Yanks tab Hughes as fifth starter


Yankees manager Joe Girardi has officially announced Phil Hughes as the team’s fifth starter. While the team will say that Hughes earned the job with his confident and solid Spring Training pitching, the truth is that the job was Hughes’ to lose. For some reason or another — and I’m sure it will be discussed ad nauseum over the next few days — Joba Chamberlain had pitched himself out of contention by the end of last season.

For now, this leaves Joba Chamberlain twisting in the wind. After the Yanks kept him tethered to a strict set of rules, innings and pitch limits throughout 2007, 2008 and 2009, the team has yet to determine his role in 2010. “I think Joba could do either job,” Girardi said to reporters this morning, “but right now we feel Hughes is ahead as a starter.” Girardi’s comments, apparently, stem from the development of Hughes’ change-up.

When asked about the ever-important eighth inning, Joe Girardi said, “You have to earn your spot.” While Joel Sherman seems to think this makes Chamberlain destined to be Mariano Rivera‘s prime set-up man this year, I wonder if Girardi is referring to Joba’s spot on the team. As I speculated just this morning, the Yanks could opt to go with Boone Logan while sending Joba to AAA to keep his innings up.

Meanwhile, Phil Hughes, all of 23 years old, hasn’t been a starter over the course of a full season since his injury-free 2006 campaign. That year, he threw 146 innings but hasn’t reached that total as a professional at any level since. Last year, over the course of the Minor League season, his Major League campaign and the playoffs, he threw 111 innings, and I believe the Yankees will try to cap him somewhere within the 165-175 innings range. Based on the team’s schedule, they don’t need a fifth starter until April 24, and Hughes should, in other words, be able to last the season in the rotation.

Dave Eiland discussed the end of restrictions for Joba in February, and he did mention that Hughes would be on a limit. “You’ve got to remember,” Eiland said, “Joba had restrictions because he never had a full season in professional baseball as a starter. Phil Hughes has had several minor league seasons as a starter. So there’s going to be restrictions, but they’re not going to be as strenuous as Joba. And I’ll just leave it at that, right there. There’s restrictions, and we’re on the side of caution with all our guys.”

What all of this means for Joba, I have no idea. Girardi said that Joba would throw one inning on Saturday, and if that doesn’t sound like relief prep work to me, I don’t know what is. Yet, for now, a limitless Joba will be seemingly in a limited role. How this makes sense for the Yankees of 2010, the Yankees of 2011 or the Yankees of the future, I don’t know. Joba needs his innings; Phil needs his innings. The Yanks shouldn’t be giving up on Joba after three years of yoking his chain. The team, though, hasn’t made an announcement regarding Chamberlain’s future, and until then, I’ll hold my breath.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

Categories : Pitching


  1. Coach6423 says:

    Good luck to Phil, still don’t understand though

    • Gerald Williams says:

      I honestly think Hughes has more upside as a starter than Joba. However, that is not to say that Joba can’t be a solid starter as well. Why not use Joba in the pen this year and then make him a starter next year to replace Vasquez of Andy P? He’s too good to leave at AAA this year preparing to start next year. That doesn’t make sense when he can help the team win this year out of the pen.

      • theyankeewarrior says:

        How could Hughes have more upside if Joba throws harder and has a nastier secondary pitches? I’m not saying Joba will end up a better pitcher, but if you want to talk about upside, then Joba is your guy, not Phil.

        • Steve in PDX says:

          Because it’s not all about stuff. Hughes has shown better control and is more efficient.

          • theyankeewarrior says:

            That doesn’t necessarily speak to his UPSIDE. If Joba has control of his fastball and his slider, he has the potential to be better than Hughes. Control is something you can develop. UPSIDE is based on development. STUFF is more natural. Naturally, Joba has more upside than Hughes.

            Do you understand now?

            • hughes has better control, yes but its about demeenor on the mound. if you watched joba on the mound as a starter he looks lost out there. hughes went after people joba nibbled and his pitch count went up and phill went after people. joba is better suited for the bullpen…that is the upside.

  2. Mike Pop says:

    Can’t say I agree but not surprised after all the latest news.

  3. Mike Axisa says:

    Sigh. And now all the B-Jobbers will think they were right all along…

  4. MikeBK says:

    Happy for Phil, worried for Joba. Send Joba to Scranton (for month – 6 weeks) for innings and to remain stretched out in case of injury or struggle?

    • Mister Delaware says:

      This is where I stand. I think its the right move *if* he’s headed to SWB to learn to better roll lineups over. If he’s now the 8th inning guy / Rivera’s heir apparent, I’m not thrilled.

    • Jon G says:

      Things have a way of working themselves out over the course of a long season.

      Last year, Joba had mental issues as a starter — not working quickly, not being aggressive and shaking off his catcher frequently. I’m sure that factored into the Yankees’ thinking — maybe it wore thin on them.

      Hughes showed a better make-up, more of a starter’s make-up, it seems, and with the change-up added, it’s a logical choice.

      Still, if a starter happens to get injured, I’m hoping Joba will get the shot he deserves, and Melancon shows the stuff needed to handle the 8th inning.

      We will see how it all works out over the course of 162 games. I predict Joba does, indeed, get a slew of starts in 2010, and hope when he gets the chance, he attacks hitters and works fairly quickly, as he did when he was at his best in 2009…

  5. Nady Nation says:

    Holding out hope that the plan is still for Joba to be a starter long-term. Seems like faint hope, though.

  6. Steve H says:

    Holding my breath on Joba’s role……….

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Don’t bother. There’s maybe a 1% chance they’ll use him in a role other than as the 8th inning guy.

    • I peed all over the toilet seat as a way of lashing out over my anger regarding what I’m sure will be his role.

      Mom will clean that up later.

      She’s a B-Jobber.

      • So angry I can’t compose a sentence.

      • Riddering says:

        You’ve done good work, JMK. The universe will find a way to reward you.

      • Rose says:

        December 19, 2005

        Dear Diary,

        Today started off pretty sweet. I woke up and farted under the covers. Then I stuffed Becky’s head down there. She said it smelled bad, but I told her it smelled good. She agreed, and cooked me a pot roast. I got to level 74 on Grand Theft Auto, then I beat up a priest. Joey was downstairs making friendship bracelets, so I peed on his parents’ toilet seat. Then, I put bleach in his iced tea, and drank some motor oil. I got like 50 more chest hairs after that, which I sold on eBay to some guy in England. I never sent them, though. Instead I sent a clam and a half eaten Dorito. I felt like playing Smash TV, but I didn’t have it. So, instead, I went to Danny Tanner’s house and smashed his TV. Then, I made him cook me lobster. When he wasn’t looking, I switched the lobster with a brick. And when he wasn’t looking again, I switched the brick with his face. He cried, but then I told him the story about how I ate 50lbs of beef jerky just by looking at it! Then I made him write “Mrs. Nesbit’s Ass Hat” on his face with a Sharpie. I don’t know who Mrs. Nesbit is, but she probably needed an asshat. I went to the pet store and bought a crocodile. It gave me lip, so I traded it in at The Video Game Exchange. At first, they said they didn’t take crocodiles, but then, I opened a Boston Market…in Boston! They took the crocodile, and gave me $50 worth of store credit. I used it to buy an Atlasphere! I rolled that thing all around town, until I finally got tired and drank a PBR. A cop pulled me over, and said I was drunk driving. I reminded him that I was in an Atlasphere, and that I was Uncle Jesse. He corrected himself and said, “I meant you were totally sweet driving. Here’s a lottery ticket.” The ticket was a winner too. I went home and Becky said we should save the money for Nicky and Alex’s college fund. Instead, I bought 3,456 pinwheels and a sombrero. She went to bed lucky she was married to me. I went to bed and ate 45 pieces of ham in 2 seconds. Then I re-wrote the Declaration of Independence…in my sleep! Tomorrow, I’ll probably wash my Atlasphere with Joey’s gay RedWings jersey. That’ll teach him.


        Uncle Jessie xoxo

  7. What a freakin’ weird day. Joba doesn’t get the 5th starter’s spot, Gaudin is just straight-up cut. I’m waiting for an announcement that Marcus Thames will be hitting cleanup this year.

  8. radnom says:


    Not on Lohud yet, nor does a google news search for “Hughes” show any articles with an official announcement.
    I’m curious as to the follow up questions surrounding the annoucement.

    (Also, in before the bridge jumpers)

    • Mike Axisa says:

      It’s all over Twitter. The Yanks’ PR feed even posted it.

      • radnom says:

        Ah ok, thanks.

        I was hoping it was more like a press conference announcement. I assume they will be publicly addressing the roles of the losing pitchers at some point.

        • MikeBK says:

          it is. they are reporting straight from girardi’s mouth. lol.

          • radnom says:

            Damn these new fangled social media sites.

            Twitter makes me feel old, its the first internet “trend” that completely passed me by.
            The sad thing is that I’m only 23 (and have a master in computer science haha) I have no excuse.

    • MikeBK says:

      @Joelsherman1 Girardi officially announce hughes is #yankees fifth starter

      @BloggingBombers Girardi makes it official: Hughes is the 5th starter

  9. MikeBK says:

    i havent seen much spring training at all, but since this decision has been made has Phil’s change progressed that much to where it is a legit 3rd pitch and is his curve back to where it was before he was afraid to throw it in the pen late last year?

    • CountryClub says:

      His curve has been good. I’m sure he considers the change his 4th pitch (behind the cutter), but the change has been very good this Spring. Of course, Spring is the key word there.

  10. bexarama says:

    Congrats to Phil.

    I hope they put Joba in Scranton but I’m not really holding my breath.

    • hogsmog says:

      Please, please send Joba to Scranton… This is an unbelievable waste. But you know it’s what the fan-shmucks want; they’d jump all over “Yankees send Joba back to the minors” as giving up on him anyway. Sure, watching a kid strike out the sides with the nastiest of stuff is fun, but I’d rather see him win 20 games in a few years.

  11. Jose says:

    This is going to be a long day as soon as the B-Jobbers come out from under the bridges.

  12. PeterG says:

    This is to help both JC and PH for 2011….just wait and see!

  13. Steve H says:

    In my best Nancy Kerrigan voice/shriek: WHY!!!! WHY!!!! WHY!!!! WHY!!!!

  14. JP says:

    retardedddddddddddd man how can u give up on joba like that

  15. Bxbomber says:

    * Smiles widely *

    Never understood why people on here had the kneepads and napkins out for Joba as a starter.

    • Coach6423 says:

      With the exception of tons of statistics, and a lifetime of being a starter, your right i dont understand either…

      • Bxbomber says:

        *sigh* here we go with the stats again…. I use my eyes… obviously so does Girardi and Cashman…

        • Accent Shallow says:

          Your eyes must have missed Joba outpitching Josh Beckett in Fenway in 2008.

        • spaceman says:

          Whew, I thought yo were serious for a while. Good caricature man.

        • Jack says:

          We use our eyes too. Our eyes tell us he’ll be a good starter. And our brains tell us that a good starter is better for the team than a great reliever.

        • Tampa Yankee says:

          “here we go with the stats again…. I use my eyes”

          That’s the dumbest think I’ve ever read

          • radnom says:

            In all seriousness, the Yankees probably value their talent evaluators much more than the results from a tiny sample size from each pitcher as a starter.
            Hughes now isn’t the same pitcher from 2008, nor is Joba from the same year. Comparing their major league stats at this point isn’t the best way to predict future success for pitchers who are still developing. The Yankees probably feel that Joba could succeed as a starting pitcher, but that Hughes has a better chance going forward.

          • spaceman says:

            Don’t worry guys, he’s obviously caricaturing the irrational bjobbers in the media, no one is really that ignorant in real life.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      I never understood why people like you seem to think that 2007 was “the real Joba”. No one can sustain that level of success for a long period of time.

      • Bxbomber says:

        WTF is the “real Joba”? The dude who couldn’t get past the 5th?

        • gc says:

          Or was it the dude who gave up what could have been a series changing home run to Pedro Freaking Feliz of all people in the World Series?

          You wanna know who the real Joba is? He’s a 24 year old pitcher with terrific stuff who has, so far, been inconsistent as a Major League pitcher. Just like damn near every other 24 year old pitcher who has ever lived. If he had been given a chance, and after 50-70 starts or so was the guy who “couldn’t get out of the 5th,” then yeah, maybe it was never meant to be for him as a starter. But to toss it all out the window NOW, after all the rules, after all the staggered starts at the end of the year, after all the talk about being committed to him being a starter, well, it defies logic. No matter what they do with him now, make no mistake about it, this makes the Yankees look bad.

          For the record, I like Phil Hughes and I’m very happy for him. But if they state that Joba’s role on this team from here on out is in the bullpen and the bullpen only, then I will definitely be disappointed in the Yankees front office and their ability to do what’s right for their young talent.

          • Bxbomber says:

            No I’m actually serious. As someone who invests, I use both technical and fundamental indicators before I make my decisions. Using one or the other is just stupid. And sometimes, I just go with my gut. Same with baseball. Sometimes you just can’t go by pure stats and comparisons to other young pitchers. I never hopped on the Joba bandwagon like some people. I think the dude is more likely to be the next Mariano than the next CC and to be honest, I’d be ecstatic if he turns out to be that way vs us trying to make him an ace which has not shown he can be up to now on a WS team.

            • gc says:

              The difference then, between you and me is that I never expected him to be an ace on the 2009 Yankees. Or on the 2010 Yankees for that matter. I expected him to be given a legitimate chance to develop naturally into whatever role he is best suited for given his talent. That is what the FO said they were going to do, that they saw in him tremendous upside as an eventual top level starter, and all those rules were set up to ensure that this is what their plan was. His talent dictates that he be given that chance, and no I don’t think they have given him enough of one. If he had 50-70 big league starts under his belt (especially now that he is uncapped in terms of innings), and still hadn’t developed past what he has already shown us, then yes, I’d have no problem taking him out of the rotation for good.

              But if you think that jerking these young pitchers around from a development track as a starter and then throwing them into the bullpen back and forth and back and forth is what’s truly best for the TEAM, and for these young pitchers, then I have nothing further to say to you.

          • Bxbomber says:

            Do what’s right for their young talent? WTF? How about do what’s right for their team? If they feel Hughes is a better option as a starter right now and that Joba can perform as good or better than Hughes did last year in the 7th-8th innings, why not do this? What was done in the past is done, it’s a sunk cost, you don’t consider it when making future decisions. This is just common sense. F his staggered starts and F the rules. In this spring training when it was widely known there was an open competition for the 5th spot, Hughes was better than Joba, point blank. All the brass agreed and did what’s best for the team in their estimation. They didn’t say “oh well because we did this and hoped Joba would be a starter by now, let’s continue down that path even though Hughes is better this spring.” This is what smart executives do, cut their losses and make decisions with the future in mind, not the past.

            Be glad we have an option here and are not forced to use him as a starter only to find out he wasn’t as good as everyone here had hoped.

          • Egghead71 says:


    • what the hell does “kneepads and napkins” mean?

  16. Steve H says:

    Fellow Joba supporters, let’s make sure our love for Joba doesn’t cloud our equal love for Hughes and be ready to ship Hughes out of town as soon as he goes thru expected struggles. Hughes will struggle this year. It’s ok.

    • pete says:

      mos definitely

    • Riddering says:

      Belatedly–I think it’s more likely Hughes supporters behave that way than those who would have preferred to have Joba be the fifth starter.

    • Shucking Bullfit says:

      Screw that. Two can play at this game.

      Joba had a 3.8 ERA through his first 15 starts last season, and a SUB-3.00 ERA as a starter in 2008, and we still have had to hear the B-Jobbers’ crap.

      Can Hughes top that? If he doesn’t, then we will rightfully and repeatedly call for Phil to be in the pen.

      I’m goin B-Philler Renegade.

  17. Totally psyched for the dawning of the Phil Hughes era in the Bronx. Let’s not lose sight of how awesome that is just because we’re disappointed about Joba. I love the confidence in Hughes, and clearly the Yanks like what they’ve seen from him both on the mound and off of it. Phil Hughes is the motherluvin man.

    Now if they send Joba to SWB to start the season, I’ll actually be a relatively happy camper.

    • Wait, I thought you wanted the “loser” in the ‘pen? Have I missed a key development?

      • Yeah kinda. For one thing, I always stated that I was generally on the fence about the whole thing, with some movement in either direction at different points in the offseason. I started as one of the charter members of Scranton Til The Stretch, moved off that position, and was never really able to pick a side thereafter. Lately (I don’t know, last week or two) I’ve made a few comments about coming back to the AAA idea, especially if Joba were the loser of the 5th starter competition.

        • Word. If both are able to build innings (over 100), work through refining pitches and going through the lineup a few times, I’m totally happy. It makes little difference if Hughes is the 5th starter or Joba is. If the goal is to get both without innings restrictions in 2011, this makes sense.

          But I worry that Joba will be relegated to a one-inning role where he won’t have to worry about conserving energy, pitching to different hitters, using finesse and command to get players out (as opposed to just power—assuming his fastball returns), that’s a major setback IMO.

          Then again, I suppose they can transition Joba from the pen if Hughes struggles or is injured. But we’ve lost a lot of depth if one of these two go down and Gaudin is gone.

          This whole day has greatly confused me.

          • I hear you. All is not lost if Joba is put in the ‘pen, but it certainly won’t make me a happy Mondesi.

            Unfortunately, I think we all just have to deal with this conversation for a while longer (a year or two… ugh). I think part of why we all want them both to work as starters so badly is that we just want this conversation to be a thing of the past, but that’s just not in the cards. The uncertainty lives to see another day/year/2 years/I’m shooting myself in the head with a finger gun while dry heaving right now and other people here must think I’m insane.

    • radnom says:

      To be honest I’m more excited to watch Hughes get a chance than I would be Joba. It is just unfortunate what Hughes getting this opportunity means for Joba at this point.

    • bexarama says:


      I just don’t think they’re gonna send Joba to SWB. I’d be thrilled if they did.

  18. Sherman said that Hughes development of the changeup is what gave him the edge.

    You know who else is being pegged as a starter that entered camp with a greatly improved changeup?


    You feel sick now, don’t you?

    • Accent Shallow says:

      No, because Hughes doesn’t have Farnsworth’s long track record of mediocrity.

    • Thomas says:

      I am still trying to figure out why the Royals are letting Farnsworth start. I’ve seen games of him starting when he was on the Cubs and he is worse than relieving. His stuff plays up a lot in relief (like Coke). His fastball is quite a bit slower, but just as straight. His slider lacks the bite it has in relief. His control is no better.

      It is mind bottling, yo. (safe)

  19. Accent Shallow says:

    Wow. Joba to the eighth? Scranton?

    /head explodes

  20. James says:

    I’m going to be honest folks…i don’t think Joba ever had a chance.

    • Steve H says:

      You’re right, because it’s not like Hughes really “won” the competition. They obviously wanted Hughes all along, and unless he totally bombed, or Joba totally dominated, that’s who they were going with.

      • radnom says:

        You make that sound like its a bad thing.
        Frankly, I would be more concerned if the Yankees based important decisions like this on spring training results.

        Hughes won the competition by being the better young starting pitcher (in the eyes of Yankees talent evaluators). Major league results aren’t really applicable here, and it says nothing of Joba’s talent level – they just think Hughes is better right now.

        • gc says:

          If that’s true, then I would expect they would send Joba to AAA to continue his development as a starter. I really am hoping that still happens, but something tells me they have given up, which to me would be a colossal waste of our time as fans, and more importantly Joba’s time and the team’s time.

          • Section 39 says:

            Wasting your time as a fan? I think that is a bit dramatic honestly. Hughes won the job soundly this ST and he deserved the opportunity. If you didn’t give it to Hughes after what he did this ST, then the job was never really open for competition. Hughes won the job.

            That said, what happens to Joba is still up in the air. I hoped he could stay as a starter, but if the power that be think otherwise, so be it. All I really want is a decision and for them to stick with it — stop flip flopping all over the place. If it was up to me, which is it clearly not, I would have Joba starting in AAA to keep him as a SP. Then again, I am fan.

            • gc says:

              I agree it would be better for him to go to AAA. And why would flip flopping all over the place be a problem? Because it WASTES TIME. His time and the team’s time, most importantly. And yes, I do believe it takes a toll (albeit not nearly as crucial) with the fans as well. But I’ll be happy to downplay that comment if you like. What bothers me most is that it makes the team look indecisive at the least, and incompetent at worst, depending how you look at it.

              Also, if you believe what you read, Hughes won the job before ST even began. Or if you prefer, didn’t lose the job in ST. And hey, I love Phil Hughes and hope he pitches well this year.

    • Bo says:

      Joba didnt earn it. He pitched terrible last yr. He didnt challenge hitters and could barely last 3 innings.

      • Shucking Bullfit says:

        “Joba didnt earn it. He pitched terrible last yr. He didnt challenge hitters and could barely last 3 innings.”

        He was terrible only once the Yankees started completely screwing with him in August or so.

        Up until that point he was quite good.

      • pete says:

        It’s weird how a guy who could barely last three innings managed to average 5.1 innings per start, and that’s including the truncated starts in August and September

  21. Ansky says:

    The Joba Rules were basically for nothing? This sucks. Francessa is going to be all over it today. B-Jobbers rejoice.

  22. This thread is going to be a mess pretty soon. Cashman is going to need to kiss a lot of babies to make up for this one.

  23. Rey22 says:

    If they announce Joba is going to AAA (Unlikely…) I will have no problem with this.


    I saw the highlights of Joba’s 7 inning shutout in Fenway yesterday….


  24. Mike Pop says:

    I’m more upset than I’d thought I’d be while awaiting the inevitable.

  25. Steve H says:

    Based on this horrible news, I’m really looking forward to my dentist appt. in an hour. I’m sure that’s bound to go great.

    • Mike Pop says:

      For me, the decision for Hughes to go in the rotation is not horrible. Looking forward to seeing him start. Just Joba heading back to the 8th AFTER WE WERE ALL AWAITING THIS SEASON FOR HIM and after all this ‘prepping’ for him to go back to the bullpen…. wtf Yankees.

      • Steve H says:

        Agreed. I love Hughes, and am excited to see him start. The horrible news is if they have pulled the plug on Joba as a starter. If that is the case, they should have traded him when they had the chance.

        • Slu says:

          I agree with this. If this really is the end of Joba the starter, I wish he would have been traded – preferably for Hallady.

    • bexarama says:

      I woke up at 5:30 because my leg was throbbing in pain. Then I seriously slammed my elbow against a counter so it is throbbing in pain as well. Today is just not gonna be a good day.

    • Zack says:

      The pain from the assistant murdering your gums (ARod style) will ease the pain of Joba to the pen for a few hours.

  26. Zack says:

    So how do you win the 5th spot?
    Well you have less success as a starter in the majors, before better as a reliever than the other guy, fail to build up innings over the last 3 years, and show off a new pitch in 13 ST innings.

    When Hughes isnt throwing 95 like he did out of the bullpen, will I be hearing that he NEEDS to regain velocity or else he cant make it as a starter?

    • Zack says:

      perform better as a reliever*

    • Steve H says:

      When Hughes isnt throwing 95 like he did out of the bullpen, will I be hearing that he NEEDS to regain velocity or else he cant make it as a starter?


    • Thomas says:

      The only thing that bugs me about the comparison between Hughes and Joba’s performance as a starter in the majors is that Hughes was, for a majority of the time, injured as a starter in the major. The only time really that both have not been injured and performing the same role was in the bullpen, and Hughes was, indeed, better in that role. That said, I still think it’s still too early to make any statements about who will be the better starter (or reliever, at that).

      • Zack says:

        “for a majority of the time, injured as a starter in the major”

        He wasnt injured in 2009, he was injured in 2008 while the rib then the “eye sight” issue, and was helthy for 13 starts in 07.

        Throw out 8 of Hughes’ 28 starts.
        Throw out 5 of Joba’s 43 starts when he was only allowed to go 3-4 innings.

    • Joba’s velocity loss wasn’t about not throwing 100 in the rotation it was about throwing 89-91 a lot of the time.

  27. James says:

    Folks…this could very well be the end of Joba as a starter.

  28. Jack says:

    Please tell me Girardi said “Psych!!” right after that.


  29. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    I can’t say that I am upset, I am okay with this and I really like Hughes, but what is the plan with Joba now that the Joba rules have gone to waste?

    • CountryClub says:

      They didnt go to waste. The yankees increased his innings each yr at a rate that they (and most other teams) deemed appropriate. He can still start next year and wouldnt have any limitations.

      • Ed says:

        I can’t see that working out well. Look at Joba’s 2009 season. He was fine until he hit 110 IP (his 2007 mark), then fell off a cliff and pitched terribly the rest of the way. I can’t see him throwing ~80 IP this year then 200 IP next year.

        • CountryClub says:

          Correct, Joba started to slow down when he hit 110 because that was his previous innings high (at least that’s the popular theory). Last yr he threw 170 innings. So even if he throws 90 in 2010, he’ll be ready for at least 170 in 2011.

          • Ed says:

            I’m a little more hesitant on it than that. When he hit the 110 IP in 2007, he was going strong the entire way and looked like he could’ve kept going longer. In 2009, even when reduced to short relief appearances, he struggled a lot. Even this season I’m not sure I’d expect smooth sailing all the way to 170, let alone next year if he spends this year in the pen.

  30. CountryClub says:

    Assuming Joba doesn’t go to AAA, both of them will be helping the Yankees win games this yr. That’s all that matters for 2010. We’ll know more about what they plan for Joba this time next year.

    • That might, in a vacuum, be all that matters for 2010, but it’s not all that matters. When you build a team, you have to do so with an eye toward the future especially when you’re dealing with cost-controlled pre-free agent pitchers. I hope Cashman has a good explanation for this because, frankly, it’s ludicrous.

      • was your rec. that they put joba in the 5 hole and send hughes to scranton? can’t remember.

        • Just because they’ve spent so much time on Joba, I’d rather see that happen. Basically here’s what our options were:

          1. Hughes starts, Joba pen.
          2. Joba starts, Hughes pen.
          3. Hughes starts, Joba AAA.
          4. Joba starts, Hughes AAA.
          5. Both in pen, someone else starts.

          Option five is bad. Options three and four are ideal. Options one and two are handcuffing the future. The Yankees have a very good bullpen, and the marginal upgrade Joba or Hughes provides in 2010 isn’t worth the impact it will have on 2011, when the team needs starters, and beyond.

          • Have to factor injury as well. There’s also Hughes starts, injured. Joba transitioned from ‘pen.

            Could also come up from AAA in the event of injury.

          • Kaz says:

            There’s one more option here.

            Send Joba to AAA for at least the first half of the season (say 15 – 20 starts, around 100 – 120 innings), then for the second half of the season or stretch run, bring him back to bullpen (barring of course any injuries to starting rotation or Hughes implosion). Let him come back to pitch 1-2 innings of relief each game or even close when Mo is not available. You can at least try and get close to matching his IP from 2009. Thoughts?

      • MikeBK says:

        agreed, plus the possible loss of two innings eaters at the end of this year since Andy has to retire sometime and Javy who knows if he will be back.

      • CountryClub says:

        Next season they’ll have two 25 yr old pitchers capable of throwing 200 innings. Whether that happens or not, we don’t know right now. And as I said above, we probably won’t know until this time nest yr.

        But isn’t that good for the future of the organization? One could argue that Hughes to the pen this yr would have set the team back long term more than Joba to the pen.

      • James says:

        since no one else wants to show support


        • Hey, I love Hughes. I’ve wanted him to start since forever, but I’m not prepared to say that picking him over Joba this year was the right move. If the Yankees wanted to do this, they shouldn’t have re-upped with Pettitte and also traded for Javier Vazquez. They went with short-term security over the better move for the long-term outlook of the club.

          • CountryClub says:

            Yes, but isn’t this the struggle that the Yanks have every year? Win now, but also develop? If they went with both Hughes and Joba (and one or both pitched poorly) and the team didnt make the playoffs, wouldnt Cash get killed?

            Look, I don’t think Joba should be in the pen the rest of his career. I just want to make that clear. But him going to the pen this yr is not the worst thing in the world. As I said above, at least now the Yanks will have 2 young pitchers stretched out for 2011.

            • I’d say that Joba in the pen is the worst thing for his development this year. This is the year he was supposed to be off innings limits, and the Yanks are putting him in a position where he’s going through 70-80 innings max. He won’t be stretched out; he won’t hone his secondary pitches; and we’ll have to go through the rules again.

              • CountryClub says:

                Your point about his secondary pitches is a good one. But he will not have to be stretched out again. Not after only one year of throwing 70 – 100 innings.

      • Tank the Frank says:

        I hope Cashman has a good explanation for this because, frankly, it’s ludicrous.

        Thank you.

        As for me, my confidence in the FO just went down a couple notches. Not one notch… a couple.

      • Ed says:

        If Joba gets sent to AAA, and spends at least two months there, it’s a great move. That drops him from normal arb-1 status to super-2, and most likely sets him up for a low first time arb payout. That would make up for some of the mismanagement of a pre-free agency player.

        That is of course assuming they combine that with proper management of innings counts for both him and Hughes.

      • Bo says:

        And his future according to the FO now is as a reliever.

        Embrace it.

        Not everyone is destined to win Cy Youngs as a starter even with good stuff.

        • pete says:

          but somebody who can pick up 170+ innings of average starting is more suited to that than to being a reliever, no matter how good of a reliever he’d be. otherwise, there’d be hella lot more great relievers out there.

  31. Can you smell what the Rock is cooking says:

    You ever meet Joba? His bad karma caught up to him. That and he is just electric in the eighth.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      “You ever meet Joba?”
      Why would this even matter?

      “That and he is just electric in the eighth”
      So was Hughes. The difference is, Joba was performed better as a starter and over a larger sample too.

  32. Nady Nation says:

    @Ledger_Yankees: Girardi: Joba next pitches Saturday. Slated for one inning.


  33. Hughesus Christo says:

    JOBA TO TEH SCANTRON!!!1111!!!!11

    I blame Girardi. He has always been a B-Jobber and has always been a basket case re: the bullpen. Even Leonidas eventually fell to the hordes. Make me believe again, Ca$hmoney… send him to AAA.

  34. Reggie C. says:

    Lets hope Joba gets at least a half season assignment to Triple A. The man needs to start game, otherwise much of what he learned goes down the drain. If Joba wants to start he’l have to verbalize it to Cash and company. Repeatedly.

  35. JobaWockeeZ says:

    Lost some faith in the FO right now.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      Big time. Questionable decision at best. And then keeping Mitre over Gaudin? That’s a minor decision, but given every ounce of data and reasoning, it’s the wrong one.

  36. Hughesus Christo says:

    Why doesn’t one of these hack columnists make himself useful and work on a Big Three book? I wouldn’t buy it, but I would hate it less.

  37. PinstripePal says:

    I’ll be very surprised if Joba does NOT start the year in AAA. He finished the 2009 season poorly (albeit with help from the confusion and frustration of the Joba rules), and he has performed poorly (so far) in the 2010 spring training games.

    Last year, several columnists stated that Cashman wanted to send Joba to AAA in the second half of the season, but couldn’t do it because we already had Gaudin and Mitre starting games and did not have the starting rotation depth to send Joba to AAA. Javier Vasquez gives the Yankees the adequate depth to demote Joba for more seasoning at AAA. I for one hope none of our starters get injured so Joba can stay in AAA as a starter for the entire season, and then he can join the team in September and the playoffs as a reliever.

    Joba will be a useful starter in 2011.

  38. Ansky says:

    So is Joba the new Justin Duchscherer?

  39. The outrage around here over this move is a little over the top.

    • Jose says:

      People are passionate.

    • bexarama says:

      Not so much outraged as frustrated. Do the Yankees just not know how to develop SP?

    • Zack says:

      What would you like the reaction to be?

      OMG YES! His bulldog mentality is perfect for the 8th inning!

      • Everyone is entitled to their opinion and reaction, I cant fault anyone for that. I just think its odd that everyone is so shocked right now. Unless you’ve only been reading this blog for the past few weeks, its been obvious that Huges was going to get this. The beat writers said this, most other blogs hinted at it. While I know many people favor starting Joba because of all the development that has been put into him, its been obvious for the past 36hrs or so that Hughes would get this.

        Now that its official I didnt realize everyone would be so bent out of shape. Does it suck that Joba doesnt get to start? Yes. Should we blame the FO and Cashman or Girardi? I dont think so. As dedicated fans we all watch and follow their movements with pitching on a regular basis. We all witnessed the development of Joba. With that said, there are things that we dont know or understand that factored into this deicsion and unless we’re in the meetings we may never know.

        Instead of being mad that Joba cant start, I’m excited for Hughes. The kid has a high ceiling and I’d like to see him go at it for a season and see what he can prove. He’s been given the chance Joba had last year. If Joba goes to AAA to continue to develop his stuff, then even better. I just dont see the point in flipping out over Joba when we still don’t know everything that went into this decision.

        • bexarama says:

          I don’t think the organization is doomed, and I am excited for Hughes as well. But…

          Should we blame the FO and Cashman or Girardi? I dont think so.
          I don’t know who exactly to blame, so I’m not gonna scream DAMN YOU CASHMAN or DAMN YOU EILAND or DAMN YOU GIRARDI but they cannot keep jerking Joba back and forth from the rotation to the pen like this. I am a big fan of the Yankees’ FO, but if Joba is going to the pen, and not even to be a long man but an eighth inning guy, it seems like they have no idea what to do with him. It’s frustrating.

        • Zack says:

          “The beat writers said this, most other blogs hinted at it”

          Writers have been pimping Joba to the bullpen for 3 years now based on fastball velocity and mentality. And other blogs still get caught up in the mentality and sudden importance of the 8th inning.

          I still havent been convinced that Hughes should get the spot over Joba. Joba has been a better starter in the majors, he built his innings up over the years and now he has no innings limit. Hughes has had less sucess as a starter, has NOT built up innings over the last 3 years, and is on an innings limit.

          13 ST innings and talk of a new change up do nothing for me, I hear that every year. Player X has a new stance, Player Y has a new contacts, Player Z lost 15 lbs.

          “Instead of being mad that Joba cant start, I’m excited for Hughes.”

          I dont think anyone here isnt excited for Hughes. We dont hope/wish that Hughes fails so we can say “told you Joba should be a starter,” unlike numerous b-jobbers who flat out say “Joba CAN’t start” “Joba SHOULDNT start” or the greatest line of them all from Francesa “Lets see Joba get knocked around so we can end this nonsense” (paraphrase)

          • joe says:

            I actually hope Hughes fails because I would love nothing more to rub it in to Mike Francesa when he talks out of his ass about the 8th being the most important inning of the game. I want Hughes to fail so I can really stick it to Francesa that Hughes isn’t better than Joba as a starter.

    • Thomas says:


    • Mike Pop says:

      Dude, we were waiting like 3 years for Joba to be a full fledged starter. We’re all disappointed. Highly disappointed.

      It’s ridiculous.

    • Riddering says:

      I lived through PerfectGate with the Colts. This is nothing.

      Seriously, though, people are heated but I think it’s backed by reasonable doubt in what the Yankees are doing right now.

  40. camilo Gerardo says:

    I’m not upset until they relegate Joba to Middle Relief, if that is indeed what they do

  41. Couchy says:

    Whilst we are all pretty down about this, the vast majority of us still only see these guys on a screen during live games and the odd training clip here or there. The management of this great ball club see these guys in the flesh day in and day out, they converse with them, guide them, study them and are in the best possible position to make this call. The vast majority of us hit the ’9′ button on the fan confidence poll without batting an eyelid (good time for a kneejerk poll guys), surely they deserve the benefit of the doubt… at least for now.

    I have a decent feeling Joba will end up starting in Scranton. Of course, this is only a hunch. The moral of the story is I back our guys to make the right call and then bring Joba back into the forefront of things when an opportunity presents itself in the summer. Let’s venture nowhere near the cliff for now as there is simply no need

    P.S … I’m in no way a Joba to the pen guy

  42. marc resnick says:

    Are we sure theres no chance we all over value joba… seriously what makes joba so valuable as a starter, his abilities aren’t the same as they were 2 years ago. plenty of pitchers have velo spikes and just lose it when they are young. What makes joba any different… whats he have 50 command, 65 velocity and a 70 slider. regardless of how young he is, his physical abilities have lessened and thats reason enough to discourage me from believing he can succeed as a starter. I mean, seriously how much “promise” did he even show last year? Or will we always just argue his boston start in 08 and his indians start in 09?

  43. Thomas says:

    My feelings about this decision are mixed. I am a huge Hughes fan, but Joba seems to be a better talent, and I can’t help but feel the FO did this because of character issues related to Joba’s development. This is pure conjecture of course, but perhaps Joba simply wasn’t following the internal development path the FO had lined up for him, and that the FO now feels he is more of a sure-bet in the bullpen? The only thing I can look for to support this is all this emphasis on Hughes working on the change-up. It would seem to give a clue as to what the FO constitues good/bad work.

    Total conjecture, I admit, but I feel forced to look for something–ANYTHING—considering how mystifying this decision is. Here’s hoping Joba goes to AAA, even if it’ll never happen…

  44. YankeeScribe says:

    I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about Joba. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him as a starter.

    I’m happy for Phil and I hope stays in the rotation for good

    • Mike Pop says:

      Even if the case, this limits him to only using his fastball and slider all year. He won’t be able to better his secondary pitches if limited to one inning of work per appearance.

      I think the decision might be made.

      • CT Yankee says:

        I don’t think its as Dire as you make it out to be. Heck they used to develop pitchers that way. Cashman has always been a big Joba as starter guy and honestly I don’t think Joba did anything to change that.

    • CT Yankee says:

      I agree completely. I was actually more worried about the yankees stringing Hughes along. I just Hope Joba goes to Scranton and not the eighth inning

  45. JobaWockeeZ says:

    I’d really like to see the justification of this move. Unless said in the links which are blocked for me.

    Is it to get Hughes innings? He could do that in AAA without the expense of stalling the development of another starter.

    Is it because os ST? Doubtful. Maybe Joba’s 2009? Maybe but honestly we shouldn’t expect a spectacular year for a 23 year old pitcher in the AL East.

    • Jose says:

      The Yankees don’t have to justify anything publicly. They came to a conclusion in private meetings and will probably repeat the line “We feel Hughes is ahead as a starter”.

    • CT Yankee says:

      “Is it to get Hughes innings? He could do that in AAA without the expense of stalling the development of another starter.”

      So can Joba

  46. Hughesus Christo says:

    I would love to hear how the Yankees plan to remain competitive long term if they refuse to develop young starters. Pay the rotation 110 million? Trade every batting prospect in a salary dump? Just wondering.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      They can’t even sign great starters when they’re ALL being locked up. Trading can only get you so much.

    • CT Yankee says:

      Wait. Is Phil Hughes Sergio Mitre all of a sudden?

    • YankeeScribe says:

      NY is a tough place for young players to develop. More than any other city, the pressure is on winning now. I really feel sympathy for these guys young guys.

      A trip back to Scranton will probably hurt Joba more mentally since he hasn’t been back to the minors since 07′. Than Yankees may have rushed his development. Hopefully he comes back stronger.

    • mryankee says:

      Money and more money-and if they want a rortation next year fronted by cc-aj-beckett and Lee that is fine with me.

    • Bo says:

      Have you ever thought that their plan is to develop young starters but these individuals being discussed arent that good?

      why force a round ball into a square peg?

      • pete says:

        why do Joba’s last two, obviously tampered-with months influence your opinion more than his first 184.1 innings of 3.62 ERA ball as a starter? I’m just wondering. I mean, even with all of the organizational interference, he’s at 4.18 for his career as a starter, and averages 5.1 innings per start. In the AL East. At ages 23 and 24. That means that he is already pretty good, and could be great. I can’t see how you can interpret that any other way. His first full season’s worth of unrestricted starting would have been the yankees 2nd best starting season last year.

    • Steve in PDX says:

      wait, so Hughes isn’t a young starter they have developed?

  47. A.D. says:

    Oddly in a position where I hope Joba doesn’t make the team, so he can at least start in AAA.

  48. Reggie C. says:

    If Phil’s improved changeup was the tipping point allowing him to beat out Joba, then Joba should be afforded more time to work on a respective 3rd pitch as well. Otherwise, a pen role wont allow a Joba the in-game situations to work on a 3rd pitch. Joba’s slider may be awesome weapon, but the FO clearly want to see Joba improve the arsenal. No way he can do that & become a solid option for 2011 if he spends the yr as a reliever.

    • CT Yankee says:

      Im not sure I agree, but I would like him to go to scranton and stay stretched out. Even if he does do the eighth all year I still expect him to start next year.

    • MikeBK says:

      so send him to scranton and throw nothing but a 3rd pitch.

    • Rey22 says:

      Well…technically…Hughes did spend his time in the bullpen last year working with 2 pitches basically. Then he got to ST this year and cranked out the changeup.

      • MikeBK says:

        i would agree and if this argument is joba didnt have enough time to get a 3rd pitch he had 2 years since they semi transitioned him.

    • Thomas says:

      I definitely agree with the fact Joba should go AAA to work on innings/3rd pitch.

      However, I’ve always thought Joba’s curve was very good and, while I haven’t seen spring training games, better than Hughes’ changeup and cutter. Thus, I have a tough time seeing that as a tipping point. The problem with Joba is he rarely seems to have all of his 3 best pitches working at the same time, he usually only has command/movement with one or two them, which I’d attribute to youth.

    • Joba has four pitches. It goes fastball -> slider -> curve -> change. They’re all average+ and part of being a young pitcher is learning to use all your pitches.

      Joba still always wants to go back to that slider, we’ve all seen it happen. It’s hard to get him out of that mindset if they stick him in the bullpen.

      I guess I’m not disagreeing I just wanted to talk about that.

  49. We should all write a series of impassioned haikus as a way to vent!

  50. Rey22 says:

    “Chamberlain will be given a chance to win the setup role in the Yankees bullpen, but Girardi said that he will have to earn it.”

    Source: (SFW)

    I’m pretty sure that’s not even what Girardi said…

    • A.D. says:

      Hope he loses it.

    • bennyprofane says:

      The exact quote was that “all the other guys are competing to be in the bullpen.” Which means Joba’s one inning stint on Saturday is an audition, I guess? Hopefully Joba shits the bed so they send him to Scranton as a starter, because that’s the only way I see it happening.

    • Andrew what? says:

      You can already tell that Joba is going to pen. The fact that he is throwing one inning on Saturday tells us that Joba is going to be a reliever. They’ll ignore the fact taht it’s only one inning and the fact that he is overqualified as a reliever.

  51. Nady Nation says:

    Cliff Lee: 2011 Yankees starter.

  52. Spaceman.Spiff says:

    Jumped off the upper level bridge yesterday. Landed on the lower level. Just jumped off again.

  53. Hova says:

    I don’t understand this. Why not just send him to the minors and let him blow hitters away, thus maintaining his trade value? If they force him to be a setup guy his trade value takes a significant hit.

    Also, I know that Joba isn’t thinking about this (or maybe he is), but think about how much money is being left on the table with this decision. Greinke, Lincecum, Lester, etc. all got paid big bucks. How many 8th inning guys get great contracts? Sucks for Joba.

  54. CS Yankee says:

    Seems like Joba makes the team as a RP as Giradi states “you have to earn your spot” when talking about the 8th inning, he wasn’t talking about earning your way on the team.

    Boone doesn’t make the team as a LOOGY as they don’t need two.

    Bummed that no plan B for an injury to AJ or Andy (or the other two). No Gaudin equals no backup but keeps money to address things later.

    Either bad FO mentality in losing progress on Joba or maybe Hughes is more professionally (conditioned, has added two pitches now in 2 years, etc.) developed than Joba. However, the big kid has been messed with too much already.

    This is bigger than Thames over Hoffman, but not the end of the world.

    • Rey22 says:

      Our plan B for injuries: …..Sergio Mitre

      Ace would be a better choice (Excluding Chamberlain) but since Girardi likes using Ace all over the place, Mitre would probably get the spot start if whatever injury is not serious.

  55. Steve S says:

    I am going to throw this one in the fire because I am so angry- if Cashman didn’t have guts to stick with struggling young starters then why didn’t he just trade Hughes, et al for Santana three years ago? This team would be better with Santana right now (And in 2008 and in 2009) and either Hughes or Joba in the rotation. Rather then one guy wasting in the bullpen and Javier Vazquez.

  56. mryankee says:

    I do not understand all the unclarity. They want Joba to earn his spot on the team. He had a chance as a starter and he did not maintain his “stuff” at an acceptable level. I think they should send him down with the message if you want to start with us you have to pitch to your capability. If he is a reliever then that is his fault as well. I am not against a little humility for Joba.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Good thoughts…

      If humility is needed, should be AAA not the pen as it will waste a year in developing him and cost more long term (a year closer to FA). The FO should do it professionally and keep us in the dark.

      However, it seems that he will get a role in the pen and can fight for the 8th inning spot against Park & Drod…not the best use of talent, but a use of talent. Great Joba may only save 6 runs over those two this year (60 IP)…in keeping him AAA they get another cheap year and make him work harder for less.

      • mryankee says:

        I think you simplify the message you sit him down make him watch all his dominant starts and say “pitch to that level or start preparing to be a setup man”

  57. Tbord says:

    This only speaks to the great pitching depth throughout the system. Maybe we should go back to the days when Eddie Lee Whitson was the new messiah. Then you’d have something legitimate to complain about.

    • DCBX says:

      Yep… every time I see this discussion and get sort of miffed, I remember watching the Andy Hawkins “no-hitter” where he gave up 4 runs on 0 hits and 9 walks + 2 errors (IIRC) and LOST. This is an extremely high-class problem.

  58. marc resnick says:

    Much like the orginization, we as fans baby Joba. He’s a young player, with ability but for whatever reason fans liek to give him 1000 excuses. Why? I just don’t get it. Maybe we aren’t watching the same guy?

    • mryankee says:

      I am with you this is a blessing in disguise. If Joba can pitch ti his capability then I would love him in the rotation if not then he is of no use.

    • if you’re referring to the time i tucked him in, give it up already man. it was one time, and he had a bad dream.

    • pete says:

      or maybe only like 3% of starters succeed at high levels in the AL East instantaneously

      • mryankee says:

        Well then if all he is is what he has shown then what is the point of having him get bombed every night. Sorry he had a chance and he blew it. Maybe he should watch the tape of his Beckett start and pitch like that.

        • pete says:

          the point is that he didn’t have a chance. A chance constitutes a couple years of handlebars-free pitching (i.e. no innings limits). If, by the end of 2012, Joba hasn’t shown any improvement as a starter from the guy who got bombed at the end of last year (as in, not the guy who pitched 184.1 innings of 3.62 ERA ball in the AL East well before his 25th birthday, but the guy who stunk for two months after crossing his previous threshold and having his starts truncated by the team), then i’d be ready to give up on him, but he has too much upside left as a starter to give up on him yet.

          Hopefully he goes to AAA. That’s all that I can say. Even now, he’s a better starter than Hughes is.

          • mryankee says:

            I think the upseide is there as well I just think its his fault he has not reached that level. I am tired of the Ian Kennedy type excuses after he sucks. He needs to get a message that what he is doing now is not good enough. Remeber he is a professional and part of your job is to produce.

            • pete says:

              i just think “after he sucks” should refer to a few full seasons of suckitude as a starter, not a couple of months. excuses or not, August and September of last year do not constitute a big enough sample to make an accurate gauge of his starting ability. not even close.

        • Mister Delaware says:

          I’ve often said the same thing about Brett Gardner. I’m like “dude, watch the tape of your PAs from May 13th to 15th last year. Or are you too cool for that?” Right?

    • A.D. says:

      Of said “excuses” which of those has Hughes put to bed?

    • Paul says:

      He got all of 15 starts in the minors. Hughes got 63. That’s not an excuse. It’s fact.

  59. pete says:

    this is the first time all offseason i’ve been upset about any decision the FO has made. Hopefully there are very good reasons behind it, and above all, hopefully Joba is NOT in the bullpen this year, or like, ever again…

  60. paul says:

    You say Joba–we are grooming you to be the next great closer. Nuff said! Oh yea, you get to pitch for the yankees! Mo work 7th 8th for John Wetteland…Joba does it for Mo.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      Mo was not even close to as good of a starting pitcher that Joba is. That’s why they moved him to the pen, because he was mediocre at best as a starter.

      • pete says:

        that. Mo was 26 when he came up in 1995, and he couldn’t throw an effective offspeed pitch yet. Joba had two good ones and one that was improving when he came up at age 21. As a reliever, Mo>all, because he’s the only reliever who has ever managed to maintain a consistent level of dominance for as long as he has, but as starters, Joba >>>>>> Mo. The fact that Rivera is arguably the greatest reliever ever is an anomaly, as are most good relievers, because all of them get to that point (being a reliever, that is) by not being good enough starters.

  61. Clayton says:

    Now that everyone has had their emotional response, let’s try and think of a rational one.

    Last year the Yankees 4 main starting pitchers had 130 starts or an average of 32.5 starts. If we assume that all 4 (CC, AJ, Andy, and Javy) stay relatively healthy, 30 starts apiece is still a high number. Therefore, 120 starts out of the main four.

    Hughes is on an innings limit of about 150 innings. If he were to average 6 innings per start, then he would have 25 starts to hit his limit (I think his limit is a bit higher, but his average start will probably be a bit above 6).

    Therefore, those two numbers combine for 145 starts out of the five pitchers.

    162 – 145 = 17 starts left to cover

    Now, if Hughes remains healthy and effective, he will be hitting his limit come August/September timeframe. An normal reliever will probably have about 50 innings at that point (if deployed in a role similar to Ace last year who had 67.1 by the end of August). Around start 22, the Yankees could send down a relief pitcher to stretch out to make up for Hughes starts. The pitcher could get about 15-20 innings in AAA in preparation for starting. The pitcher then would probably get about 10 starts for the rest of the season and, if again assuming 6 innings, gain another 60 innings of work.

    50 + 15 + 60 = 125 innings (Probably a minimum amount)
    This pitcher would be completely rested for the playoffs and be able to start or reliever with no worries.

    I think the Yankees FO has a plan and it is for this year and next. Both Joba and Phil will get about 150 innings of work if everyone stays healthy. If someone is injured, Joba can be stretched out and have an even higher innings total.

    • James says:

      Hughes is not on a limit of 150 innings. By most accounts it’s 175-180 innings.

      • pete says:

        Eh, don’t be surprised if he goes to the pen around 140 or 150. He hasn’t thrown more than 146 ever, and that was in 2006. I would be very surprised if he’s bumped up to 175 this year

        • James says:

          you can be very surprised or not…i’m telling you what the yankees are putting out there, which is 170-180 innings or so. and that is what a typical #5 guy is at anyway.

    • Paul says:

      You mean like how they stretched out Hughes with Wang lost for the year?

      Oh, wait…

    • pete says:

      (looks back at crowd of people screaming, back at water 200 ft below, back at crowd, and steps down, safe for another day)

  62. Do Not Feed The Trolls! says:

    So what happens if Hughes or one of the starters is ineffective/injured.Are we really going to see Serigo fukking Mitre get starts. Or will Sidney Penguin Ponson have his third tour.


  63. Nady Nation says:

    If Joba was not viewed as a starter long-term, why didn’t we trade him for Roy Halladay at the deadline last year? Then, we could’ve extended him, instead of having to overpay for Cliff Lee or Beckett in 2011, and we wouldn’t have needed to trade for Javy, enabling us to keep Melky and Arodys as assets to possibly package somewhere else.

  64. kunaldo says:

    I didnt want to read through all 300 comments as I just got here, so I dont know if this has been said, but I’m hoping that this is the thinking:

    Build Phil’s innings up this year, Joba to the pen to strengthen it, but contingency if a starter goes out for a long time.

    Then, come 2011, Phil AND Joba will have no innings limits, even if Joba stuck in the pen(the Verducci rule is good for up to 3 years or something, right?) Andy gone, and we have 4 starters signed capable of going 200+ IP.

    I really think cashman is smarter than just leaving Joba in the pen after all this.

    Please? Yes? :o\

    • kunaldo says:

      crap, wrong smiley face. whatevs.

    • Andrew what? says:

      You would think Cashman is smart enough to know that after all the Joba Rules and tinkering with him that it makes no sense to put him in the pen. But, we shall see. In fact, it seems the FO is putting too much stock on Spring Training stats on both this decision and the decision to release Gaudin over Mitre.

    • thurdonpaul says:

      I agree with that, I have been thinking the same thing.

      Cashman is a smart baseball man, I think we need to have faith that he & the rest of the FO know what they are doing.

  65. danny says:

    im a big fan of hughes i really am, what I dont understand though is why go through all the trouble of the joba rules if your not going to give it the time it needs? Obviously Joba needs to work on some things, hopefully this will be in Triple A and not in the ‘pen.

  66. Truth be told, I expected lunacy and complete panic in this thread. But I must say, for the most part, RAB, there has been some really thought-provoking, insightful analysis. (Have I awakened the SBGL?)


  67. SullyLV says:

    I really love both Phil and Joba as starting pitches,but i’am at a lost of words with the way the Yankees have jerk around Joba for the last 3 years.He finally had the chance to show what he could do
    with no innings limit and this is how he gets treated.I hope this kid hasn’t lost his confidence after all this.

  68. Andrew what? says:

    Very happy that Phil is the fifth starter but because of how the yankees dealt with JOba him, I’m starting to have doubts on how patient they are going to be with Phil if he struggles.

  69. Do Not Feed The Trolls! says:

    1. Invent “rules” keep young stud pitcher healthy
    2. Jerk him around in order to adhere to those “rules”
    3. ????
    4. To the 8th! No Profit!

  70. Nick L says:

    Hughes doesn’t need to be dominant, hes the fifth starter… Just keep the team in the game, if he throws a complete game shutout, so be it.

    • gc says:

      But to some, Joba in the same role has “to pitch like Josh Beckett” every time out. I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the essence of what I get from them. Joba has to pitch like an ace as a starter, otherwise he is a complete and abject failure. Hughes (who I love, don’t get me wrong) only had to keep the team in the game through five innings and we should expect some inconsistency. Maddeningly frustrating.

  71. Michael Kay but not THE says:

    maybe its just being naive, but Cashman seemed way too stubborn in the face of all the “JOBA IS A BORN RELIEVER!” stuff the last 2 years to just strand him there now. I think if they say that they feel that Hughes’ time in the bullpen helped in his development as a starter and they want Joba to have the same experience (starting the season at AAA, a few spot starts here & there, then joining them as a 7th-8th inning guy for the stretch) its fine. I know it does seem rather inevitable, but I still maintain hope that Cashman is as stubborn about Joba being a starter as he was last spring, when I admit that I did agree with that sentiment. I also can’t believe that Cashman isn’t considering those few starts where Joba attacked the hitters and didn’t think himself to death, contrary to popular media belief “flashes of brilliance” do have meaning for a player who isn’t even 25 yet.

  72. TJ says:

    Free Joba!

    This really blows. Hopefully they send Joba to AAA to keep his innings up.

  73. jason says:

    Am i the only one who thought Hughes won the 5th starter role b/c of how good he looked in camp? its not just sss, its moreso how confident he looks, how good his fb command has been to both sides of the plate to both left and right handed hitters, and that changeup. Im no expert, but doesnt that changeup look like a plus pitch?

    Anyone else thought he resembled halladay in his past outing by how confident and efficiently he was pitching? i was truly impressed.

    btw, i have always been in the joba for the 5th starter role. i still probably am. but i can rationalize girardi’s decision by seeing how good hughes looked (first time i saw him all ST).

    • pete says:

      I’d agree with you, except towards the end Joba really did look just as good, if not better. He had good command, better FB velo (93-95), great action on his slider, and both his curve and change looked solid.

      I think this is part of a bigger plan to making them both healthy and effective starters in 2011.

    • bexarama says:

      I really really hope they didn’t make the decision based on looking confident on the hill and the SSS of ST.

      His changeup did look good.

      • pete says:

        honestly, i thought his changeup looked ok, with flashes of being better than that. His curve looked nice, but it’s not going to look nearly as nice again until around June when it’s warm up here. I expect some encouraging results from Hughes this year, but I wouldn’t expect him to be significantly better than Joba was last year.

    • I think it’s important to remember that Joba was battling the flu for a while. How much of that impacted his performance can’t be known, but he did perform better later on.

      You’re right thought—Hughes did look pretty good on a whole, though we need to keep in mind that it’s Spring Training. Looks can be deceiving.

  74. pete says:

    Ok so i’ve come back from the ledge a bit, and here’s what I’ve come up with as my somewhat hopeful rationalization for this move:

    Joba jumped up 57 innings last year, and didn’t seem to take to it too well. We all say he’s ready for 200 innings, but he wasn’t “ready” for 150 innings last year, so we really can’t say for sure he’s capable of handling even that many again. Also his injury risk is pretty high. Maybe the yankees are, in fact, keeping the training wheels on him for health’s sake, and trying to make sure that in 2011, when the team is really going to need him to be fully capable as a starter, he’s healthy and ready to go.

    In other words, maybe they’re applying sort of a long-term interval training technique on him, by pushing him hard past his previous high last year, and then letting him recuperate this year, knowing that this year, more than any other, him performing at a high level is not a matter of absolute necessity.

    Also, for what it’s worth, while Joba’s been “jerked around” for the sake of protecting him from injury, Hughes has actually been “jerked around” for even longer than Joba, although in his case it has primarily been BECAUSE of injury. So I’m wondering if they actually wanted to give Hughes and opportunity to start last year, but felt that they’d be better off keeping his load lower for another year, and having this year be his “training wheels” year.

    I guess you have to think of it this way – is it more important that our #5 starter behind CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Javy Vazquez, and Andy Pettitte perform at a high level this year, or that Hughes and Joba both have a season’s worth of starting at the MLB level before entering 2011, when we’ll need to at least be prepared to go in without either Javy or Andy (future roster construction really shouldn’t ever be overly contingent on FA signings).

    Then, of course, comes in the three year waiver issue with Hughes. I felt originally that it made more sense to option Hughes right away, and call him up later in the season, possibly to fill a bullpen spot down the stretch. But upon revisiting that scenario, what happens if a starter other than Joba needs to go on, for example, the 30 day DL, or the 60 day really early in the season? Then you’d have to call up Hughes, but as soon as the injured pitcher was ready to come back, what do you do with him? You can’t option him because there’s no way he’d clear waivers. With Joba, however, you can start him in the minors, and send him back and forth whenever necessary between now and August, when his 3-year waiver deadline hits. When you take this stuff into account, while Joba may make a little more sense than Hughes as the #5 starter this year, he makes MUCH more sense than Hughes does as the #6 starter.

    I realize that this all assumes that Joba goes to Scranton and not the bullpen, which may be wishful thinking, but considering the methods enacted by the FO over the last few years in regards to these two, and the commitment it has shown towards making them starters, I don’t think it’s that outlandish to think (/hope) that this is, in fact, the case.

    …praying for the “joba to scranton” tweet somewhere…

    • I feel bad responding to such a well-reasoned (and written) comment with a simple “this all makes sense if you’ve presupposed Joba will be in Scranton (which you acknowledge).” I think that’s a dubious position.

      But again, interesting thought.

    • Bxbomber says:

      here’s the simple rationalization:

      In spring training this year during what everyone knew was a wide open competition

      “The 23-year-old has made four appearances, striking out 10 and walking only two while allowing 12 hits in 13 innings.

      Chamberlain, on the other hand, struggled early and appeared in three Spring Training games, allowing 12 runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings for a bloated ERA of 16.20.”

      I don’t know WTF the rest of your post is talking about… Occam’s Razor champ….

      • pete says:

        except it wasn’t a wide open competition, or sergio mitre/alfredo aceves would have won. only and idiot would make a decision based on a few innings in spring.

        And joba’s had four outings this spring. His first was rough. His second, he had the flu during, and got torched. He was very good during his third outing, in which he only recorded 3 innings and 3 strikeouts vs. 1 run, but in reality pitched a fourth, unofficial inning, striking out two. His fourth outing was another of the unofficial variety – one in which he pitched 5 innings, allowed two runs, had a 48 to 27 strike/ball ratio against his teammates, most of whom got between 5 and 8 atbats (i.e., advantage: hitter). Hughes has been solid all spring, sure, but Joba’s last two outings outshined Hughes’s, IMO.

        • Bxbomber says:

          There are open competitions on every team every spring. Yes spring training matters. So does the NFL pre-season when spots are open for grabs as the 5th spot was. I think the plan was to have Joba perform well enough to grab the 4th slot with a competition for the 5th. He didn’t do enough to warrant that.

          A 16.20 ERA is horrendous in any league, spring training or exhibition on it’s own, let alone if you’re in competition for a spot. You’re making excuses for the guy now, that’s lame. He didn’t perform when he needed to, sometimes it’s just that easy.

          • pete says:

            a 16.20 ERA means a lot less when you contextualize it, realizing that it excludes 6 innings of 2 run ball that he threw recently, and is worsened significantly by the horrible outing when he was battling the flu. If he went all spring with no progress that’d be one thing, but watching both his stuff and his results, it seems to me like he’s further along right now than Hughes is.

            • Bxbomber says:

              wait a minute, either you live by the stats or you don’t… you can “contextualize” every stat in every sport to explain away something…

              • pete says:

                I don’t live by the stats, I live by the context. The more the sample grows, however, the more the numbers, which are unbiased and unaffected by the unbelievably weak human memory, take precedence. They don’t in a tiny sample in spring training. I’m going to say this once, loud and clear:


                Not “spring training doesn’t mean anything” but the statistics accrued there are mostly meaningless. The only thing that matters is who is performing at the highest level at the end of spring. IF CC had a shitty ERA because his first two outings were horrible, would anyone care? no. SMALL. FUCKING. SAMPLE SIZES. DONT. HOLD. MUCH. WEIGHT.

                However, the fact that joba’s stuff looked superior AND his results have been superior when their last two outings are compared does suggest that Joba is better right now at starting than hughes, if only marginally. What suggests with much more authority that joba is better able to take that role now, though, is the fact that if you include all of the starts he’s made that have been tampered with by the yankees, he’s got a 4.18 ERA as a starter for his career. A full run less than Hughes. Roughly equal to Andy Pettitte’s.

                If you take out the screwed-with starts, he’s at 3.62, for 184.1 innings. That’s a full season of borderline ace-caliber pitching (somewhat short on the innings, but not egregiously so) at the ripe old ages of 23 and 24. In the AL East, which is one of the best and most patient offensive divisions in the history of baseball (admittedly including the yankees, whom Joba didn’t have to face).

                The fact remains that while Phil shows a lot of promise and there’s a lot of reasons to believe that he could become a good starter in the future, he has done NOTHING to demonstrate that he is a better starter at this point than Joba is.

  75. whozat says:

    A year ago, Joba was one of the more valuable commodities in the game. Could have been traded for almost anyone in the game. After a half-season of excellence, followed by hitting a wall as he pushed past his previous season-high, he’s going to be a middle reliever.

    This seems like an object lesson in how to get the worst possible return on investment.

    • pete says:

      we don’t know that he’s going to the BP yet.

      • Tank the Frank says:

        Girardi has said as much. The writing is on the wall.

        And I agree with Whozat 100 percent. This is just an awful job by the Yankees when it comes to maximizing value.

  76. Do Not Feed The Trolls! says:

    On Thursday morning, a starter died in New York. Someone threw him out of rotation and put in the bullpen. Nobody cares. Nobody cares but RAB.

  77. Hawkins44 says:

    I just don’t understand why non B-Jobbers are so pissed about this…. He was an average starter last year and has been mediocre this spring… I do think he should go to AAA to work on being a SP as opposed to the bullpen. He just got beat out….get over it. We have a luxury of riches…. Give Hughes a shot.

    • pete says:

      we aren’t pissed if Joba goes to scranton (though I felt that he out-pitched hughes this spring, but whatevs). We’re pissed if he’s in the bullpen.

  78. Rey22 says:

    Well, while we may all agree or disagree on our fifth starter, let us take a look at our good friend, the Dodgers and contemplate their opening day starter: Vicente Padilla

    It could be worse, folks.

  79. danny says:

    Sooo when they send Joba to the pen, which they will for reasons I will never understand, where in Mo’s name is our rotation depth???

    Well we have Mitre………and a bunch of minor leaguers with no big league experience yet. GOOD.

  80. CS Yankee says:

    Looking forward, it seems like…

    The Red Sox #5 guy is not Buch but Wakefield (as Dice K is ???)
    The Rays #5 guy is not Sonny but Davis (as they need more RP)
    The O’s & Blue Jays don’t really matter (AAAA clubs)

    So, Hughes has to work hard but I have faith in him over his peers, don’t you?

    • Thomas says:

      Yes I have faith in Hughes to match/better those pitchers, but most of us would say the same about Joba and many of us would say Joba will outpitch Hughes.

      • CS Yankee says:

        ….Looking forward

        Enough has been said about Joba & Hughes…based on the info we know (prior stats) Joba was the clear choice…based upon what we don’t know (other stuff) they choose Hughes.

        Again, Looking forward

    • bexarama says:

      I have plenty of confidence in Hughes this year. It’s Hughes/Joba in the future I’m somewhat worried about, and maybe the other pitchers the Yankees are trying to develop too.

  81. As a die hard Yankee fan let’s trade Overated Joba for Carl Crawford we need a bonafide left fielder since Cashman screwed up by letting both Damon and Matsui go.

  82. fartypants says:

    Joba looks like he drinks too much. I say, send him to the minors and let him grow up a bit.

  83. Dr. Van Nostrand says:

    I just hope that the decision to make Hughes the 5th starter this year was not based on his results as a reliever last year. I think both Hughes and Joba can be successful starters, but if this decision was based purely on Hughes’ numbers in the pen vs. Joba’s numbers in the rotation then there was a major logic fail on Cashman’s part.

    Any starter will have increased velocity in the pen and that was clearly one of the main reasons for Hughes’ and Joba’s success in the pen. I saw a lot of Hughes missing the target and elevating his pitches last year, displaying some of the same immaturity Joba showed in the rotation. Difference is, though, major leaguers may swing through a belt-high tailing fastball at 95-96 but the same pitch at 90-91 is a completely different story.

  84. I’m semi-hoping that Andy Pettitte goes down for the season in his first start and that this debate becomes wholly irrelevatn…only semi-hoping…

    • Nady Nation says:

      That’s a pretty dumb thing for you to do. But you are an unabashed Pettitte hater, so I guess it’s not surprising.

      • bexarama says:

        an unabashed Pettitte hater
        Between my leg throbbing in pain like a motherf-cker, banging my elbow against a counter, the whole Joba thing, and learning the above exist, today is just not a very good day

        • thurdonpaul says:

          It will get better, opening day is almost here :)

        • ColoYank says:

          Hang in there, bex!

          I’m rather bemused about the shock and dismay here … I’m not and never have been a b-jobber, and I doubt the Yankees are really, either, long term. Stuff will happen down the road to make most of this umbrage and outrage seem silly.

    • Kaz says:

      That’s fair, though remember, if we do indeed make the post-season again, your starting rotation for the playoffs would be CC, AJ, Vasquez and Joba/Hughes. I’m SO not comfy with starts # 3-4 by completely untested/bad history playoff starters. We would need Andy and all his guts in the playoffs

    • Hawkins44 says:

      one of the dumbest things I have heard in awhile….

    • Bo says:

      So ur hoping for a starting pitcher injury so someone can step into a role the FO experts dont think he can do?

      Great call!

  85. YankeesJunkie says:

    Joba should start the season in AAA for three to four weeks to build innings and as insurance for injury and then be used as a long reliever/relief ace.

    • jason says:

      I agree. Joba in AAA is a great contingency plan. if the starters look good/healthy, then consider him in the pen. if the pen is doing well, no need to bring him up. wait and see approach is the more sound plan.

  86. Flippa says:

    Put Hughes in the pen with him

  87. Marcos says:

    I get that Hughes’s new changeup is improving, and I get that Hughes has had a better ST (not that spring training should matter AT ALL). But what I don’t get is why they are doing this, they’re essentially giving up on Joba and his development. Sure, they could send him to AAA and I wouldn’t have a problem with that (in fact I’d probably be a bit happy) but I honestly don’t think that happens, simply because of “teh 8th!11!!!1!eleventy1!”.

    I think I’m going to cancel my season tickets now (I keed I keed) but seriously, I’m P.O’d at Girardi/Cashman/Yankee Braintrust right now.

    Now I almost want Hughes to massively implode on himself this season, almost being key word, I still want what’s best for the team (long term) and Joba to the pen is not it.


  88. steve s says:

    Yanks 2010 record with Hughes starting Joba in pen: 100-62;
    Yanks 2010 record with Joba starting Hughes in pen: 100-62;
    Yanks 2011 record with both Hughes and Joba starting (after Pettitte retires): 100-62.

    My Joba haiku contribution:

    The midges attacked;
    But I remained determined;
    The midges have won.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      I want to do one too …

      Pen for Joba! No!
      Though I didn’t want Hughes there!
      Sooo … hmmm … a no win?

  89. Ghost of Scott Brosius says:

    Every body needs to relax. The reactions on here and in yesterday’s thread are borderline insane and hysteric, and unbecoming of the RAB community. Certainly, Joba going to the bullpen would be a terrible decision. But the Yankees have yet to announce that this, in fact, their decision. They have simply stated that they have chosen one of their talented young starters over the other in a competition for only one presently available spot. The implication of people’s reactions here are that they only would have accepted Joba winning the competition from the start. And to be honest, that is a ridiculous position. Phil Hughes, along with Joba, could very well be the future of the Yankees rotation. It’s not as if they picked Aceves or Mitre. Why don’t we wait to see if Joba is actually pitching the eight before we declare the victory of B-Jobber ignorance. And please, the people who have written that they now almost feel obligated to root for Hughes to fail- don’t be preposterous. Phil Hughes has been the Yankees top pitching prospect for some time, and his ascension to the rotation should be a cause for celebration, not whining and screaming. The Yankees Front Office has proven itself extremely competent and capable recently. Let’s, at least for the time being, give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • bexarama says:

      I hope you’re right, and I do hope people aren’t dumping on Hughes. If Joba wasn’t involved, I’d be thrilled.

      I just hate to see the FO screwing up like this, if in fact they are.

    • ColoYank says:

      Hey! I think I hear the voice of reason out there in the wilderness!

    • Andrew what? says:

      ya true man i hope you’re right though (crossing the fingers). It’s just if you read the tea leaves it sounds like they’ve given up on Joba already as a starter i.e. throwing one inning this saturday. If that is the case, they missed an opportunity to trade him when his value was set as a starting pitcher if they thought he was a reliever long term.

    • Kara says:

      A million times yes. My sentiments exactly.

  90. mike c says:

    my guess is that they were not confident in hughes’ grunts/farts coming out of the pen this year

  91. Mario says:

    Watching Hughes and Chamberlain I have learned something … if a starter has a power arm you can put him in the bullpen and tell him to fire away for an inning or two and they will likely be very effective. But if you have relievers with power stuff and ask them to start what you get is a fastball at least 5 mph slower and a get me over curve rather than a dive bombing slider. You also get an assortment of breaking pitches intended to take hitters off the now 89 mph fastball, but unfortunately many of them sit up in the zone and can be hit a long way due to a lack of command. If I remember correctly guys like Clemmens and Carlton who had power stuff got their fastballs up there around 95 to 96 and had either mastered the change or split as the swing and miss. But Chamberlain has been throwing straight fastballs at around 90 and a helicopter curve. He may have a change, but it hasn’t showed up yet … So, you either tell the kid to fire away or put him in the pen for 1 to 2 innings. The same applies to Hughes, who has better stuff and seems to get the ball up to the plate around 93, but without much movement. The other day the Phillies sat on his fastball and guessed right at least once on a hanging curve. Unless he masters the 2 seamer and gets some movement on the 4 or pitches up around 96 he is going to be very hittable. I like Hughes and think he could be a really good starter, but they have to teach this kid how to pitch to major league hitters and put a little wiggle on his fastball.

    • You know what? I’m not unhappy. I’m fucking livid. Furious. Incensed. Pissed.

      • thurdonpaul says:

        I am choosing to believe the FO knows what they are doing. I think this will have both Phil & Joba ready to be starters beginning next year.

        • How? Chamberlain will likely make the team as a reliever, and won’t pitch anything more than what? 80 innings? Then they’ll expect him to go back to 150-200 with no ill effects in 2011? He’ll not only have lost arm strength by pitching fewer innings but, like Hughes last year, will not have been able to fully utilize anything more than two pitches, making him ill-prepared for starting. This move makes me question my faith in the FO a lot. A lot.

          • thurdonpaul says:

            I think we all agree Phil needs to get his innings up, so this takes care of that.

            Joba will/should be able to pitch at least close to his innings total of 2009, in 2011.

            • kunaldo says:

              Nah, actually he should be able to get to 200ish. Verducci rule is valid for a few years, not just the previous year. (I think it’s career high, but after a few years it sorta resets or something)

            • He should but he’ll also be much more open to an injury risk. But, the stamina does worry me less than the lack of using third and fourth pitches does. After lasting a full season in the rotation, commanding his secondary pitches was the last hurdle Joba needed to clear; now it’s like he’s been pushed back a hundred meters.

  92. Vin68 says:

    Terrible move, a year wasted for Joba. They should have given Joba at least until the all-start break, if he wasn’t getting the job done then stretch out Hughes and make the switch. No “Hughes Rules” necessary…

    • Tom Zig says:

      Yeah really. Why would the Yankees go through all that trouble last year JUST to banish him into the bullpen? Why waste a year of development/pre-arb?

    • Bo says:

      Cant really be considered a waste since they won the WS and we all got to see he wasnt a starter. Obv they feel hes a closer long term.

      • Vin68 says:

        I didn’t say the season was a waste, a year of his development was a waste. He was doing pretty well and pitched several very good games before the “Rules” started to kick in. He is a young kid who doesn’t have a whole lot of innings under his belt. They went through the process to get him to this point only to ship him back to the pen?? Doesn’t make sense IMO. Besides MO will be our closer for at least 3 more years.

      • pete says:

        “we all got to see he wasn’t a starter”

        BS. what we saw last year was pretty irrelevant I thought. Having him pitch 150 innings healthily was pretty much all that mattered re: Joba’s development last year. These next 2-3 years were supposed to be the judgement ones.

  93. Bo says:

    Well Joba is back where he belongs and where he is a much better pitcher. Even though they did everything they could to screw him/it up.

    Why they didnt trade him I’ll never know. Maybe they value him as an elite closer type.

    Now you guys can sell B-Jobber t shirts along with Save the Big 3.

    • Tom Zig says:

      No one said that this is permanent. Perhaps Joba will only be in the pen to make him more aggressive then when the time is right, stretch him out to be a starter. Actually do we even know he is definitely going to be in the bullpen?

    • Andrew what? says:

      I agree that if Chamberlain is in the pen this year, thats it for him as a starter. How many times can you jerk the dude back and forth?

  94. Mike Stromboli says:

    I am a proud card carrying member of the B-Jobber Fan Club.
    Good luck to Phil Hughes and good luck to the future Yankees closer, Mr. Joba Chamberlain. Finally, Joba is back where he belongs.

  95. Tank the Frank says:

    You know what…at this point… whatever.

    The Yankees have handled this poorly. We all know that and there’s no way around it. These kids aren’t getting any younger. Let’s just watch them pitch and hopefully this stuff will work itself out.

    Joba & Hughes to the rotation in 2011 at 25 & 24 years old respectively. That’s not too shabby. Let’s hope these kids reach their ceilings and help this club out in a big way from now on!

    • bexarama says:

      This is really well put and makes me feel better.

      They messed up on Joba big time. The team will still be great. Like you said, they need to just… pitch, though. Hopefully they put him back in the rotation next year, as they are both still very young.

      I almost wish “the big three” guys had come up at different times as opposed to getting a whole bunch of young promising starting pitching at the same time. Like I said, it sucks that this is a problem and that the Yankee FO doesn’t seem to know what to do with them.

  96. Shucking Bullfit says:

    It seems Joba falling apart a bit at the end of last year sealed his fate. Of course, he fell apart because the Yankees were jerking him around. Up until that point, his numbers were fine, including dating back to all his 2008 starts.

    Let’s recap then:

    1) Yanks jerk Joba around, causing him to falter.
    2) Yanks use that falter as primary reason to yank him from rotation.

    1) In 2009, Yanks put Hughes in position to thrive as one-inning guy.
    2) Hughes thrives.
    3) Yanks use that as primary reason to place Hughes in rotation.


    • pete says:

      idk. at this point that’s perfectly possible, but i just can’t see the yanks FO, which has been so smart this offseason thus far, making decisions that poorly. I really do believe that it was more about this:

      • Shucking Bullfit says:

        But your comment comes back to my point.

        You say he wasn’t quite ready for the innings jump.

        We have no idea, as he was pitching quite well until they started Joba Rules 5.0 or whatever the hell it was.

        The Yanks started with the short-start / week-rest nonsense just as he hit his new innings thresholds. He faltered, and now we have no way of knowing whether it was due to stamina/innings, or being ass-reamed by your own franchise with a set of ridiculous rules.

        The way things look, I think it’s the latter.

        • pete says:

          either way, i think that it’s not unreasonable to think Joba could benefit from an year without an innings increase

    • FrankFernandez says:

      Excessively paranoid. The Yankees have been implementing an anti-Joba/pro-Hughes agenda for the past two years? The only thing missing from that analysis is the grassy knoll shooter.

      Maybe Joba was given a big chance, failed to seal the deal, pissed his bosses off in the process, showed up this spring with more of the same while Hughes showed as much/similar promise and requires less Excedrin for the manager and the pitching coach.

      • Joe D, says:

        “Excessively paranoid. The Yankees have been implementing an anti-Joba/pro-Hughes agenda for the past two years? The only thing missing from that analysis is the grassy knoll shooter.”

        I never intimated that there was a plan, or that it was premeditated. Simply stating what ended up happening.

        Joba and his 4.18 career ERA as a starter…in the AL East…as a sub-25-year-old…with the Yankees jerking him around on and off for two years and reaching a fever pitch in the last two months of 2009…

        Despite all of that, his career as a starter features a 4.18 ERA. As a point of reference, Pettitte was at 4.16 last season.

        You simply don’t take a young pitcher who has pitched that well and yank him from the rotation. It makes zero sense.

        • FrankFernandez says:

          It’s the Yankees. Most teams would have put Hughes and Joba in the rotation this year and be happy. We, on the other hand, didn’t quite like the way we won the World Series last year (ask yourselves why they hate us out there) so we got Vasquez, a #2 on most good teams, for the #4 slot, leaving only one space for Phil and/or Joba.

          I can see why people who really believe in Joba as a starter are upset. We have a 40-year-old closer and Joba becomes the heir apparent if he returns to form in the pen. He showed enough promise as a starter to warrant a second (or third) chance and starters are more valuable than relievers. But I do think Hughes deserves a run as SP after paying his dues in the pen last year, and it’s pretty clear Joba has been messing around with the bosses, otherwise you wouldn’t hear things like “he still has to earn” his bullpen role. He wasn’t so good that Hughes should just grab some bench and watch, plus he has obviously been a pain in the ass to manage. With only spot in the rotation, he takes a seat. For now.

          Not an easy situation. Probably still has some twists and turns before it fully shakes out.

  97. Kered Retej says:

    I’m sure this isn’t a unique thought (but I was too lazy to read through 400+ comments) but what if the Yankees went with a 6-man rotation. You could set it up like a 5-man rotation, where the top 5 guys always go every 6th day, the 6th man skips a turn when there are days off. It would lessen the load a little bit for the top guys, so that they are more rested by the end of the season, and get you innings and looks at the Phil and Joba.

    • Pasqua says:

      Why would you want to limit the innings of guys like CC, Javy, and AJ just so you can cater to your unproven guys, like Joba and Hughes? They’re not paying CC and Co. that money to stay fresh, they’re paying them to go out and pitch their ass off.

  98. Omar says:

    Shit happens, Chamberlain will find his way up to the rotation sooner or later.

  99. Cecala says:

    I feel this move is incredibly short sighted unless Joba goes down to Scranton for innings. We need good young starters, in the minors there are so many bullpen guys and I was looking forward to seeing D-Rob pitch in the eight. The last three years have seemed like a massive waste, and in a few years when the core retires we are going to be overpaying for mediocre pitching talent because we can not develop pitching. This ties up payroll to replace Jeter and anyone else we might lose. With all the teams locking up young talent, the Yankees really can not depend on the FA market as much to patch holes, and this offseason was an example of that.

  100. mustang says:

    After talks of “agendas” and ” Joba the dealer” like most of the press covering the Yankees had said all a long this way Hughes job to lose. So this is how the war ends after being ridiculed in countless threads and comments. The chats of
    B-Jobber wins!
    B-Jobber wins!
    Can be heard in the Bronx.

    For those of us whom really didn’t care either way we now are left with a 5th starter that could be most teams 3rd starter and a 8th inning guy that can close for most teams.

    Damn I hate being a Yankees Fan.

    • mustang says:

      Congrats to the new 5th starter of the 2010 Defending World Champs New York Yankees:

      Philip J. “Phil” Hughes

    • Joe D, says:

      “For those of us whom really didn’t care either way we now are left with a 5th starter that could be most teams 3rd starter…”

      Since when is Andy Pettitte or AJ Burnett our fifth starter?

      I’m assuming you couldn’t have meant Hughes. I like the kid and all, but outside of Pittsburgh and KC, he’s not anyone’s third starter just yet.

      • mustang says:

        Go through the league I’m sure there is a lot more then those two.

        • Joe D, says:

          Hughes as starter, career:
          5.22 ERA

          I certainly like his chances to top that, of course, but no team worth comparing your self to is plopping that in their #3 slot an calling themselves satisfied.

          If your objective is to point out our #5 could be the #3 for the most wretched and horrible rotations in the game, then that’s not too helpful…the Yankees’ objectives are a bit loftier.

    • Zack says:

      “we now are left with a 5th starter that could be most teams 3rd starter and a 8th inning guy that can close for most teams.”

      Hughes is a 3rd starter on most teams? Because all of the success he has had as a starter?

  101. theyankeewarrior says:

    Joba the starter will return. Mark these words.

  102. pete says:

    I just can’t see the FO getting stupid all of a sudden. I don’t think Joba’s going to the BP.

  103. kunaldo says:

    Eff it. I’m at peace with this. I’m going to ignore the B-jobbers who claim they were right all along b/c I hope the Ninja has a plan in place to have both of these guys starting in 2011. There’s nothing left to do but root for our boys.

    Go Phil.

    Go Yanks.

    Let’s run this shit.

  104. Shucking Bullfit says:

    “How dare you be better longer!
    Get out of my rotation!”


  105. mustang says:

    Why couldn’t the Yankees just crush this thing today and annouced Joba to the pen?
    Well at least the end is near on this thank God.

  106. donttradecano says:

    almost as bad as if they would trade cano

  107. Joe D, says:

    I can only hope now Joba gets traded. Seriously. He deserves better than this.

    • Zack says:

      If this was NFL/NBA his agent would go to the team for a trade, in baseball that just doesnt happen.

    • mustang says:

      Are you kidding?
      This is when these things get ridiculous WHY?
      The guy has what some might consider an important role on the team with eyes on the closer role eventually.
      Be on the Yankees winning and eventually be the closer or starting for some lesser team?
      I sure didn’t see him complaining last year when the champagne was being popped.

      • Joe D, says:


        Salesman A: Made lots of sales and profit for the year.
        Salesman B: Made far less sales and profit for the year.

        Saleman B wins the “Salesman of the Year” award.

        It really is this clear cut.

        I’m amazed by the ineptness of the Yankees on this one.

        In any case, I would never suggest Job should demand a trade, or that Joba should complain.

        I am saying, however, that I hope he gets traded. He has fully earned the opportunity to start. If the Yankees are not willing to give him that opportunity over clearly inferior competition, then I honestly hope he gets the chance elsewhere.

        • thurdonpaul says:

          I think your line about…clearly inferior competition…is really stretching it.

          • Joe D, says:

            Solely in terms of what they’ve respectively accomplished as Major League starters, yes, Phil Hughes is clearly inferior competition to Joba Chamberlain.

            I agree with you that it sounds harsher than I meant it to.

            In terms of the #5 competition, though, I believe it’s pretty clearly the case.

        • WIlliam says:

          “clearly inferior competition”? I wanted Joba in the rotation, but I’m ok if he goes to Scranton. To call Hughes “clearly inferior is ridicoulous”. They are both pretty even.

        • mustang says:

          “him that opportunity over clearly inferior competition,’

          So now Joba is that much better then Hughes?

          Like I said thousands times Joba plays for the Yankees not the other way around.

          • mustang says:

            works not plays

          • pete says:

            But Joba is, at this point, that much better than Hughes.

            • mustang says:

              The New York Yankees and many people with YEARS of knowledge of the game say NOT.

              • JobaWockeeZ says:

                I hoenstly don’t care. It doens’t make sense.

                Picking Joba now is better then picking Hughes now.

                Joba pitched a full season of starting thus gaining arm strength. No more limits. He was doing great until he hit his previous innings high and tired. His performance decreased but now we should see a good improvement from him. He’s older too and we’re losing a year of development for the bullpen.

                Hughes never pitched a full season in the majors. He will have a limit. It’s not bad but he will still have a limit. Maybe 160-170. I don’t what the Yankees are expecting out of Hughes because honestly I don’t’ think it would be a marginal upgrade from 2009 Joba and I don’t think he would be as good as a hypothetical 2010 Joba.

                Joba has more experience and a better track record yet does not get the nod. I don’t want ot think all of that is going to get ignored from the FO because on ONE ST. Joba deserves the nod.

                • pete says:

                  There are practical implications that would make starting Joba in scranton over Phil ideal for the yankees. But if Joba ends up in the ‘pen, then there’s a pretty huge logicFAIL going on here. Which is disappointing, since there really hasn’t been a major headscratcher since Igawa from this FO.

              • pete says:

                yes but we’ve yet to hear their explanations. I’m willing to defer to their judgment of hughes being ready, but as far as Joba being worse off, I just don’t see it. And seeing as none of them are here to explain themselves, saying “the FO says so” doesn’t do anyone any good.

                We’re trying to figure out WHY the FO thinks that. We already know that they do.

  108. Ansky says:

    I still trust the FO but this is no way for Cashman to shed the “bad evaluator of pitching” tag.

  109. Joe D, says:

    Fun stats:
    AJ Burnett 09: 4.2 walks per 9, 8.5 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
    Joba 09: 4.3 walks per 9, 7.6 K/9, 1.2 HR/9

    Joba 09 (elim Aug/Sep): 4.1 walks per 9, 7.9 K/9, 1.1 HR/9

    Despite the two month jerking around, Joba still pulled off a damn good emulation of the Yankees’ #2 starter, with the walks and all.

    The difference of course, is that Joba is growing and learning.

    We’ve kicked a 25 year old AJ Burnett out of the rotation.

    • mustang says:

      “We’ve kicked a 25 year old AJ Burnett out of the rotation”

      Because your crystal ball said so.

      Wow just WOW

      • Joe D, says:

        Nothing about a crystal ball.

        Last season, through all the crap, Joba still managed to pull off an excellent imitation of A.J. Burnett.

        Not the future, not potential. Lsat year.

        Repeat for emphasis: Last season, Joba pitched an awful lot like A.J. Burnett. Our # 2 starter. In terms of the most important rate stats, Joba pitched like AJ Burnett.

        As a young pitcher. In the AL East.

        And this is who has been kicked out of the rotation. This is hysterical.

        • pete says:

          I can think of one rational explanation for the move, but I have a very strong feeling that it isn’t the explanation the yankees went with. We will see. If joba is in the ‘pen, the FO fucked up. If he goes to Scranton, there’s a good chance that there’s actually a pretty rational thought-process behind it:

          Phil can’t be optioned down after april 25th this year without clearing waivers, which he’d never do. Joba can (until august 8th i believe). Considering the relatively high risk of injury in the yankees rotation this year, perhaps they consider it worthwhile to have a #6 who won’t be stuck in one place all year long.

          Now obviously, if there were a huge performance discrepancy between the two (as I believe there will be), then this would be totally dumb, but clearly the yankees feel that Hughes is capable of handling the position. Which is not an oudlandish belief.

          With Joba in the minors, if a starter goes down, Joba can just come up and replace him, and then go back to the minors when that starter comes back. Hughes would be stuck at the MLB level, which would probably force the yankees to shove him in the BP and not push his innings cap for 2011. By the time Joba’s deadline rolls around, though, it may be time to send Hughes to the pen anyway.

          This would also give Joba a chance to recover after a big innings increase last year, rather than try to jump up a lot for a second straight year. It’s less likely that repeating a 150-160 inning season (and partially in the minors, to boot) would hurt him more than a 180+ inning (30ish inning jump) right after a 47 inning bump the year before.

          I fear, however, that this is not the reasoning the yankees used. If Joba is indeed throwing just one inning on saturday, it appears he may be headed for the bullpen. Which would suck.

      • pete says:

        he didn’t “crystal ball” anything. He said that last year, Joba was roughly equal to AJ. Which is actually not far off, like at all. And Joe D demonstrated that statistically above.

        Want crystal ball? Here ya go:

        Phil Hughes, 2010: 4.68, 155.2, 109-84

        Joba Chamberlain, hypothetical 2010 as a starter: 3.94, 182.1, 166-78

    • mustang says:

      I’m going to make you guys a little bet Hughes will sit at the end of this year with better numbers then Joba had last year.

      Just please remember this.

      • pete says:

        i’d be willing to bet that Hughes will not have an ERA of 3.78 or better going into august, or at any point after that. I’d be willing to bet that Hughes doesn’t post an ERA better than 4.20 this year, and if he gets yanked around the way joba was at the end of last year, it’ll be very close to Joba’s from last year, if not worse.

        • JobaWockeeZ says:

          It should be 2010 Hughes vs 2010 Hypothetical and likely improved Joba.

          Not 2009 Joba. Hughes can bat 2009 Joba for all I care, I don’t think he would beat a hypothetical 2010 starting Joba.

          • pete says:

            completely agreed. Joba 2010 had a shot at being the 2nd best starter for the yankees (though probably third behind Javy). Phil will probably be the 5th best. Granted, there’s no shame in CC, Javy, AJ, and Andy being better starters than you, but I have this nagging feeling that the yankees may have legitimately given up on Joba as a starter which would be unbelievably dumb.

            Unless they know something health-related about Joba that we don’t, or have some sort of transaction plans for him (both of which are, of course, totally possible), putting him in the BP is a bad move.

          • mustang says:

            Problem is that no one is sure what Joba would do in 2010 its “Hypothetical”.

            So now you guys are going to compare the real 2010 Hughes to some Hypothetical 2010 Joba?

            The game is played on the field guys not on paper .

            Again WOW !!!!!!

            • JobaWockeeZ says:

              You should “WOW” yourself. Young pitchers tend to you know IMPROVE over time. Hughes hasn’t started in a while and never pitched a full season.

              Joba pitched a WHOLE season with NO LIMITS and you’re telling me you expect Hughes to be better? That’s a wow.

        • mustang says:

          “I’d be willing to bet that Hughes doesn’t post an ERA better than 4.20 this year’

          I will take that bet like i said just remember this Pete.

  110. pete says:

    One last hypothesis:

    Joba is slotted for 1 inning on Saturday. This sounds to me like they’re transitioning him into a relief role to start the season. Now this is probably just me desperately clinging to the last shreds of rational thought I can find, but this could be the plan:

    The yankees will have Joba start the season in the bullpen, which will help solidify what has been a frequent early-season disaster for the yankees over the last several years. Having both the depth and performance potential of the Yanks bullpen early should also help take some pressure off of the starters, and keep them, several of whom are at considerable risk for injury this year (not alarming risk, but considerable, phil included), from having to go over 100 pitches or past the 6th inning often.

    This will also allow Hughes to take the next step in his development as a starter, which would be to get a full season (or close to a full season) starting at the MLB level. It would also allow Joba to “recover” from last year’s big jump in innings, at least to a degree.

    Then, some time in late July or early August (or earlier, if a starter goes down long-term), the Yankees will send Joba down to AAA to get stretched out as a starter, which will, if all goes according to plan, give them a fresh starter down the stretch, who can either replace the likely tiring Hughes, or another pitcher if the workload is starting to wear him down, while that pitcher takes a short rest and then comes back to take over for Hughes as a starter in the postseason, and obviously for a couple starts at the end of September (I’m looking at you, Pettitte).

    The other potential positive effect this could have would be a boost for Joba. In 2008 we saw him pitch very similarly (in terms of stuff, anyway) as a starter to how he did in the bullpen. After a couple months in the pen, it appeared that his arm had just adjusted naturally to throwing 97+ and to spotting those wipeout sliders perfectly, because he hadn’t had to work on extending himself or any of that jazz. I think this could happen again this year – I’d imagine he’d tire relatively early in his first few starts (presumably the ones he has in AAA), but then he’d get used to it, and his arm would just naturally amp up the speed the way it was used to doing in the bullpen, without him having to try to force it. This is, of course, just conjecture, but I don’t think it’s far off base.

    I don’t love it, but it IS possible for Joba to start the year in the ‘pen without it being a horrible move. I still don’t think it’s ideal, but it wouldn’t necessarily be horrible.

    • chriskeo says:

      This logic makes me feel better, about a possible move to the pen.

      Also, if the Yankees trust Hughes to go past his career high from 2006, then Joba’s from 2009 shouldn’t be too far away in 2011.

  111. Hey ZZ says:

    I have a question about options with Joba. Can he be sent down as many times as the Yankees like this year before August or can he be only sent down one time before August?

    • chriskeo says:

      I believe the normal rules apply because he has options [all of them] left. The rule only says that he cannot be send down 3 years after his first callup.

      So to actually answer your question, he can be send down and called up like a normal player with options until August 7. After that date, if he is in the majors, he cannot be send down without passing through revokable waivers.

      • Hey ZZ says:


      • pete says:

        yep. Joba and Hughes both (somewhat amazingly) have all three options left. But Hughes was called up on April 24th, 2007 and Joba August 7th 2007. So while the yanks have till April 24th to burn Hughes’s options, they have all the way till August 7th to burn Joba’s. IF Joba goes to Scranton, then I would have to imagine that this was the main reasoning behind the move.

  112. Will in NJ says:

    If the yanks put joba in the pen, then I’ve lost a shitload of confidence in the FO. I know it’s been outlined like a million times here, but I’ll just restate all the arguments for why Joba should go to AAA because I’m pissed as hell.

    1.) You don’t fuck around with a cost controlled starting pitcher for 3 years in terms of his development (the beginning of 08 and the end of last year were pretty brutal) and then just give up on him
    2.) average to above average starting pitchers (which Joba certainly was last year)>>>>>>>>>>>>a stud reliever. It’s all about positional value. It’s like drafting a left tackle first overall and plugging him as a LG.
    3.) Any stud starting pitching prospect will dominate in the bullpen. It is a fact. The reason people are relievers is because they lack a 3rd pitch or just plain suck. To waste Joba’s talents in the 8th inning is mindbogglingly dumb
    4.) Do you see any other team in baseball give up on their starting pitching prospects and stick them in the pen? Did the padres do it with latos? how about the rangers with holland/feliz (look, they want feliz to start even though he was lights out in the pen last year. shocker) or the orioles with matusz/tillman. The list goes on and on.
    5.) perhaps most importantly: THE YANKS DONT NEED JOBA IN THE PEN THIS YEAR. I can understand why the yanks stuck him in the pen at the end of 07 because their bullpen was horrendous. You can argue that the 2010 bullpen is actually one of the team’s strengths. Rivera, Robertson, Marte, and Aceves are more than capable of holding down the back end, and we have Melancon in the wings. WE DONT NEED JOBA TO BE IN THE 8TH INNING. WE NEED HIM TO BUILD UP MORE INNINGS SO HE CAN START IN 2011.

    /rant. yeah that was super long. longer than some of my papers i’ve written this term lol. I subconsciously blame the Vasquez trade for this mess. Not only did we give up my personal favorite pitching prospect a-viz, but we blocked one of Joba/Hughes from starting!!!11!!11! Curse you cash!!! Kidding of course. I loved the vasquez trade. But bleh. Please send joba to scranton cash……..

  113. YankeeScribe says:

    The Joba fanboys are killing me. Give the FO the benefit of the doubt and give Hughes a chance. He didn’t get nearly as many starts as Joba in 09′ so it’s pointless to argue which pitcher is better based on last season’s results.

    Hughes has proven that he can be a very effective relief pitcher but I don’t think he’s gotten enough starts at the ML level for us to know how good(or bad) he can be as a starter. We have the luxury of starting the season with Hughes in the rotation and adding Joba to the rotation if someone gets hurt or Hughes reaches his innings limit. That’s a great luxury to have.

    • thurdonpaul says:

      I agree, lets give the FO the benefit of the doubt here. Usually most people here are saying how good Cashman is, did he bang his head and get dumb over night ?

      Tommie ? I cant wait to hear your reaction.

      • The Big City of Dreams says:

        True but they were given the benefit of the doubt when it appeared they had a handle on the situation. But as of right now it doesn’t seem like that at all. Going by what onley, marchand, waldman, sterling, and a host of others are saying it seems like joba is a reliever for the rest of his career. I hope that is not the case because if he is a reliever than why are eiland and cashman making it seem like this is just a detour to him starting again rather than him being in the pen forever forever. It’s very weird but when it comes to the yankees and kids it’s to be expected

    • mustang says:

      So so so agree.

    • The Big City of Dreams says:

      according to Eiland joba won’t be the first one called upon even if there are injuries or ineffective pitchers. They better be right in what they think because if they are wrong it’s going to blow up in their face

  114. Blogger says:

    Why don’t the Yankees just finally come out and say whether Joba is a starter or a reliever?

    Answer: They don’t know themselves. They have no idea where Joba will end up in the end. I’m amazed they can’t just say the simple words, “Well we really want to give him a chance to be a starter long term, but right now we feel he’ll help us in the bullpen”. A nd the reason they can’t say it is because they STILL haven’t grasped the fact that a slightly below average starter is bmore valuable than a great reliever.

  115. bonestock94 says:

    This wouldn’t of been my decision but I’ll enjoy watching Hughes start. And I’m really really hoping Joba goes down to AAA, but I doubt it with Gaudin’s release…which I totally disagree with.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.