Last night, Chad Gaudin turned in another serviceable outing, allowing 2 runs in 4.2 innings, as he cruised until tiring in the 5th. He has allowed 3 runs or less in his last three starts, and has an ERA of 3.71 as a Yankee. Why is this important? Well, take a gander at Brian Cashman’s recent comments, courtesy of Pete Caldera:
“Everybody loves his tenacity,’’ Cashman said. “But we’re going to take the best 10 guys. There’s no assumptions there.’’
“He’s put himself in a position where the manager has to make a decision that there’s not one guy ahead of him that he needs to give the ball to,’’ Cashman said. “He might not realize it, but he’s in competition with any number of guys to take the ball.’’
Personally, I would take Joba if he shows any improvement in his next two starts, as he is more likely to throw a gem than Gaudin is, and you can always have Joba backed up by Gaudin or Aceves if it looks like a clunker is in the offing. However, the real mystery is the fate of Joba Chamberlain should the Yankees tab Gaudin for a game 4 start. Does he go to the bullpen, or is he left off the roster?
The Yankees need to make this decision after the next turn through the rotation for both guys. At that point, there will be 5 games remaining. If the choice is Joba, leave the status quo in place and let Joba take his final turn. However, if the choice is Gaudin, Joba should be moved to the bullpen for the last 5 games. That way, the Yankees can judge whether he can be an asset in that role in October, or if he needs to be shut down. Just throwing him into the bullpen and hoping for the best seems silly and short-sighted. The Yankees need to determine whether a bullpen role will be a good fit for the 2009 version of Joba. If not, they should just send him home and tell him to get ready for 2010.
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