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June 2, 2009

Prospectus Today

The Debate Continues

by Joe Sheehan

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After a lull, I'm doing spots for ESPNews again, and I'll be on this afternoon at 5:15 p.m. This is actually a phone interview, not a video spot, which I have to think will be a bump for ratings and a salve for weary HD viewers.

One of the questions—we usually discuss topics during the day leading up to the spot—will be about Joba Chamberlain. The Yankees' right-hander made the longest start of his career last night, going eight innings and facing 28 batters in shutting down the Indians on four hits and two runs. The inning and batters faced totals are the highest of his career, and the 106 pitches the fifth-most he's ever tossed as a Yankee.

The question I'll be asked is, "How much was Chamberlain's start a gauge to see if he'd stay in the rotation or return to the pen?"

Now, I completely understand why I'm being asked the question. Chamberlain pitched last night, so he's in the news cycle. Talk about the possibility that he could be sent back to the bullpen seemed to accelerate with each event in the Yankees' world. Philip Hughes has been effective enough to warrant a spot in the rotation; Chien-Ming Wang has returned from the DL and is best-suited for a starting role; the Yankees continue to get inconsistent work from their relief corps, most recently losing Sunday's contest when Phil Coke and David Robertson combined to allow the winning run in the ninth.

Moving Joba Chamberlain to the bullpen seems to solve all of these problems. Hughes can stay in the rotation, Wang can get his job back, something he seems ready for based on a 2.25 ERA in three appearances, with seven strikeouts in eight innings since his return. Chamberlain, based on his skill set and track record, would be the Yankees' second-best reliever after Mariano Rivera and presumably help the team protect leads and tied games in the seventh and eighth innings better than the other options have.

There's just one problem with all of this: Joba Chamberlain is a fantastic starting pitcher. He's the team's second-best starter right now, and there's a chance that he'll be the best starter by 2010. His SNLVAR of 1.3 is just a fraction behind Andy Pettitte's mark of 1.4 for second on the team, a gap that would likely not exist had Chamberlain not been knocked out of his May 21 start against the Orioles by a line drive. Used exclusively as a starter this year, Chamberlain has a 3.71 ERA in 53 1/3 innings. Last night was his fifth quality start in ten, with one of the others being that injury-shortened outing. Durability is an issue, but it's as much a created one-the Yankees continue to be hypercautious with Chamberlain-as it is a weakness in his game.

In his career, Chamberlain now has a 3.19 ERA in 22 starts, averaging a little more than 5 1/3 innings pitched per. He has 125 strikeouts, more than one per inning, and a K/BB of 2.6. There's never been a team in MLB history that could afford to move that guy to the bullpen. Even if you were to say that Chamberlain is a six-inning pitcher, something that isn't clear yet, getting 192 innings of 3.19 ERA ball in a season would make him a top 40 starter in baseball every season, a six-win pitcher in line to make tens of millions of dollars a year.

The conversation on whether to move a starter to the bullpen begins with whether the pitcher can be a successful starter in the majors. Chamberlain has proved that he can prevent runs with the best of them, so that's not a problem. While he's suffered nagging injuries on occasion, he hasn't had the kind of durability problems that, say, Rich Harden has. By pitching standards, Chamberlain has a good health record, and the kind of record that doesn't warrant a role change.

The argument that the Yankees need Chamberlain in the eighth inning, that he'd be more valuable there than as a starter, holds no water at all. Pitchers who can throw 190 innings of good baseball are more valuable than pitchers who can throw 75 of somewhat better, somewhat better-leveraged baseball. If the argument was to get 110 innings of high-leverage relief from Chamberlain, I'd be on board with it, but that's not the job in play. The job in play is throwing 15 pitches in the eighth inning of games where the Yankees are tied or have a 1-4 run lead, without much regard for the opposition, and eventually a job as a save accumulator. The usage patterns of modern relievers don't allow them to close the gap in a way that makes it logical to convert an effective, healthy starting pitcher to the bullpen.

Proponents of changing his role, including one highly visible and vocal one in New York, are fond of citing Chamberlain's success as a reliever. Like many pitchers, Chamberlain took well to the simpler task of relief pitching, and has a career ERA of 1.53 in that role, with a 78/19 K/BB in 59 innings. The lesson to take isn't that Chamberlain is a better reliever than a starter; the lesson is that everyone is a better reliever than a starter. The Yankees bullpen nine months ago was effective with a cast of no-names; there are many, many pitchers who can succeed in the hyperlimited role of the modern relief pitcher, and the Yankees themselves have more candidates than they can count. (This is, to some extent, the problem.) There are precious few who can do the other job, the more important one, which is to start games and throw close to 200 effective innings. The game pays middling starting pitchers what the best relievers get. The game locks up starting pitchers and churns through short relievers. The game drafts starting pitchers and eventually converts some to relief. Relief pitching, by and large, is still the realm of the failed starting pitcher.

Joba Chamberlain isn't a failed starting pitcher. He's a very good starting pitcher.

So I'll answer the question today, and the next time it comes up, and the time after that. Maybe I'll be answering it on the day Chamberlain wins a Cy Young Award, or helps his team win a championship, or signs a massive free-agent deal. The level of investment some people have in this idea—in the face of the available evidence—will keep the story alive. For now, though, let's stop focusing on the work Chamberlain did in 2007 as a rookie for a desperate team, and start looking at him for what he's always been: a starter.

Joe Sheehan is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Joe's other articles. You can contact Joe by clicking here

Related Content:  The Who,  Joba Chamberlain

42 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

rlee9596

Thank you Joe. I'm sick of listening to this debate. Which really isn't much of an argument anyway.

Jun 02, 2009 13:57 PM
rating: 9
 
chuckmotl

We only have this debate because non-BP reading Yankees fans are stupid. Or at least louder than the smart ones. (I know not all of you are lost causes)

Jun 03, 2009 10:50 AM
rating: 0
 
randolph3030

Also of note in the debate, I think, is that Will Carroll noted that Joba's shoulder might not warmup quickly enough in a recent UTK. Judging by Chamberlain's season first inning struggles, including diminished velocity, maybe he is not physically set to be a reliever right now anyways.

Jun 02, 2009 14:27 PM
rating: 1
 
fielding99

So what should the Yankees do with their pitching staff?

Jun 02, 2009 14:35 PM
rating: -1
 
RayDiPerna

1. There would be no "debate" if not for seven weeks in 2007, when the Yankees were desperate for a reliever and turned to him.

2. You always see if a top rate starter in the minors can be a top rate starter in the majors. Always, every single time. Especially with how modern relievers are wasted, as Joe notes.

3. The "highly visible and vocal" proponent in New York of moving Joba to the pen is one Mike Francesa, and Francesa's arguments are pretty ludicrous. He said he "has seen how good Joba can be in the pen," but "has not seeen how good he can be as a starter." Well, first you need to (surprise!) actually let him start in order to see how good he is as a starter.

Second, he has been PLENTY GOOD as a starter, as Joe notes. Sure, he has struggled with command, but he has been fine as a starter, and there is no reason he can't improve.

As Joe also notes, relieving is easier than starting, so it's not surprising that Joba was better as a reliever. The issue is why one would advocate wasting his full potential there.

4. This would not be a "debate" if someone named Mariano Rivera had never played for the Yankees. But there is now an obsession with Replacing Rivera.

5. As for the general issue of bullpen roles, first people were fooled by something called a Closer; now they think the 8th inning is magic as well. It's really bizarre.

6. Francesa last week kept citing Chamberlain's 3.97 ERA for 2009, as if that were bad. But it's not bad, and is basically the low range of what people are expecting of him anyway. Francesa discounts Chamberlain's performance as a starter in the latter half of 2008 because he thinks the Yankees were babying Chamberlain. So, apparently, the time Chamberlain spent in the majors pitching to major league hitters as a starter doesn't count.

7. Joe: I thought you told me you don't listen to Francesa?

Jun 02, 2009 14:41 PM
rating: 9
 
Christopher Miller
(88)

re: point 5--You're quite right. The increasing "8th inning guy" claims amount to the epicycles of the "closer" myth. Since the "closer" is TRUE, you have to have guys who can "get to" the closer and make him relevant. Just so long as the closer is TRUE, you will see this sort of bullpen-creep. It takes the creation of an entire new model to sweep away this sort of stuff.

Jun 03, 2009 06:08 AM
rating: 2
 
Ira
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Ok, so, here's an interesting question. Who cares?

Jun 02, 2009 14:41 PM
rating: -12
 
eighteen
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

Certainly not those of us who don't watch the Eastcoast Sports Programming Network.

Jun 02, 2009 14:48 PM
rating: -9
 
dom

baseball coverage is proportional to the amount of fans a team has.

hatred of the yanks and their coverage is disproportional.

Jun 02, 2009 17:50 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Joe Sheehan
BP staff
(17)

I'm pretty sympathetic to the idea that there are 30 teams and you want to address them all. With that said, we now have a fairly objective record of interest in any given piece--comment counts--and mine track conventional wisdom to a T. I ran this post-newsletter, almost in the evening, and it has 20 comments. If I write about the Twins and post it at 9 a.m. (as if), I might get a dozen. The comments accumulate in pretty strong proportion to the national interest in a franchise, and also to certain hot-button topics.

This doesn't mean I'm going to write about specific teams just to generate traffic. I write whatever springs to mind on a given day, and god knows where the inspiration might come from. But I do think the argument that writing about high-profile teams is somehow wrong has been invalidated by the comment counts on articles since September.

Jun 02, 2009 22:35 PM
 
Joe D.

Re: The "Who cares?" comment.

You're right, Ira. I'm not sure who would be interested in this sort of thing. I mean, really, this East Coast Bias has gotten ridiculous. Besides Yankee fans, Red Sox fans, Rays fans, Blue Jays fans, Joe Sheehan fans, Joba Chamberlain fans, fantasy baseball players of all stripes, those interested in pitcher usage patterns, those interested in tracking young potential-stud pitchers, those who find the disconnect between mainstream media opinion and proper evaluation fascinating, and people who simply enjoy good baseball analysis and writing regardless of the topic, I can probably only think of several million people who would possibly care.


Mr. Sheehan, I hope you take this to heart. Please stop writing about things that appeal to so many people. I'd be fully in support of an expansive website spin-off of Baseball Prospectus called, "What Irablum Wants to Read About." I'm sure it would be a cash cow for Prospectus Ventures.


Hey, to sweeten the pot, I'll volunteer to write the very first article: "Improving Irablum's Roster in His 5X5 18-owner AL-/NL Keeper League: Backup Corner Infielder Analysis." Bah, I probably shouldn't get everyone all excited about reading such a fantastic piece without a little taste of what I've got so far:

"...and so Praise be to Irablum as per usual, but Ramiro Pena is simply not worth the roster spot at this juncture..."

"...like a bag of moldy tangerines! Instead, Irablum in his infinite wisdom will likely snap Diamondback Josh Whitesell up off the free..."


All joking aside, I hope BP understands the vast potential revenue involved in zeroing in on a target demographic of one. The Irablum Radio Hour, The Irablum BP Annual (stripped of all those pesky players Irablum doesn't care about), the possibilities here are endless and I, for two, would like to see BP take the industry initiative on this one.





Jun 02, 2009 23:45 PM
rating: 10
 
eighteen

When I say I don't care about Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees, it doesn't mean I didn't like the article. I enjoy Sheehan's work immensely. But let's cut away the bullshit and call a spade a spade.

Joba Chamberlain is at most the 4th best pitcher on his team. He currently ranks 57th among pitchers in VORP, behind such luminaries as Jason Marquis and Mark DeFelice. This isn't an article about usage patterns or young studs (if this article is the first you've heard about Joba Chamberlain, Joe D., crawl out from under your rock more often).

There's no non-Yankee-centric reason for Joba Chamberlain to be the exlusive focus of an article like this. If there is, then Joe's next article will no doubt be entirely about Josh Outman - whose VORP, incidentally, is also higher than Joba Chamberlain's.

If Joe Sheehan wants to write about the Yankees, that's his prerogative. He's paid his dues, and he can write about any dm thing he wants - and I'll read it, too. But stop pretending this particular article has anything to do with anything important to baseball per se. It's a Yankee piece, written by a Yankee fan, to entertain his subscriber base's Yankee fans. Period.

And I STILL don't care about Joba Chamberlain.

Jun 03, 2009 11:51 AM
rating: -1
 
chuckmotl

This may be the best comment I've ever seen.

Jun 03, 2009 11:56 AM
rating: 0
 
ttomae8833

My question is this:

Why is it always Joba that has to go the bullpen? As Joe so astutely notes above, he is a fantastic starting pitcher. He was a starter before the Yankees moved him to the bullpen for two months back in 2007 in an effort to help a porous bullpen at that juncture in time. With Wang healthy now, why is no one is talking about pushing HUGHES to the bullpen? He's younger than Joba, coming off a lost season where he was injured, will probably push the Verducci Effect this year with his IP, which, when coupled with the injury last year, will NOT be good for his future prospects.

And Wang, with 38 wins over the last two years, should at least be given the benefit of the doubt here over a 22 year old uber-prospect. If his mechanics are cleaned up and his sinker is on, he's a great weapon to have in the starting five. The Yankees already have a similar pitcher in their bullpen. His name is Alfredo Aceves.

So the question bears repeating; Why not let Hughes be the 7th or 8th inning guy. You can limit his pitch counts
to 20-25 pitches per appearance and keep his IP low and in line with what theworkload of a 22 year old kid should be. He can hit 95-96 on the gun when he's throwing with maximum effort too, and has a great curveball to offset that
heat.

With Pettitte most likely gone next season you have Hughes work his arm strength back to being a starter during the offseason and you leave him there for the duration of his career.

Why keep yo-yo'ing Joba around when the solution is right in front of their face?

Jun 02, 2009 14:55 PM
rating: 4
 
David Coonce

Even better than that, why not Pettite to the pen? This late in his career, he could be one of those extreme rarities - a lefty reliever that's NOT a LOOGY, that can pitch 2 or more innings every time out, strikes out enough batters to be useful as a late-inning guy, and can help shadow the young starters (Hughes, Chamberlain) with longer appearances. As a veteran with plenty of experience, I think Andy would easily adapt to the role, and he's not much of a starter anymore, anyway.

Jun 02, 2009 16:00 PM
rating: 0
 
dom

pettite's value comes from him being able to consistently throw 200 innings. he barely hits 90 anymore he really doesn't have bullpen stuff.

Jun 02, 2009 17:08 PM
rating: 2
 
David Coonce

There are dozens of useful bullpen pitchers who don't hit 90. Hell, Hoffman hasn't hit 90 in 10 years. Pettite's value, in my opinion, is in his durability and his ability as a professional, league-average pitcher. The Yanks need some stability in the bullpen, and I think Pettite is the ideal choice. You don't stash Hughes or Joba there - they have stuff and a future. This is almost certainly Andy's last season; why not give him the Mike Marshall role?

Jun 02, 2009 18:24 PM
rating: 2
 
Adam Hobson

Andy Pettitte is as professional as they come, however, I have to wonder just how happy he'd be being sent to the pen and seeing his innings disappear when his contract is almost half incentives based on those very innings pitched totals.

Looking at the six starters, I'd actually like AJ Burnnet in the pen the most. But that contract certainly makes that unlikely. At this point keeping Wang in the pen makes the most sense, but I'd like to see what he could do as a high leverage reliever throwing that 95mph sinker rather than a long-man. Then let Wang convert back to a starter next year when Pettitte is likely gone.

Jun 02, 2009 18:39 PM
rating: 0
 
RayDiPerna

Oh. Francesa also said that Chamberlain "was built to be in the bullpen." Apparently Francesa is oblivious to the fact that Chamberlain was a starter in the minors.

I also think it's not right to jerk Chamberlain around back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen. He's switched roles twice now in season.

Jun 02, 2009 15:08 PM
rating: 1
 
RayDiPerna

In 1995 there was a brief obsession with putting Clemens in the pen. I loved Clemens's response, which I present here in full:

"I'm a starter."

Jun 02, 2009 16:35 PM
rating: 2
 
dom

i was at the stadium in '07 when joba came out of the pen and struck out 3 tigers in a row with like 10 pitches, flashing 99 mph heat. the stadium was electric.

that being said, the idea that joba is more valuable as a reliever is hilarious and it amazes me that it still gets talked about.

Jun 02, 2009 16:39 PM
rating: 0
 
Teraxx

Francesa's baseball ignorance knows no bounds. He should stick to what he knows: Parcells, college football and horse racing.

Jun 02, 2009 16:46 PM
rating: 2
 
John Carter

Good overall point as usual. However, just to nit-pick because I am in nit-picking mode judging all the BP Idol entries: Joe did a nice job of picking all-stars giving appropriate weight to players who were really the best over the last couple years rather than just the first two months of the season. However, citing Pettitte as the no. 1 starter followed by Chamberlain is ignoring the real ace of the team C.C. Sabathia. I think a strong case could be made for A.J. Burnett as the number 2 starter. You could pick between Chamberlain, Wang, and Pettitte as the number 3 starter.

Jun 02, 2009 16:47 PM
rating: -1
 
BP staff member Joe Sheehan
BP staff
(17)

The SNLVAR numbers are Sabathia/Pettitte/Chamberlain. I'm comfortable saying that Chamberlain is the team's second-best starter given that you can't make a durability argument for A.J. Burnett. You can probably throw all five of the Yankees after CC in a hat, to be honest. I'd rank them Chamberlain/Wang/Burnett/Hughes/Pettitte, but not feel strongly about it.

Jun 02, 2009 22:40 PM
 
npullano

Should Rich Harden be moved to the pen?

Jun 02, 2009 17:47 PM
rating: 0
 
fgreenagel2

I often respond to people by suggesting that the Mets should put Santana into the middle innings role so that he can pitch 3 out of every 5 days.

Jun 02, 2009 18:27 PM
rating: 0
 
Adam Hobson

I think an important point to remember is that when Joba as a reliever, he had these little things famously called the "Joba Rules" that limited his use and probably helped his effectiveness.

Joba the reliever was never required to pitch two days in a row. If he pitched two innings one game, he was then allowed to take two days off. Would he have been as effective if he was treated like a normal reliever?

Meh, sometimes people are just crazy.

I definitely think the Yanks need to keep Hughes in the rotation as well, whether at the major league level or at AAA. Every reason that Joba should remain a starter applies to Hughes as well. Hell, I still think Hughes ends up as the more effective starter with a longer career. The last thing the Yanks need to do is mess with his development.

I'm kinda liking the idea of Wang as a reliever, at least until the inevitable AJ Burnett injury. Plus, if everyone does stay healthy, maybe the Yanks can work Wang into the rotation during the heat of July and August to help keep Joba and Hughes fresh.

There are worst problems to have then trying to fit six pitchers into a five man rotation.

Jun 02, 2009 18:32 PM
rating: 2
 
rweiler

It isn't gonna happen in the modern game, but if you are going to put a guy like Joba in the pen, why not let him come in in the 7th and finish the game every 3 days or so, especially if a couple of your starters are 6 inning guys, or need to be handled carefully due to injury history? That would give him about 150 innings a year during which he is likely more effective than the starter, and there is a pretty good chance your 'closer' would get the day off. It seems like it makes even more sense if you have a guy that as a starter, couldn't make it through the batting order more than twice.

Jun 02, 2009 22:45 PM
rating: 0
 
SirVLCIV

The only problem with that is, what if it's "his day" to pitch and CC has 70 pitches through 6 innings?

Jun 03, 2009 06:19 AM
rating: 0
 
Dougie4512

Then you let CC continue and throw Joba the next day. However, working within the parameters of relief pitching today, it's a theoretical argument. I could make an argument that the best usage patterns of pitching happen in high school baseball.

When the best guy (starter) struggles, you go to the next best guy available if the game's close. Sometimes that includes the next day's probable starter. If it's a blowout, you use your mop-up guys. If you have tough back-to-back games, maybe you save your starter for tomorrow, but you bring in a good pitcher. You don't bring in a closer--you don't have enough quality pitchers for a closer.

Now this is also the reason HS pitchers get abused, but that's a different story. Aside from the reckless managers, I think you use your best guys most often and in highest-leverage situations in high schools across America.

Jun 03, 2009 07:52 AM
rating: 1
 
baserip4

The solution is incredibly simple and elegant: let him pitch the 8th. And also the 1st through the 7th.

Jun 03, 2009 07:46 AM
rating: 5
 
Justin Miller

If the Yankees are truly concerned about Joba being a 6 inning guy (and I don't see why they should be, but whatever), but they still want him to pitch high-leverage innings, why not start a reliever and have him come in during the 3rd or 4th inning?

Jun 03, 2009 09:26 AM
rating: 0
 
Sal T

Was Dave Righetti a failed starter? No more than Cal Ripken was a failed 3rd baseman. Bold moves are Bold moves. Ignore all the noise. It still might be a good idea.

Jun 03, 2009 08:29 AM
rating: -1
 
tercet

He has a career whip of nearly 1.45 as a starter, does this not scare anyone? I can't recall any "elite" starters who have a career whip this high, soon enough it will end up hurting him.

Jun 03, 2009 08:44 AM
rating: 0
 
RayDiPerna

Not that I bother looking at WHIP for pitchers, but check out Randy Johnson's WHIP for the first few years of his career. Not that this means Chamberlain will be Johnson, but it's not all that surprising for pitchers -- even great ones -- to struggle for a while before finding themselves.

Not that he is struggling anyway, with a 3.19 ERA in 22 career starts.

As for your phrasing "career whip" as a starter, again, he doesn't have much of a "career" as a starter yet. Give him time.

Jun 03, 2009 09:27 AM
rating: 0
 
ttomae8833

Apparently Brian Cashman reads Baseball Prospectus and read my post!! Just kidding, of course.

Yankees announced today that Wang will start Thursday's game with Phil Hughes going to the bullpen. Hughe's actual role has not yet been defined, however, so it will be interesting to see exactly what role they give him.

Jun 03, 2009 14:59 PM
rating: 0
 
RayDiPerna

I think they should give Hughes the setup job. Then, when he dominates in the role, people short of sight can argue that he should not return to the rotation.

Jun 03, 2009 16:08 PM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Joe Sheehan
BP staff
(17)

Tonight's starter is their sixth-best. Best of luck getting that argument past Joe Girardi.

"Yeah, Andy, remember that time you were really great and I was a lousy backup catcher playing too much and I got three World Series rings thanks in part to you? That was cool. Anyway, we need to talk..."

Jun 03, 2009 17:31 PM
 
Nacho999

This debate is so frustrating. Attacking the other side's argument is not usually a great indication of your own argument as far as I'm concerned. Joba is the most dominating pitcher we have at the moment. His success last year in the pen may have been helped by the Joba rules, but I never wanted him to start at any time as good as he is. I want him to succeed Mariano. I'm not looing to jerk him around at all. Now that we have six good starters I am loving the luxury of it all. Reminds me of 1998. Unfortunately one of the six has to be in the pen and Wang, provided he's throwing well, doesn't really seem so suited to the pen (forgetting the fact that he's an established winner when healthy as he was on target for his third consecutive high teen win season when he got hurt last year). I have no doubt Chamberlain can start and be very effective, but now that we seem to have addressed that issue I'd like to see the Yankees take care of that bullpen. Mariano is not going to be around forever and we need to groom somebody. Chamberlain and Hughes have, what?, ten wins between them lifetime? I'm not disparaging anyone here; I love them all, but making Wang a reliever is basically addressing our long relief guy role, which Aceves is currently manning. He's not going to be our 8th inning blow away bridge to Mariano. I know this is a tough decision and I'm not making light of it, but this team has a chance to win it all if it stays healthy and finds a suitable eighth inning guy. We took this role for granted in the off season and now we are paying for it a bit. We really need a hard throwing veteran right handed setup guy
and until we find one we are vulnerable. I'm more than aware Chamberlain was a rookie when he ascended to that role, but I don't think Melancon and Robertson have that kind of stuff and I can't stand watching Veras pitch. This debate, from our side of things, is not about is Chamberlain more valuable as a starter or reliever; it never has been really. I don't want to jerk the guy around either, but we need him to setup more than we need him to start right now. And I'm perfectly willing to go with that strategy down the road as well. Mariano is the greatest closer who ever lived in my opinion. When he steps aside we will have a Grand Canyon like void to fill. I know Pettitte is all but gone after this year and that Burnett is a bit older than our core, but I'd rather pay big money to a proven starter than $17M a year to Frankie Rodriguez. We can groom our own can't we? And by no means am I dismissing the other side of this debate despite being ridiculed and insulted for what I and many others believe. There's a reason this debate won't die; it's pretty even for and against after nearly a year of talking about it. Nobody is 100% right. If our starter doesn't pitch seven innings we stand an excellent chance of coughing up the game before Mariano can pitch. Right now, since we are scoring 10 runs a game it's not much of a factor, but in the playoffs...all due respect to the folks who want Chamberlain to start. He's great wherever they put him. I don't need to be right; I just want to win it all. I don't really believe there is a right and wrong answer here until we have to hand the ball to a less than dominating reliever with the season on the line. I hope it never comes to that, but you know it will...

Jun 03, 2009 15:36 PM
rating: -2
 
RayDiPerna

Nacho, take a breath. And use paragraphs. You lost my attention halfway through.

As for this comment:

"I want him to succeed Mariano."

Why? Seriously. It's a waste of resources. It would be like having ARod move over to first base when he can still play third.

Jun 03, 2009 16:11 PM
rating: 1
 
paulproia

This seems to me a simple decision. You can get 160 to 200 innings of good pitching, or 60 to 80 innings of good pitching. Why on earth would you sacrifice 100 or more innings of good pitching? (In a season, a team is on the mound for a shade over 1400 innings, so we're talking more than 7% of your season.)

A-Rod isn't that good a third baseman. He's better than he was a few years ago, but he's still not very good. I do think that there is a statistical bias in that Yankees face more left handed hitters than most teams, but three years of below average numbers don't lie. He's not really comfortable there.

Jun 04, 2009 05:14 AM
rating: -1
 
drive2fast19

Just ask the Cardinals how they feel about their decision to move Wainwright back to the rotation after he was made the emergency closer during the 2006 postseason.

I guarantee they would much rather have him making the starts he's been giving them as opposed to splitting time in the bullpen with Motte, Franklin, Perez, etc. This remains true even AFTER last season, when their bullpen was one of the worst and most costly in recent memory.

Jun 04, 2009 13:18 PM
rating: 0
 
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