August 31, 2009

In defense of the new Joba plan…

For all I know, a new Joba plan will be announced later today. At this point, I think the Yankees may have finally found the right way to use Joba Chamberlain in the remaining weeks.

The key for this move is that Joba keeps his routine. Knowing that you are going to have the same number of days rest between starts allows you to plan ahead and do the same weights/throwing routine.

I know his last start was only the first of the new plan, but it is clear he will be pitching between three and six innings each start. Knowing he doesn’t have to go deep into ballgames might take some pressure off Joba and give him more control.

After a lot of consideration, I think the innings limit is right for Joba, just as long as they let him loose in the postseason. I hope he pitches 150-160 innings this year, and then expand to 200 next year.

Some might say it would be easier to regulate his innings if he were in the bullpen, but that doesn’t work. Preparing for a start is a lot different than pitching out of the bullpen. A starter will use more pitches, pitch to the same hitters twice and throw a longer bullpen before pitching. He also would probably not be pitching every five days, so this totally hampers with his routine, which is something Joba is trying to establish right now.

Some might say he needs to go to the minors to work on his pitching. All that does is leave a hole in the rotation for Chad Gaudin, who would hurt the team a lot more than a shortened Joba outing would. Joba is the number four guy in the postseason, and he needs to be pitching against major league hitters heading in.

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