Via the Daily News:
“It’s all of our intention to try to get him back into the rotation by the end of the year,” [Hank] Steinbrenner told the Daily News by phone Monday afternoon. “I’ve addressed it many times, as did Joe (Girardi) and (GM Brian) Cashman. I’m just saying it would be nice to have him there right now. He’s going to be great anywhere we have him but, my preference is as a starter and that’s everybody else’s preference, too.
“You see what a premium starting pitching is. The bullpen is important, but starting pitching is 70% of it. Your bullpen can’t do you any good if you’re down by five runs quickly every night. It’s logical.”
Steinbrenner said he was “upset” over the Yanks making Chamberlain a reliever last season, though he acknowledged that the Yankees probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs without Chamberlain’s setup work.
But, Steinbrenner said, that work delayed Chamberlain’s development as a starter for this season, something [Brian] Cashman says isn’t accurate. “Joba had 35 innings left on his starting limit last year, so he would’ve been shut down in August as a starter and gone to instructional league,” Cashman said. “We took him and transitioned him to the bullpen and he did 24 innings for us out of the major league bullpen.
“Last year’s bullpen did not impair his ability to start for us now. That work was instrumental in us getting to the playoffs and also for him in pushing his development even further – he knows he can pitch in the big leagues and get big-league hitters out. If he can do that as a starter has to be determined.”
Cashman insisted there is no disconnect between owner and GM. “I think Hank and everybody, we’re all on the same page,” Cashman said. “These are things we discuss internally all the time and we’ll continue to do so, it’s as simple as that.
“I don’t believe Hank wants Joba in the rotation yesterday. I think he wants what we all want. Joba is a starter, but the time and place for him right now is to be in the bullpen.”
Yeah, this is getting silly. But, hey, I bet that Hank and Brian even drink the same beer.