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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Oh Joba!

    According to ESPN, Brian Cashman has already decided that Joba Chamberlain will start next season in the bullpen. If this announcement was made before Joba pitched a game as a starting pitcher, I would’ve agreed 100%. The combo of Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera was unstoppable and if the Yankees had a lead after the seventh inning, victory was inevitable. However after seeing him pitch in his 12 starts, it’s obvious that he is most useful as a starting pitcher. Before he started, their starting pitching was less than stellar, even with a healthy Wang. Chamberlain gave the Yankees a true ace, something that hasn’t been seen since Clemens’ first stint with the Yankees.

    Of course I would like to see Chamberlain in pinstripes for 15 years, and Cashman is probably afraid having the next Mark Prior or Kerry Wood on his hands, however Dusty Baker is not the manager of the Yankees. Baker is notorious for killing the arms of young pitchers and there is no way Chamberlain or any of the young pitchers of the Yankees staff will be over-used like Wood or Prior was. For those who are unaware of the debacles that occurred in 1998 and 2003, Wood, at the ripe age of 20, pitched 166 2/3 innings, while Prior pitched 211 1/3 innings at 22. Chamberlain pitched 112 1/3 innings at 21 (minor league stats included), and he’ll ultimately finish with approximately 100 this year, at 22.

    According to CBS Sports, Joba’s shoulder injury, which sidelined him for nearly a month, is common in pitchers who change roles in a short period of time. If you take a look at Joba’s game log, he pitched 2 1/3 innings on June 3rd, 4 1/3 innings on June 8th, and 6 innings on June 13th. Although sis pitch count determined the amount of innings he pitched, if you estimate that an inning takes 20-25 minutes, he went from pitching over less than a span of an hour to two hours within 10 days. If Joba does repeat the process he went through this year, he is more prone to injury, and the Yankees will be worse for it.

    The only silver lining I can see from Cashman announcing that Chamberlain will the bullpen is they will be more likely to sign or trading for a big free agent in the offseason. CC Sabathia’s inning count over the last couple of years scare me, but he is an ace nonetheless, and the Yankees can’t go into the playoffs with the same pitchers as 2007. They need a Josh Beckett-type pitcher to start game 1, and in my opinion they have it in Joba after his performance on July 25th. However if he’s in the bullpen, CC Sabathia would be a great option.

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