March 25, 2010

Phil Hughes finally announced fifth starter, Joba no guarantee for bullpen spot

Joe Girardi just announced Phil Hughes as the fifth starter this year, which means Joba Chamberlain is headed to the bullpen, right?

Apparently, not necessarily. The tweet from Marc Carig reads:

Girardi: none of the guys who didn't win job are guaranteed bullpen spots, Joba included.

This goes against what Girardi said on Feb. 22.

“We’ll make sure that we take what we feel are the 12 best arms,” Girardi said. “Having quality arms in your camp, and more quality arms in spots, is a luxury. It’s just our job to try and make the right decisions.”

I don’t see how Girardi could think Chamberlain doesn’t have one of the top 12 arms in the organization. Chamberlain belongs in the bullpen this year. Having him “ready to start” in Triple-A won’t do him any good. He’s already shown he can be a starter at that level. It’s time he proves he can get big league hitters out regularly.

However, Girardi did follow through on one promise he made on Feb. 17, saying he’d like to have the rotation set by March 25 (which happens to be today). I guess he didn’t need the final week to make the decision.

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