Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Hope the Yanks don't mess up Joba next year
If the Yankees don't end up trading Joba Chamberlain for Roy Halladay, then I hope they make a quick decision about whether they want him to be a starter or reliever and stick to it. If he's a starter, then they need to stop with this Joba Rules nonsense because they completely messed up his head this season.
Personally, I thought the Yanks screwed up when they took Joba out of the bullpen. He seems well suited to be Mariano Rivera's set-up guy and could still learn a lot from Mo in the bullpen, perhaps one day replacing him when the great Mo retires.
Phil Hughes did a phenomenal job as the 8th inning guy during the regular season, but his recent struggles make me question whether he has the personality to do it in the heat of the playoffs. I'd rather see him as the fifth starter, hopefully without having to go through what Joba did. If you need to limit his innings pitched, then start him with fewer innings per start early in the season rather than trying to give him more days off or limit his innings in the middle of a playoff race.
We know Joba has the fire for the set-up job. Name Joba as the bridge to Mo in spring training and let's see what he can do there for a full season. My sense is that having a defined role would do wonders for Joba's confidence.
Thanks to BubbaFan via en.Wikipedia for the photo.