Joba To Rotation a Rushed Decision By Steinbrenners

Jerry BurnesAnalyst IJune 3, 2008

Like father, like son.

It's an old saying that's been around for quite a while. It also perfectly describes the new world order that is the running the New York Yankees.

Hal and Hank Steinbrenner are proving to be just like good old dad, George Steinbrenner, "The Boss."

Just like dad the Steinbrenner brothers are making rash, quick decisions that are sending Yankee-dom into a media frenzy. Unfortunately, it's not a good media frenzy.

The two brothers have been very outspoken on Joba Chamberlain becoming a starter since the Johan Santana deal died in the preseason. They have been openly critical of General Manager Brian Cashman and Manager Joe Girardi for leaving Chamberlain in the bullpen, where he has thrived.

Tonight sealed the deal on how the new era of Steinbrenners would work for the Yankees.

It lasted just two-and-one-third innings and 62 pitches, and then Joba's debut as a starter was over. Just like that, the anticipation of the next Roger Clemens, the next Josh Beckett, the next Santana was all over. In the time that it took for the Yankees to announce he would start, Chamberlain exited that start.

The question is, what was the big rush?

The Yankees entered Tuesday night winners of eight of their last 12 after losing seven of 10. Andy Pettitte had stepped up his play, Jason Giambi was out of his slump, and Alex Rodriguez was being Alex Rodriguez coming off his leg injury.

And Joba?

In 20 games, Chamberlain registered a 1-2 record in 23 2/3 innings, a 2.28 ERA, 16 hits, six runs, 11 walks, 30 strikeouts, a 1.14 WHIP, and an opponent batting average of just .284. Granted it's a downgrade from his 24 innings and 0.38 ERA from last season, but Joba was still effective out of the bullpen and getting the game to Mariano Rivera.

The bosses hit the panic button too early.

Joba's move to the rotation by Girardi and Cashman was a pressure decision. The bosses had spoken, they wanted to see their project in the works. This was evident by the Yankees cutting of Joba-Santana trade talk right away.

Chamberlain to the rotation was inevitable, but the Steinbrenners, like their father, have no patience to wait a good thing to develop.

In Joba's road to the rotation, his longest relief appearance never even topped three innings. A starter is expected to pitch at least five. Nobody knew if he would even know how to handle the first inning and save himself for the later innings. Did 62 pitches in fewer than three innings, 37 coming in the first, say anything?

Yes, it did.

It said Chamberlain needs to go back into the bullpen until he works himself longer into the game. The Steinbrenners need to let Joba gradually make the transition into a starter before they push him too far and ruin a potential future hall-of-famer.

He has the talent, just not the experience. It also didn't help that the Yankees didn't even have Jorge Posada behind the plate. Posada helped guide young Yankee pitchers like Pettitte, Wang, and Rivera to stardom.

Joba will be a great starter one day. Just not today, maybe not tomorrow, but down the road the Yankees will be boasting one of the most dominant starters in Major League Baseball.