Yeah, Joba Chamberlain Is a Starter

Michael SamuelSenior Analyst IJune 26, 2008

So Joba Chamberlain is finally going to be a fixture in the Yankees' starting rotation. Some people have asked why the Yankees would fix something that is not broken when he was the most unhittable eighth-inning guy in baseball. 

Some have said that he should eventually become the closer, replacing Mariano Rivera. Some, including Mike Francesa of WFAN, said that the process was becoming more about Joba, rather than the Yankees as a team. He was right. They were making sure that Joba had a "caddy" in Dan Giese, to help after he pitched his 65 pitches.

In what I am going to call his legitimate starts, Joba has pitched very well. He has been getting more than a strikeout per inning and has looked flat-out dominant.

Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy have looked awful in the majors this year and have combined for exactly zero wins. They are both on the disabled list now. Chien-Ming Wang pitched excellently right out of the gate, but he had slowed down before he started to pick up prior to injury. Three-fifths of what was penciled in to be the starting rotation is now on the DL.

Mike Mussina has been everything that the Yankees could have ever asked for, with a 10-5 record and a sub-four ERA. Andy Pettitte is starting to pitch better, and he is a competitor who will always give it his all. 

The other two spots are going to be occupied by journeyman Darrell Rasner, Dan Giese, and flameout Sidney Ponson. So what if Joba hadn't been moved to the rotation earlier? There rotation would have been very weak, and this team would really be in trouble.

Joba will be an ace for this club, and he will continue to use his dominating 98 mile-per-hour fastball. The Yankees finally have their ace. They don't have to spend money on the Kevin Browns, Carl Pavanos, and Randy Johnsons of the world.

If Wang can come back in September before the playoffs, they could have a very nice starting staff.