Thursday, May 22, 2008
The Yankees have made it official they are transitioning Joba Chamberlain into the rotation for the latter portion of the season. So the question is, how the hell do you the Yankees plan on stretching him out and getting him ready for his first start? And who the hell pitches the 8th inning?
And you know what the biggest problem is, the 8th inning issue starts now. If the Yankees are going to stretch him out they need to utilize a plan. He must pitch a certain amount of innings every 5 days. This means that there will be no more Joba in the 8th inning alone. That would back track his progression towards the rotation. Essentially he could come into the game in the 7th or 6th or 5th and pitch in the 8th, but he won't be coming out of bullpen rushing the field in the 8th anymore.
Onto the next question, how the hell do you stretch out a pitcher in the bullpen. Say its Joba's day to pitch 3 innings, the plan says he has to go into the game. Well what if the Yankees are down 10-0, wouldn't that be a complete waste? Would they still bring him in? What if Ian Kennedy is throwing a no hitter through 5 innings. Are you taking him out? What if Kennedy simply has a shutout through 6 innings, and you still take him out. Are you going to have Joba pitch the 7th, 8th and 9th and leave Mariano rotting in the pen? It doesn't make logical sense for improving your team.
Basically the only way I can see the Yankees stretching him out is either A) Send him to the minors (this is a miserable idea) or B) Just start him and have him pitch the alloted innings than after his allotted innings just bring in the corresponding long reliever. Will it put your team in some odd spots? Sure. If Kennedy or Igawa or whatever long reliever was any good they would be in the rotation. But at the very least this guarantees that every inning that Chamberlain pitches is a relevant one. The game will always start at 0-0, this never changes. Additionally, we know that this would allow the Yankees to create whatever schedule they want to stretch him out and without ever contemplating whether or not to bring him in. Finally this makes sure all of his innings are pitched in the majors and not wasted in the minors.
But hey, what the hell do I know. Let's let genius baseball mind Hank Steinbrenner make all of the decisions.