There are few debates that aggravated me more last year than the one about Joba Chamberlain’s role. Thankfully, that debate has been ended:
Some believe Chamberlain’s highest value is as the eighth-inning bridge to Mariano Rivera, while others think the 23-year-old fireballer better serves the Yankees by pitching five, six or seven innings every fifth day.
The only voices that matter in this debate are the ones that make the decisions for the Yankees, namely general manager Brian Cashman, skipper Joe Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland, who all firmly believe that Chamberlain’s future is in the starting rotation. That’s where the Yankees say he’ll begin this season.
“I understand that (other) side of the argument,” Eiland said. “There’s no denying what he did out of the pen. Could we put him back there right now and have him do the same thing? Sure. But power guys don’t come around that often with the four pitches that he has. When they do, they’re in a rotation somewhere – usually in the top three spots.”
Well, given that this is New York, I suppose the debate is only over until the first time he doesn’t pitch a shutout over eight innings. But still.