From John Harper:
Except all indications are that he will be back in the bullpen by then, as he has now accumulated 110 innings, which might leave him only a handful of starts before the Yankees put the brakes on him.
And with Chien-Ming Wang officially out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery yesterday, and Phil Hughes locked in as the eighth-inning setup man, the Yankees have few options to replace Chamberlain.
Harper goes on to suggest that Joba has a maximum of 50 innings left, and that the Yankees therefore need Roy Halladay to round out the playoff rotation. While I disagree with Harper on Halladay, as they really need a 3rd starter like Jarrod Washburn or a healthy Justin Duchscherer, he raises a fascinating question. What will the Yankees do with Joba Chamberlain?
I would be extremely shocked if they did not have Joba pitching in the postseason. That leaves two possibilities:
1) Let Joba throw regularly until he is about 15 innings short of his limit. This should take him to the start of September. At that point, replace him in the rotation with either Alfredo Aceves, Phil Hughes, or, if the Yankees make a trade and subsequently remove Mitre from the rotation, reinsert Mitre. Shut Joba down until the final week of the season, and then give him 5 innings out of the bullpen to keep him sharp. Then you have him in the bullpen for the playoffs, and the playoff rotation is CC, AJ, Pettitte, Aceves/Hughes/trade acquisition.
2) Start Joba once more and then move him to the bullpen until late September, replacing him with Hughes/Aceves/trade. Give him 3 starts at the end of the season to stretch out, and then start him i9n game 3 of the ALCS.
I think it depends on who they acquire at the deadline. If they add Washburn, I think they will feel comfortable starting him in a playoff game, and will move Joba to the bullpen once he nears his limit. If they cannot obtain a reliable starter, you may see them do something like option 2.
What do you think the Yankees should do with Joba?
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