Not So Fast: Phil Hughes' Injury Won't Lead to Joba Chamberlain in the Rotation

Shawn DommerAnalyst IMay 4, 2008

In Hank Steinbrenner's book, I am an idiot.

Now there are many reasons anyone would call me an idiot but Mr. Steinbrenner would take particular issue with my belief that Joba Chamberlain should remain in the bullpen.

With the recent comments by Hank along with the demotion of Ian Kennedy and the injury to Phil Hughes, many Yankees fans have started to prepare themselves for Joba in the rotation. A move that would most likely benefit the team in the short run (which the Steinbrenner's have shown a knack for; see Carl Pavano, Kevin Brown).

With a team that has the ability to put 5 or more runs on the board every night you can sacrifice having 5 all star starters. What is more important is having a bullpen that can close the game down in the eighth, ninth and sometimes seventh innings. Joba and Mo do just that.

There are three main reasons Joba won't be heading to the rotation any time soon.

ONE: A 22 year old pitcher who didn't spend a lot of time refining his stuff in the minor leagues should stay in a role he's comfortable with until there's time to make a transition. Joba has prepared his arm to pitch one or two innings every other day or so. What happens when Joba's fastball falls to 93mph in the 5th inning, what's he going to compliment it with?

Every major leaguer can hit a fastball, especially one they see in two or three at bats a game. He would need at least two starts in the minor leagues to prepare for a starting role. Rushing Joba could be bad for his confidence and possibly lead to injury.

TWO: Darell Rasner was spectacular in his 2008 debut. Rasner gave up two runs in the first but held a good Mariner's lineup scoreless for the next five, only allowing 5 hits. He'll secure the 4th spot.

THREE: There's a 50 million dollar investment in Kei Igawa. He only went 2 -3 in 12 starts and posted a 6.25 era in 2007. Starting 2008 in the minors he's 3 -3 in 6 starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but has 40 strikeouts. The Yankees may want to see how their investment is paying off. There's also Dan Giese who went 2 -0 in 4 starts striking out 23 in 26.2 innings.

The Yankees have options and have always been resourceful.

The Yankees fifth spot is up for grabs. Right now it looks like a trade would be in order. Unfortunately, at this point no team is giving up on the season. Certainly, the Indians will not give Sabathia up to a team they most likely will be competing against for the Wild Card.

Look for the Yanks to make a deal with a small market team shortly after May. Perhaps Zach Greinke for a few minor leaguers.