Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 17th, 2008 at 9:57 pm and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News, |. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

This season the Yankees used Joba Chamberlain out of the bullpen to start the season before switching him to the rotation in order to keep his arm healthy.

The idea behind it was to limit his innings so that he wouldn’t end up throwing more than 150 innings total thus putting his arm in jeopardy. The idea failed when when Joba was diagnosed with shoulder tendinitis in August and he had to be shut down for about a month.

Now instead of just finishing up the season around 150 innings he is just reaching 96 innings now and it could be the same thing all over again next season, bullpen before rotation.

Instead the Yankees are formulating another plan, according to Joel Sherman’s blog, and could send him to pitch in a winter league to extend his innings to a number more to their liking. Hopefully around 150.

Apparently they are most concerned with which league to send him to, the Arizona Fall League or the Instructional League, and also if they plan to use him as a starter or reliever next season. If they send him to either league that is a clear sign that they intend for him to start otherwise there is no other reason to stretch out his innings during the off-season.

The team has already decided that it is sending Phil Hughes to pitch this off-season to make up for only throwing 61.2 innings so far this season. They are also likely sending Ian Kennedy even though he has thrown the most innings this season with 116.2 innings so far.

The Yankees would be smart to send Chamberlain as well. Sure Joba was effective as a reliever, but he has potential to be an elite starter in the majors and that is where he would be most valuable to the Yankees. With their rotation questionable for next season the team would be stupid not to use him as a starter.

It’s not like the Yankees have a gaping need in the bullpen for next season. With Mariano Rivera still serving as the team’s closer they have a talented young group of relivers in Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, Brian Bruney, and Damaso Marte to bridge the gap to him. They also have Phil Coke, Dave Robertson, and Mark Malancon among others who will be ready for the bigs next year. It’ll be their rotation and not their bullpen which will have question marks next year.

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