• August 10th @ The Indians

    Posted by on August 10th, 2007 · Comments (8)

    Phil Hughes looked pretty good tonight. In the words of Larry David, he looked prittay, prittay, good. OK, yes, I’m kidding – Hughes was awesome with a capital “A” this evening. He had some extra zip on the fastball (at least 2-3 more MPH than what he’s routinely shown in his other starts), fantastic control, and a borderline Blylevenesque curveball. Hughes’ bender was indeed as straight up as twelve to six in this game. You could not ask anything more from a pitcher than what Hughes offered today.

    And, Joba Chamberlain was, in the words of Blaine Edwards and Antoine Marryweather, two snaps up with a twist as well tonight. Seriously, if Joba is going to pitch like this, in a Goose Gossage way, out of the pen, you have to start to wonder if it makes more sense to leave him there going forward – and groom him to be the next closer after Mo Rivera.

    It’s an old question, but, it’s still an open one. Is it better to have a stud eat up 200 IP and help a team win 15-20 games. Or, is it better to have him throw 80 IP and have a hand in 40-50 wins? What do you think?

    Comments on August 10th @ The Indians

    1. Harley
      August 10th, 2007 | 10:28 pm

      Given the league landscape regarding closers, and the wealth of young arms in the Yankee system? I’d say he’s the next Gossage.

    2. hallofamer2000
      August 10th, 2007 | 11:10 pm

      Assuming Joba reaches his potential, there is no reason to leave him in the pen except for injury. A great starting pitcher soon will be making 20 million a year, the same price at which you can sign 4-5 very good relievers for.

    3. August 10th, 2007 | 11:10 pm

      i would convert him back to a starter for 08. he can still hit 96-97 after 6-7 innings, and that’s too valuable to ‘waste’ going 1-2 innings in the pen. plus, starters dont ‘effect’ just 15-20 games – full-time starters pitch like 34 games, and closers 55 at most. 20 games isn’t that big when considering the difference in ip (60+ vs. 200+). unless joba never develops a third pitch, only then should he become a reliever.

      plus, there are lots of other options in the minors, e.g. Cox, Melancon, Sanchez (who’ll all come back from injury next year), Brackman?, and Robertson, not to mention the solid starters: McCutchen, McAllister, Heredia, Garcia, Marquez, etc. Mo still has a few good years left, and there’s always the FA market and draft picks yet to be made.

      Steve, i didnt get to watch Hughes vs. KC until last night, but what i watched was mostly encouraging. there are two ways to look at the drop in velocity that occurred that day: 1. he STILL got a LOT of swinging strikes despite throwing a high 80s fb, or 2. his velocity wont drop that much in every game (it was his first ML game back), and when it remains 91+ throughout, he’ll go back to dominating.

    4. Raf
      August 11th, 2007 | 9:01 am

      Or, is it better to have him throw 80 IP and have a hand in 40-50 wins? What do you think?
      ============
      He’ll be lucky if he throws 80 innings.

      I’d move him to the rotation. Once he proves incapable of starting, then I would move him to the pen

    5. Corey
      August 11th, 2007 | 9:35 am

      I always think of the playoffs when this question is asked. To me its much more important to have a dominating starter then reliever in the playoffs (not to discredit mo). If teams look at a playoff rotation that includes wang hughes and joba, you might be able to beat some teams on paper (psyche them out as the unit and schilling did with the dbacks), whereas this year you have wang pettite moose, where moose scares absolutely noone even though joba is in the pen. It gives the teams around 5-6 innings to score runs, whereas the reverse gives them 3 innings to score.

    6. yankees76
      August 11th, 2007 | 11:01 am

      I’d rather have the 200 IP, personally. If that wasn’t worth more, Closers would be paid more than Starters. They’re not.

    7. Zack
      August 11th, 2007 | 11:42 am

      We were having this same discussion over at Bronx Banter a few days ago. Most people put their hats into the starter is more valuable ring, but we were trying to figure out if there would be some way to actually quantify it, but ultimately failed…

      The thing is, the Yankees, or any team, would never use Joba as a Gossage type, its just not really done. Either he’s the closer or hes the setup man. If hes the Gossage type, nowadays he would need a few days in between to rest anyways if he pitches 2 or so innings, so if that’s the case, there isn’t all that much difference between the rest as a starter…

      Add that to the fact that an ace starter (if he can be one of course) is far harder to find than a reliever, tends to be more consistent over the course of a career, commands more $, and seemingly lasts longer, AND that in the playoffs having a big three like Hughes, Joba and Wang would be amazing, and I say there is no doubt he goes back to being a starter…

      If he could be a 200+ inning, 200+ K, workhorse starter, well, those just don’t grow on trees…

    8. singledd
      August 11th, 2007 | 11:51 am

      CW says a stud SP is always better then a stud RP. However, look at Boston and Papelbom. They demonstrate, along with the 199-2004 Yankees when a stud in the BP might be more valueable.

      That situation is when you have already have 3 (or 4) above average SPs, who will often get you to the 8th and 9th innings with a 1, 2 or 3 run lead. It’s possible that being able to save 2 or 3 games every 6 days is better then winning one game every 5 or 6 days.

      However, having a stud closer is not that useful if your SR can’t can’t you deep into games with a lead.

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