According to George King of the NY Post, while it’s clear that right-handers, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, “are the favorites,” or at least the two early finalists, vying for the fifth rotation spot this spring, “there are voices within the organization who want Chamberlain and Hughes in the pen.” GM Brian Cashman discussed this very issue last week with the lovable Mike Francesa, pointing out that such a pitching configuration, one which would feature Alfredo Aceves, Chad Gaudin, or Sergio Mitre as the fifth starter – an option that many more are pondering today after a small sample of recent innings from both Mitre and Aceves – would certainly be to the Yankees’ short-term benefit.
However, Cashman noted that, long-term, such a situation is neither efficient or pragmatic. As stated by Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave Blues, the Yankees need to cultivate at least one of their two young arms and inserting both into the team’s bullpen just does not work towards that goal. “The Yankees need to replace two starting pitchers next year,” Joe writes. “They’d be better serves in 2011, then, by having at least one of Hughes and Chamberlain starting in 2010” (to build innings, etc.). Yankees skipper, Joe Girardi, also made a similar point several weeks ago.
Putting both Hughes and Chamberlain would help the bullpen this season, but it would come at the expense of future starting rotations. In the end, potential long-term benefits, especially with regards to young pitchers, should trump the short-term stuff, right (I say that, but it does not always occur—see Joba Chamberlain’s emergence in 2007)?
Photo by Reuters
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