We can all agree that Joba Chamberlain has been lights out since he first took the mound in the majors, right? Well, the Yankees have decided to fix something that isn't broken. They announced earlier this week that Joba would go into the starting rotation. The Yankees think this is a good idea, but let me tell you why it is a bad idea.
Joba has been more or less unhittable since the day he threw his first pitch in the major league, so why would you tamper with that?
I understand that the Yankees rotation has been a mess with Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and Kei Igawa. Ian Kennedy pitched a gem against the Orioles, going six strong, and only allowing one run while striking out four. This is the same guy who, in three starts last year, dazzled the Yankees enough to keep him instead of going after Johan Santana.
Hughes is on the DL, but everybody knows he is better than the way he has pitched thus far. Last season he went 5-3 with a 4.46 ERA, and was only a couple innings away from a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers, until a pulled hamstring forced him out of the game. Then there is Kei Igawa...Ok I have no answer for him, but Darrell Rasner has pitched well and has given the Yankees some solid starts.
Now let me ask this question...If Joba goes into the rotation, who gets you from the starters to Mariano Rivera?
It sure is not going to be Kyle Farnsworth, LaTroy Hawkins, or Ross Ohlendorf. Edwar Ramirez has pitched well to this point, but he is still fragile and would crack under the high pressure as the set-up man for the Yankees. Not to mention, none of these guys are the closers of the future in New York.
Whomever takes over the set-up role is being groomed to take over for Rivera when he retires, and none of the guys just mentioned could ever take over for Mo.
The Yankees would be making yet another huge mistake that will keep them from winning a 27th World Series. No team has won a World Series with a bad set-up man and closer. Just look at the Red Sox. They won with the best one-two punch in baseball last year with Okajima and Papelbon. If the Yankees take away the one-two punch of Joba and Rivera, they can consider this a lost season.