• More Role Flip-Flopping In The Future?

    Posted by on March 28th, 2010 · Comments (5)

    While responding to Jeteupthemiddle Allie’s Community Projections post, I was thinking about Phil Hughes and how the Yankees are going to manage his innings limit since he only threw 105 and a third innings this past season. According to Tom Verducci’s rule, any young pitcher that increases their innings told by more than 30 innings is at a higher risk of injury the year after. If the Yankees use Hughes like they did Chamberlain last year, then that limit is a soft number.  So if you factor that in, that puts Hughes only hurling around 150 innings.

    So, that got me thinking. What if there is a plan somewhere in the mess they’ve created? For now, Hughes is in the rotation and Chamberlain is in the bullpen. With that, there is a side benefit of humbling Chamberlain, as well as the fact that perhaps they are going to use it to build Joba’s arm strength in a different way.

    In 2008, when Joba transitioned from the bullpen to the rotation, he somewhat maintained a greater velocity than when he transitioned from the rotation to the bullpen. He was still the first pumping Joba we had all been wooed by back then. Perhaps going all out in the bullpen during the beginning of 2008 helped him maintain that intensity and arm strengh throughout the year even as a starter, allowing him to throw harder. Conversely, in 2009, he came out of the gate the subdued “professional” Joba. Perhaps he does need to go back to the pen, just to help his starting career and re-gain the Wild Thing. If Hughes and Chamberlain can split their starts 20-12, there are roughly 280 innings to be had amongst a multi-inning bullpen role and a 5th starter spot. If you split them out such that Hughes throws 150 innings and Chamberlain throws 130 innings, both of them would be capable of starting in the 2011 rotation, rein free. If that’s the plan, it sounds like something I could live with.

    Comments on More Role Flip-Flopping In The Future?

    1. March 28th, 2010 | 4:18 pm

      “If that’s the plan…”

      But, from every report I’ve seen, it doesn’t sound like that’s the plan…

    2. Corey Italiano
      March 28th, 2010 | 4:22 pm

      @ Steve Lombardi:
      What they say and what they do isn’t always the same thing. Hey, perhaps it’s me just trying to rationalize an otherwise stupid decision.

    3. KPOcala
      March 28th, 2010 | 8:41 pm

      What’s with this “Verducci Rule” in the press and blogs? Is it as important as the Valachi papers? Seriously, Bill James over twenty years ago pointed out that ages 24-25 seemed to be the point where that catchers and pitchers who had been worked heavily tended to have shortened careers. The coaches and Girardi are seeing a hell of a lot more watching these guys than any fan or stathead can. Joba, IMHO, seems to breath heavily if has a high pitch count over a few innings. Maybe it’s a fast twitch/slow twitch physiological trait, or maybe he’s not as conditioned as he needs to be. Maybe he just needs some more time, plenty of great pitchers over the years have become stars after a few years developing in the bullpen. However, just as I was finishing my rant I went over to http://www.baseball-reference.com and started looking at various pitchers (check out Dennis Martinez 1979 and Mike Marshall 1974), maybe it’s all in the genes, baby….

    4. long time listener
      March 28th, 2010 | 10:56 pm

      That’s not the plan. There is no plan. I’m beginning the think there never was a plan.

    5. BOHAN
      March 29th, 2010 | 1:15 am

      hughes innings limit is going to be higher then what joba had last year. in 07 his innings were a total of around 150 so theyll probably put the limit at like 175 or 180

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