From Joel Sherman (NY Post):
Chien-Ming Wang was lost for the year. Ian Kennedy is only now returning from aneurysm surgery. In the last year, Alfredo Aceves, Phil Coke and Phil Hughes all have been moved from the rotation to the bullpen.This is essentially the equivalent of having a whole rotation taken out of play and is a major reason why the Yankees did not send Joba Chamberlain to the minors in August when his struggles and the Yanks’ desire to shorten his outings converged. Yankee officials tell me there was really no option but to have Joba continue to do his work in the majors because the club already was dealing with a fifth starter spot combo of Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin.
But it is worthwhile to remember heading into next year that Chamberlain does not have the divine right to a major league job. The Marlins sent down Ricky Nolasco this year and the Brewers sent down Manny Parra. Chamberlain still has options, which means he is going to get the first opportunity to start and some rope to keep a job. And it is important to remember that the Yanks believe Chamberlain is on the way to the top of a rotation. However, he will not have endless rope in 2010 when theoretically both Hughes and Kennedy will both be rotation options again.
I would not be surprised to see the Yankees begin 2010 with Joba Chamberlain in the Scranton rotation, rather than pitching at the big league level, in any capacity (bullpen or rotation). His future will ultimately depend on a number of elements, including whether or not they can bring Andy Pettitte back and whether or not Hughes will be a starter, as well. In addition, the Yankees could choose to strengthen their rotation through a free agent signing (e.g., John Lackey), adding a stabilizing force which would also influence Joba’s role next season.
Clearly, Joba Chamberlain’s future in 2010 will be contingent upon a variety of factors and nothing is guaranteed (or, at least, nothing should be guaranteed). His status, like the rotation, is in flux and that’s the way it should be, especially when you consider his turbulent 2009 season.
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