At the same time, I agreed with picking up an extra pitcher (Vasquez) as to not have two inexperienced pitchers in our rotation. The real concept behind this wasn’t that Chamberlain or Hughes aren’t rotation guys. They both are.

    The real understanding should be that someone will be postponed and it should be the lesser pitcher. I mean, Joba is not a finished product. Neither is Hughes. The AL East is as good as it has ever been.

    With that said, if Hughes did look better. If he seems more prepared to take the ball long right now, then maybe its the right decision.

    The real worry is that the idiocy that calls for Joba as the long term bullpen solution will stick. But if you have faith in our front office one hopes that the one who got his chance this year (Hughes) will be established and the one who didn’t (Chamberlain) will get his chance next. That could prove to work.

    But if Chamberlain is pitching in the bullpen come 2011 I’ll have lost a little faith.

    • WIlliam says:

      You’re completely right. The idea of putting Hughes in the rotation, if indeed he really improved that much, is not a bad idea. The concern is will both Joba and Hughes be ready, sans innings restrictions, come opening day 2011. If they are, I’m OK, but if Joba isn’t a starter on either this team, or another team as a part of a major trade, come opening day 2011, I will be very annoyed.

      • Reggie C. says:

        I dont think its crazy to throw Z-Mac into the rotation mix for 2011. Z-Mac looks slated to throw something in the neighborhood of 150 innings this season, which pretty much gets him out of any innings restrictions the following year. Z-Mac will have a whole season of AAA, and if those AA numbers hold up, Z-Mac will most definitely be in the conversation.

        • WIlliam says:

          But why not use the more proven Joba, and let Z-mac develop some more? Otherwise, you’re wasting at least one very talented young star pitcter.

      • JeffG says:

        Very annoyed… and I don’t want to trade Joba either. You won’t get what he’s worth until he proves what he is.

        • WIlliam says:

          I don’t want a trade. I just meant that if a team that was salary dumping wanted to give someone who was really good, but making to much money for them *cough* Josh Johnson *cough*, then trading Joba might be acceptable. Still, cases like Johnson are rare. Unless the trade is Javy-esque, I want Joba starting. The point is, I want Joba’s full value used in 2011, one way or another. If not, I will be very annoyed.

  17. corshep says:

    What happens 2 months into the season when someone goes down and a starter is needed?

    Joba will not be stretched out enough to start.. Will they send him down to Scranton to stretch out? I doubt it. This is why putting him in the bullpen so dumb.

  18. James says:

    Joba is going to be in the bullpen this year…and whether or not you think he should be there (which most of us don’t think he should be)…once he is there, he should stay for the whole season. End of story.

    As Eiland said…it’s just too dangerous and reckless for them to keep moving him back and forth in the middle of the season.

    He is in the bullpen this year…people need to take their medicine and deal with it.

    • JeffG says:

      I’ll agree with this. This year we are going to need all the pitching we can get.

      …just have to hope that next year things turn out as they should with Joba and Phil in the rotation.

    • ROBTEN says:

      He is in the bullpen this year…people need to take their medicine and deal with it.

      If the “illness” is well-thought out and rational balancing of short-term and long-term needs versus knee-jerk emotionalism and an irrational ability to think beyond a SSS from two years ago, then I don’t want to be well.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Didn’t exactly stop them doing that with Guadin and Aceves last year though.

      Granted I still don’t believe Joba will get shifted. Teh 8th must be very important.

      • Chris says:

        Gaudin is basically a spare part – the team didn’t really care if they burned him out. And Aceves got hurt. Personally, I think the Aceves injury will be what prevents them from moving Joba (or another young pitcher) from the pen to the rotation.

  19. Drew says:

    I can’t take it anymore. If we need one pen arm this bad, bad enough to retard his growth further, why not just trade for a top pen arm? Joba in the pen is obviously crucial to our success(that’s what I gather from this bizzaro young pitcher handling), otherwise he’d be working on his secondary pitches in the minors. I don’t get it Cash.

    • Drew says:

      Furthermore.. Ya know how pitchers say that they are creatures of habit? Yeah, about that… Joba we’re just going to have you practice a different habit every season and see how that goes.. We may even switch up your habit mid season. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

    • Hey ZZ says:

      Also, one of the big knocks against signing top pen arms is that they cost you draft picks. I would rather sacrifice the draft pick because chances are those picks never get to Hughes or Joba’s level.

      And I can see a response to my comment would be that they also cost money. However, sacrificing one of the 6 years these guys are cheap is incredibly costly.

      • Drew says:

        Joba is closer to being a major league starter than any minor leaguer in our farm. So what do we do, turn him into a reliever? Let’s move Zmac to the pen.. Oh wait, we don’t want to do that, it will stunt his growth as a pitcher.

        I’m at a loss.

        • Hey ZZ says:

          This is the problem with the whole Joba/Phil to the pen thing.The Yankees decision to do this is just so incredibly inconsistent or illogical.

          At this time last year could you imagine if someone suggested that Hughes should be in the bullpen? He was one of the 12 best arms in the system. But, that guy or girl would be chased out of here and probably even Cashman’s office with a pitchfork. If Joba was never called up to be a reliever in 2007 this idea of him as a reliever never exists.

          This whole he is a starter who can relieve notion that Cashman has been pushing with Hughes and Joba is just a horrible manifestation of his own poor decision making and incompetence at building a bullpen for the past 4 years.

          • Hey ZZ says:

            *and* illogical

          • Drew says:

            I mean, I don’t mind bringing an electric arm from the minors up to the big club to help a team late in the season, from the pen. That’s fine, it happens all the time, as it should.
            Our Joba timeline looks like this;
            -end of year help
            -half season starter then half season pen
            -full season starter
            -2010 full season pen
            -2011 full season starter again?? Ummm

            How on earth does this timeline make any fucking sense.

            • Hey ZZ says:

              Yeah I actually agree about the late in the season thing. I probably went a too far saying Joba would never have been a reliever. I actually think that can be really beneficial for a young starter to get a taste of the bigs during a pennant run ala David Price. I also think this idea is what Cone talks about when he says he supports young guys gaining confidence and such in the pen. Not at all what Joba has been put through.

          • ROBTEN says:

            This whole he is a starter who can relieve notion that Cashman has been pushing with Hughes and Joba is just a horrible manifestation of his own poor decision making and incompetence at building a bullpen for the past 4 years.

            I think that it is less this, than it is more a conservative move determined, in part, by the contract system than it is a manifestation of “incompetence at building a bullpen.”

            Cashman has shown, I think, a generally good approach to building a bullpen over the past four years. The bullpen today is younger, cheaper, and more flexible since he gained full control, all of which are productive characteristics given the volatile nature of today’s bullpens.

            The problem is that given the relatively high costs of acquiring starting pitching, it seems to be moving in the opposite direction in regards to the rotation.

            The decision, it seems to me, is driven in part by the fact that Hughes can’t be sent down to AAA after early April without clearing waivers, so he either starts the season in AAA or stays with the team the entire season. While Chamberlain can be sent down until August, I think that the team is, quite frankly, hesitant to send either Hughes or Chamberlain to AAA. So, it was clear that they were probably both going to make the team out of Spring Training.

            What can’t really be explained, though, is why Chamberlain is in the pen over Hughes. If it was simply “building a bullpen,” then it could have easily been Hughes. It seems that there is some consensus that Chamberlain has “failed” at something, contrary to Cashman’s statement that he’s not a “failed starter,” but without any further information it just doesn’t make any sense. And in that context I would agree with you, it would be an example of “poor decision making.”

            • Hey ZZ says:

              I definitely agree that looking at the bullpen today, Cashman has done a fantastic job compared to what was there when he gained full control. But it really seems Cashman figured it out with the bullpen the past 1.5 maybe 2 years.

              Bullpen arms are volatile, but it is not impossible to build a bullpen. The past few years the Yankees put Joba and Hughes there because the bullpen was an absolute mess at midseason. The Farnsworths, Hawkins, Vizcainos were still around in the bullpen quite recently. The Red Sox OTOH have built a solid bullpen for a few years now and have never needed or ever really seriously considered putting Bucholz there.

              • ROBTEN says:

                The Red Sox OTOH have built a solid bullpen for a few years now and have never needed or ever really seriously considered putting Bucholz there.

                The problem is that I think the value of the Sox bullpen is based upon a) false perception and b) their commitment to starting pitching.

                A) Since 2005, the Sox’s relievers’ era has been lower than the Yankees’ relievers’ in only two of five seasons, and last year the difference was a small 3.80 to 3.91. However, in all of those seasons, the Sox’s pen has pitched less innings than the Yankees’ relievers. As relievers are generally weaker pitchers, you could make the argument that the Yankees have actually gotten fairly good “value” from their pen when compared with the Sox, or more importantly that the Sox have put more weight into the rotation than the Yankees. Which leads to:

                B) I would suggest that the Sox never considered putting Lester or Bucholz in the pen because they perhaps understand that starters are more important than relievers and because they’ve needed to develop starters given the age and makeup of their current rotation. Remember, they even considered and tried to move Papelbon back to the rotation, even though he really didn’t have the skill-set for it. They also were willing to send Bucholz to AA to try to get him right as a starter.

                • Hey ZZ says:

                  Good post. Part B is particularly striking when comparing the Sox and Yankees approach to their young pitching. I really did not do my research before referencing the Sox BP.

                • ROBTEN says:

                  Thanks. It’s just after hearing so much about the Sox’s pen, I myself wanted to look more closely into it. I don’t know if it has been talked about elsewhere (I’m sure it has), but the amount of innings pitched by both pens is something that I hadn’t really thought about before writing this post.

                  Here’s the breakdown in reliever’s innings pitched/ERA since 2005 (I’ve rounded the innings):

                  2005 (+40 inning difference):
                  Sox 426 IP, ERA 5.17
                  Yanks 465 IP, ERA 4.43

                  2006 (+7):
                  Sox 503 IP, ERA 4.51
                  Yanks 510 IP, ERA 4.42

                  2007 (+82):
                  Sox 447 IP, ERA 3.10
                  Yanks 529 IP, ERA 4.34

                  2008 (+64):
                  Sox 479 IP, ERA 4.00
                  Yanks 543 IP, ERA 3.79

                  2009 (+36):
                  Sox 479 IP, ERA 3.80
                  Yanks, 515 IP , ERA 3.91

                  In fact, the last time the Yanks’ relievers pitched fewer innings than the Sox’s relievers was 2003, when they lead the ML in reliever ERA.

                  Look at where the Yanks generally sat from 1996-2009 in terms of IP by the pen (both leagues):

                  1996: 23rd
                  1997: 7th
                  1998: 2nd
                  1999: 4th
                  2000: 10th
                  2001: 17th
                  2002: 3rd
                  2003: 1st
                  2004: 17th
                  2005: 16th
                  2006: 19th
                  2007: 22nd
                  2008: 25th
                  2009: 20th

                  You can see the value in starting pitching in the amount of innings that the Yanks have had to turn over to the bullpen over the past several seasons. And even then, the Yanks’ pen has put up a better ERA in 3/5 seasons than the Sox. But more importantly, it does show the value of starting pitching and that part of the Sox’s competitiveness is the limited innings they turn over to the pen compared to the Yankees.

                  In fact, given the innings differential over the past couple of years, you could probably argue that the Yanks only need Hughes or Chamberlain in the pen because they don’t have both available for the rotation. In some cases, they’ve required almost an entire extra reliever than the Sox.

  20. Hughesus Christo says:


    • JeffG says:

      I’d agree if the Yanks weren’t going to have to face Tampa and Boston this year. The team motto is to win EVERY year. This year they are going to need all the guys they have.

      Joba still has time… he should start transitioning Dec2011.

  21. Steve H says:

    I have to say I feel a little bit better.

  22. Paul says:

    Wow, I’m sending Cashman a big ole UPS box full of dogshit. Cause that’s what this is. Horrible. The kid got 15 starts in the minors, Hughes got 63 and they think it was a fair competition?

    Just horrible. They should fucking trade Joba. His value is being completely wasted. From Halladay to middle reliever. Awesome, fuck faces.

    Meanwhile, there’s no fucking way they move him back into the rotation. If they didn’t do it with Hughes last year, they won’t with Joba this year.

    Now watch Hughes hurt his hammy again and we get two months of Mitre. Fuck you Cashman. Fuck. You.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Breaths. Deep breaths.

      The kid got 15 starts in the minors, Hughes got 63 and they think it was a fair competition?

      Meh I don’t think it was a competition. I think Hughes got the job since day one. I don’t know why perhaps Joba’s “poor” 2009. Joba’s had the longer and better track record as a starter in the majors. I mean when Hughes got rocked they already started to make excuses for him. He was chosen a long time ago I think.

      Just horrible. They should fucking trade Joba. His value is being completely wasted. From Halladay to middle reliever. Awesome, fuck faces

      Joba alone wouldn’t net a Halladay. Joba+Montero+McAllister maybe. And he likely start in 2011 but I don’t want to get my hopes up since I completely trusted that Joba won the spot this year.

      Meanwhile, there’s no fucking way they move him back into the rotation. If they didn’t do it with Hughes last year, they won’t with Joba this year.

      Pretty much, yeah.

      • “Meh I don’t think it was a competition. I think Hughes got the job since day one. “

        That’s the only part of this that really bothers me. The process more than the result. To me Hughes/Joba was a push, so I figured they’d both get an equal chance to win the job and let the best man win. But clearly, that wasn’t the case. It was Phil’s to lose.

        • Drew says:

          I was just about to post something like that. It really bothers me that they passed it off as a competition. Joba thought he had a shot.

          • Mike HC says:

            Its not like Joba did anything in Spring to change their minds though. As a player, you have force yourself into the lineup. Every time they talk about Joba to the press, I hear that “he has to earn his spot.” The Yanks obviously don’t love his work ethic. It seems pretty simple to me. All this talk about how he can’t repeat his delivery. It all sounds work ethic related to me. Plus, Hughes seems to be an extremely hard worker. So you have guys at the opposite ends of the spectrum, both with equal talent. I can see why they choose Hughes. Although i still would prefer Joba myself.

            • Drew says:

              What did Phil do that Joba didn’t?

              It wasn’t a competition like they said it was.
              For what it’s worth, Mitre and Aceves have probably looked the best, today not included for Ace.

    • V says:

      Agreed with the general sentiment. I’d rather trade Joba to a team who views him as a starter than waste him as a reliever.

    • Mike HC says:

      Funny rant. Enjoyed it.

    • Bo says:

      Nice use of F bombs.

      Really helps make your point.

  23. WIlliam says:

    The Chamberlain Arbitration talks will be epic. The whole Papelbon thing will really fuck them up.

  24. Beamish says:

    This is all bullshit. If Joba has proven one thing it is that he is not well suited for the dual role – 5 cent head or nervous dispositon it does not matter he cannot go from reliever to starter with any success.

    Joba will never start again unless he is traded. And I think that is his true future – trade bait.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      If he was trade bait we’d have the best rotation in baseball with CC and Halladay heading it.

      • Beamish says:

        I didn’t say he was going to net anything great. I think he will be there as the piece to get the trade done if the Yankees have to overpay.

    • But they just absolutely killed his trade value. The Yankees know the most about Joba and if they don’t think he can hold down a fifth starter’s spot for the second straight year, why would another team believe it? Hell, even if they did, they could easily pretend they didn’t and give the Yankees a lot less than joba’s worth.

      • I agree with the conclusion for the most part but different teams have different values and takes. The Royals think Farnsworth can hold the 5th spot in KC. Does that mean others do? Does that mean his (trade) value is higher?

        Perhaps all of the other teams see Joba in the light that we do and one that does not appear to reflect how the Yankees view or expect of him.

        Sure, his trade value is lower because the Yankees have less leverage, but I’m guessing they know that too.

    • JGS says:

      he cannot go from reliever to starter with any success


    • Bo says:

      If he was trade bait he would have been moved already.

  25. Cecala says:

    I am secretly hoping a pitcher is under performing for an extended period of time then goes on the DL. There would be an available job for Joba. It might hurt short term, but be better for the long term and that’s what really matters.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      But if Joba’s in the bullpen it’s unlikely they transition him. The only way Joba starts in 2010 is if he’s in AAA. And honestly there’s not a good chance he goes to AAA.

    • ROBTEN says:

      To be clear, I don’t think anyone is really hoping for an injury to the starting five, at least I am not. Rather, it is that what some of us are pointing out is that it is rare when you have four starters have the kind of consistent ability to take the ball as regularly as the Yankees starters did last season. As I posted earlier tonight, the Yankees have only done this three times this decade (2003, 2006*, and 2009). So, our concern is that there is a good chance that someone other than CC, AJ, Pettitte, Javy, and Hughes will be asked to pitch. Now, no one can say if it will be 1 start or 5 starts or 10 starts. Certainly, we all hope that it would be as few starts as possible because our starting five are both healthy and dominant, but history shows that this is a risky assumption. The point is that if these starts are available, we want Joba to make them because we think it is best for the team in the short and long term to keep both Joba and Hughes on the track to enter the rotation in the next two years.

      *In 2006 Wright made 27 starts, so depending upon how you look at that, you could technically argue that it was only twice, but I’ve included it because 25+ is, I think, close enough.

      • Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

        If no one is hoping for an injury, then they shouldn’t make the comment. It is the type of overly emotional mindless nonsense that has no place in reasoned discussion.

  26. Mike HC says:

    I hope a “starter in the bullpen,” means he is the first one to get stretched out if the Yanks need 2-3 starts in a row from the pen, although I doubt the Yanks do that. I suspect short of a major injury to a starter, or poor performance from Hughes, Joba will be in the pen for the season. Of course, both of those scenarios are quite possible.

    • Drew says:

      Won’t happen. Say AP/Phil/CC/AJ/Javy go down with some sort of injury, you stretch Joba out, then AP/Phil/CC/AJ/Javy come back healthy. What happens now? You’ve fucked Joba. He won’t make a start unless a starter goes down for the entire season.

  27. Andrew what? says:

    I hope cashmoney is being truthfully. I for one am very skeptical and believe cash and the fo has given up on Joba as a starter. I really hope I’m wrong.

  28. Hey ZZ says:

    I do not like the idea of putting so much pressure on a young pitcher like Hughes, but I think he really needs to have a good year. If he is not good or Joba-esque circa 2009 the Yankees are just going to be in the same position next year. Two young guys that you do not feel comfortable enough with to put in the rotation together.

  29. Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

    Why am I the only person who thinks that this decision is simply a reflection of the fact that the Yankees only have one rotation spot open, and they decided that for the immediate future Phil could best fill that spot, rather than a reflection on Joba’s ability or future as a starter? I’m certain that if we had two spots open, Joba would get one of them. This leads me to believe that the organization has in no way given up on Joba as a starter. They are simply excited about what Hughes can do, and feel that right now he deserves it based on present performance. The fact is that Phil Hughes is major league ready, and the Yankees may feel that they don’t want to risk stunting the growth of another stud arm. The fact is that the organization has mishandled Joba in the past, but that doesn’t mean the best way to rectify the situation is to scrap all other considerations and stick Joba in the rotation no matter what. Let’s wait and see how this plays out and where the Yankees put Joba before we excoriate Brian Cashman, who has proven an extremely capable and sensible GM. Criticize the organization for past Joba mistakes by all means, but recognize that each new decision has to be made weighing the present factors, and the present factors alone.

    • Snakes on the mother effin Temple Of Doom says:

      Yeah but it’s not like there wasn’t a better way to handle each pitcher’s long term development – AS STARTERS – in a better way, that wouldn’t hurt the team so much at the margin that it was worth worrying about.

      In other words, the ‘loser’ of the competition should be sent to AAA to start. Full stop.

  30. Astro Boy says:


  31. Bo says:

    They wont move their 8th inning guy to the rotation unless something drastic happens injury wise and I think we all can agree that we dont want that.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      true no one wants that to happen but would anyone be surprised if it did. Are ppl forgetting that there was a moment when andy’s shoulder was acting up. And some how burnett made it through the season w/o ever touching the dl. Can the same thing happen again

  32. GMill says:

    Maybe I’m just lazy, but I can’t imagine a better job than being a closer in the majors. Unless Joe Torre is your manager, you don’t work very much and even when you do, its only for a couple of innings. Injuries are infrequent and careers typically last longer than those of closers. Hell, if you’re any good, you get your own theme music when you come into games. I suppose I’m underestimating the ego factor for most pitchers, but it doesn’t seem like a terrible gig.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      Nah it’s probably not a terrible gig. The one thing that is a terrible gig is probably that of an 8th inning man. You don’t make the money of a closer and you basically have to spend most of your time either getting all the blame, no credit, or hear ppl say you’re so good that you should close. The thing is you can’t because you’re either a young kid relieving in front of a vet or a vet pitching in front of a vet. And the only reason you’re relieving is because a job is a job and you can’t pass it up. Thats why most relievers close when they get the chance. Truthfully speaking have you ever heard a young player say I can’t wait to be an 8th inning guy. Hell have you ever heard an established player say I love pitching the 8th inning.

  33. The Big City of Dreams says:

    And then you get stuff like this from the from

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he still believes that Joba Chamberlain is capable of being a starter.

    “I think he can be that right now, actually,” Cashman said.

    Cashman said the Yankees discussed a wide range of options for Hughes and Chamberlain during the offseason, including putting both young arms in the bullpen. He even considered leaving two rotation spots open.

    “If the name wasn’t Javier Vazquez, I probably would have left a spot open,” Cashman said.

    It doesn’t make sense because if he can do it right now than why isn’t he lol. He has a higher innings limit than hughes and you went through all that trouble just to get him there. So you add those comments with his others from newsday and what does it mean exactly. Is it just him leaving the door open because who knows how the rotation will look next yr. Is he leaving the door open for this season even though dave eiland went on the radio and said it is unlikely they will move him to the rotation even if injuries occur. Or is he just saying it to say it. I always believed that cashman knew what he was doing but with the fake battle for the 5th spot it made me take a step back and question everything that has happened with joba.

    Then you look at the last quote about vasquez. Why is he making it seem like vasquez was left on their door step…abandoned by another team and the yankees found it in their hearts to take him in. The yankees knew what they were doing when they traded for Javier. The minute they acquired him they sent a msg and they didn’t even say the loser of the “battle” can go to scranton to remain stretched out as a starter. Hell they didn’t even have the minors as an option. When the vasquez deal went down cashman and co said the loser will go to the bullpen. So whats all this bullshit that he is spitting out right now especially when there are mixed signals coming from everywhere

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