I have been wrestling with this issue for the entire year now and I have finally decided to pick a side and stick with it.
Joba Chamberlain should be in the bullpen.
Although they have been winning, the Yankees have been covering up some serious issues.
We all know about the struggles of Chien Ming Wang, but did you know Phil Coke is on pace to appear in over seventy games? That is a lot of stress on a young arm.
Speaking of stress, when hasn’t CC thrown 120 pitches? I am dreading the end of September when he needs a big win and he can’t get anything behind his fastball.
Another problem is that the Yankees do not have a clear set-up man while their rival Red Sox have three or four guys on their staff that can do so. Sure, Bruney is back, but he has never proven himself to be reliable for an entire season, let alone half of one.
Right now, Joba cannot consistently pitch deep into games.
Yes, he has shown flashes of brilliance (12 Ks against Boston), but right now Phil Hughes is a better option at starter than Joba. In his last 20 innings, Hughes has been lights out. It’s time for the Yankees give their number one pick a slot in the rotation.
Now on to Wang, who showed some improvements in his last outing against the Nationals. Sure it was the Nationals, but Wang consistently kept his sinker down and threw his slider a lot more. Wang is a proven winner and I would take him as a fifth starter any day. He can’t be sent down to AAA, and the bullpen wouldn’t do anything to help his confidence.
He is a starter and he deserves to keep starting.
Joba could eventually be a good starting pitcher, but he could step in and be an elite set-up man for the Yankees. With Coke, Bruney, Chamberlain, Aceves, and Rivera in the pen, they could make it a six inning ballgame.
The Yankees need to make decisions that will benefit the entire team, and not just a single player. If they don’t make the right decisions soon, they could once again be on the outside looking in when the leaves start changing.