• Cashman & Girardi: Joba’s A Starter (But, Just In The Pen)

    Posted by on March 25th, 2010 · Comments (11)

    Via Anthony Rieber with a h/t to J Schil -

    “[Joba Chamberlain is] a starter in the bullpen,” [Brian] Cashman said in a telephone interview. “He can do both. He’s a starter who was just beaten out in the competition. That’s what we honestly believe, but we only had one spot.”

    “I think Joba could do either one, I really do,” [Joe] Girardi said. “But right now we think Phil’s a little bit ahead of him as a starter.”

    Makes me recall what Hank Stein said about Joba two years ago:

    Hank Steinbrenner knows what he wants and knows what’s best for the Yankees.

    That’s to get Joba Chamberlain out of the bullpen and into the starting rotation as quickly as possible. He’s 100 percent correct about that. But Steinbrenner also knows the Yankees have to be careful how they play their Joba hand.

    “There is no time frame, we can’t rush him back to the rotation, he has to be stretched out, you can’t just flip the switch and make him a starter,” Steinbrenner said yesterday from Tampa. “We’re going to play it by ear.”

    Steinbrenner said the Yankees’ brass is on board with the decision; it’s not just his opinion, but the opinion of all the decision makers, including GM Brian Cashman, manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland.

    “I don’t think that was made clear,” Steinbrenner said of a published report that appeared yesterday. “We’re all on board with this. This isn’t just me.”

    Joba’s development was set back when the Yankees converted him to a reliever last year, Steinbrenner said. “But I wasn’t around then,” he added. He said he understands that decision enabled the Yankees to make the playoffs, but countered that if the plan is getting Chamberlain, Hughes and Kennedy rolling in the rotation as quickly as possible, the Yankees need to stick to the plan.

    Steinbrenner made it clear Chamberlain best suits the Yankees as a starter and every effort will be made to get Chamberlain to that point as quickly as possible, but it could take a while.

    He sees Chamberlain as the Yankees’ Josh Beckett.

    “I saw what Beckett did to us as a young pitcher,” he said, referring to Beckett’s dominance of the Yankees in the 2003 World Series, when Beckett pitched the Marlins to the world championship, posting a 1.10 ERA over 161/3 innings at the age of 23. “I’d rather have Joba be a Beckett-type than have him in the bullpen. We already have Mariano (Rivera) as the closer.”

    You know how “Wally Pipp” became synonymous for a guy losing his job in baseball due to inury? Well, pretty soon “Joba Chamberlain” is going to become synonymous with totally mismanaging a pitching prospect outside of abusing his arm. The Yankees really did a “wonderful” number with this one…allowing the kid to get a big head while not developing him in a manner to have his skills lead to production that would warrant his attitude. Basically, in Joba, now, the Yankees have a kid who thinks his great, and who’s not, and who has been back and forth between the pen and starting too many times in the last four years.

    Joba Chamberlain is not the next Josh Beckett. Instead, the Yankees have turned him into the next Scott Elarton.

    Comments on Cashman & Girardi: Joba’s A Starter (But, Just In The Pen)

    1. Raf
      March 26th, 2010 | 4:26 am

      It seemed so easy to me; this was the year that the training wheels supposedly came off of Chamberlain, and we would see what he was capable of doing. I don’t know if he’s injured or what, but this is odd. I would’ve thought that he starts the season in the rotation, Hughes starts the season in the pen, to later transition to the rotation.

    2. March 26th, 2010 | 7:32 am

      [...] Steve Lombardi at Was Watching writes: “Well, pretty soon “Joba Chamberlain” is going to become synonymous with totally mismanaging a pitching prospect outside of abusing his arm. [...]

    3. MJ Recanati
      March 26th, 2010 | 7:57 am

      The Yanks totally blew it with Joba and putting him in the bullpen is the worst thing they could possibly do to his development. If the team truly envisions him as a starter, just send him to AAA and let him work it all out. To put him in the bullpen in the year that he was supposed to be free to go 200 innings is to essentially chain him right back up on those stupid Joba Rules.

      Cashman, Girardi and the rest of the team totally blew this one. Completely. Potentially destroying a pitching prospect isn’t a fireable offense but it’s not exactly a confidence-boosting move either.

    4. YankCrank
      March 26th, 2010 | 8:18 am

      @ Raf:
      @ MJ Recanati:

      I agree with you both, and I am beyond frustrated with what has become of Joba. What a waste.

    5. March 26th, 2010 | 8:40 am

      Hey, look at the bright side, I’m sure the money from the sales of all those “Joba Rules” T-Shirts have helped offset the posting fee cost to get Kei Igawa.

    6. Raf
      March 26th, 2010 | 8:56 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Hey, look at the bright side, I’m sure the money from the sales of all those “Joba Rules” T-Shirts have helped offset the posting fee cost to get Kei Igawa.

      Hell, at least Igawa’s a full time starter in AAA, and was a full time starter when he first showed up. The organization may have buried him, but at least they didn’t shuttle him between the rotation and the bullpen.

      :D

      Seriously, this is another head scratching move that has followed a few of them this offseason.

    7. MJ Recanati
      March 26th, 2010 | 9:26 am

      @ Raf:
      Igawa earned his burial all by himself. Joba was buried by Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi. There’s a difference.

      I agree, it’s been an underwhelming offseason in my opinion. The Javy Vazquez trade was the highlight, the Nick Johnson/Johnny Damon thing the lowlight with the Granderson trade firmly planted in the middle.

      I haven’t been a huge fan of the moves the team made this year…

    8. Raf
      March 26th, 2010 | 9:38 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      Igawa earned his burial all by himself. Joba was buried by Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi. There’s a difference.

      I agree that Igawa’s burial was all on Igawa, don’t want to imply other. I’m just saying that with him, he was always a starter. With Joba, the organization can’t seem to make up their mind. Unless, to Steve’s point about “allowing the kid to get a big head while not developing him in a manner to have his skills lead to production that would warrant his attitude” they’re trying to send him a message?

    9. MJ Recanati
      March 26th, 2010 | 1:48 pm

      @ Raf:
      Agreed, the Yanks can’t seem to make up their mind with Joba and it’s maddening.

      If the Yanks don’t want to give Joba a big head, destroying his future utility sure is one way to do it…

    10. redbug
      March 26th, 2010 | 5:19 pm

      Stever wrote:

      “allowing the kid to get a big head while not developing him in a manner to have his skills lead to production that would warrant his attitude. Basically, in Joba, now, the Yankees have a kid who thinks his great, and who’s not, and who has been back and forth between the pen and starting too many times in the last four years.”
      —————————————————————————–

      That’s the best I’ve read on Joba. I loved him when he first came up. Not so much last year. He drove me nuts always shaking off Jorge then giving up a hit with whatever he wanted to pitch instead. Always thought he knew better, when he clearly didn’t or couldn’t execute it at least.

      Myabe MJ’s right. Send him down to AAA. Keep him stretched out. At the same time, maybe reduce his ego.

    11. March 28th, 2010 | 9:23 am

      [...] sort of flies in the face of what Brian Cashman said the other day, no? Filed under Trap Door Items ·  Print This Post ·  Email This [...]

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