September 9, 2009

Joba’s playoff role complicated, bizarre

I would hope Joe Girardi is planning on using Joba Chamberlain as a starter — what he’s been all season — in the playoffs, but this might not be the case.

From Anthony McCarron:

Asked if he could see a scenario in which Chamberlain would pitch in the bullpen in the playoffs, Joe Girardi replied: "There's a possibility if you're in the playoffs. There's a division series where you need three starters and one you need four and I'll just leave it at that."

One AL division series begins Oct. 7 and the other begins Oct. 8. The first one has three scheduled off-days - Oct. 8, 10, 13 - which would allow teams to tweak their rotations.

Girardi really seems to be hinting here that Chamberlain would be used as a reliever for the ALDS. As McCarron pointed out, the Yanks have a very good chance of holding the best record in the AL, giving them the option of which series schedule they want to play in.

Based on this information, and the current state of the rotation, it’s a no-brainer to choose the schedule with three off-days. This would allow the Yanks to start CC Sabathia again in game 4 (if necessary), rather than Chamberlain.

If this is the case, then I have a serious problem with it. This would presumably mean Chamberlain would be switching roles twice — once in the ALDS to relieve, and then back to the rotation in the ALCS. This is absurd!

I know I’m thinking a little far ahead right now, but this seems to be exactly what Girardi is planning!

Another thing that really ticks me off about this news is that Chamberlain is starting tonight! All he needs is another distraction to be thinking about while he attempts to regain his greatness from the three mystical starts after the All-Star break.

Maybe the Yankees should have acquired another starter at some point so they wouldn’t have to think these idiotic ideas up.

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