From Jon Heyman (SI):
There is growing sentiment around baseball that Joba Chamberlain will be a reliever next year, especially after he looked great in that role in the Division Series.
Until there is “growing sentiment” within the Yankees’ organization that Joba Chamberlain will be a reliever in 2010, I wouldn’t worry. With regards to his role next season, 1 2/3 innings pitched in the ALDS — against the punchless Twins, nonetheless — should not be the deciding factor in the rotation-bullpen debate that we have grown accustomed too since Joba emerged in 2007.
Interestingly, Heyman also offers the following about Brad Lidge in the same text:
It’s amazing how many scouts are declaring Brad Lidge cured after two successful saves in the Division Series. But he relied only on a slider to strike out Troy Tulowitzki to close out Game 4 and end the series.
Just as two successful saves are a meaningless sample size, so are 1 2/3 innings pitched in the ALDS. Until Joba Chamberlain throws a few full seasons as a starter, I don’t think you can simply rule out the role. Test it first and give him the chance to succeed. If he works out, then fine. If he doesn’t then it’s an easy fix (he’ll end up where he started in ’07—in the bullpen). The latter certainly isn’t optimal, though.
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