On Friday, when asked about Joba Chamberlain, who recently lost the fifth starter competition to fellow teammate, Phil Hughes, Yankee GM, Brian Cashman, offered the following. “What we did was, we finished off [Joba’s] development program,” Cashman said. “We have choices with him. He can start if we need him to start, he can relieve if we want him to relieve. So I don’t feel it’s a waste at all. We completed the mission on him, and what will be, will be.” Now, if Joba is expected to join the Yankee rotation in 2011 – many Yankee fans believe that, though I am a bit more skeptical – with no rules attached as the program is, according to Cashman, over, will 200-plus innings be an actual goal?
Joba pitched just under 170 innings in 2009 – regular and postseason included – and will likely toss just under 90 innings in 2010. Is he simply going to slot back into the rotation a season from now after logging such a small amount of innings the year prior? This “development program” seems remarkably haphazard and distinctly unmethodical.
Consistent innings and a steady role are extremely important for pitchers. This build-him-up, scale-him-back, starter, reliever sort of approach – it is not even an approach, really – in my opinion, is hardly constructive developmentally. I think the Yankees know this, however, which is why, as Billy Eppler suggested, Joba could remain in the bullpen beyond the upcoming season.
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