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Heyman says Joba out of the starters' race for some reason

Mar 22, 2010, 9:28 AM EDT

Last night Jon Heyman tweeted “Joba is out of the Yanks rotation debry.”  The basis for this?  The news that Chamberlain will pitch an intra-squad game today while Phil Hughes will pitch against the Phillies in Clearwater.  Left out of this is the fact that the intra-squad game and the need to get both pitchers work today were necessitated by yesterday’s rainout. Rather than some exile or demotion, the intra-squad game will include Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera who I think we can assume aren’t fighting for jobs. Nothing in any story I could find suggests that the Yankees have made any decisions about the fifth starter yet.

I’ll give Heyman a bit of the benefit of the doubt based on the fact that you can’t fit in a ton of context in a 140-character tweet, but at the moment there doesn’t seem to be anything to support this claim that Joba has lost the job already. Steve at TYU says that Heyman has been squarely in the anti-Joba camp for some time and thinks that his tweet is an exercise in sensationalism.

I’m a bit removed from all the Kremlinology that surrounds Yankees’ personnel decisions, but it does seem like there are a lot of people who think about the fifth starters’ race in terms of politics rather than baseball and simply believe on some primal level that Chamberlain is a relief pitcher and shouldn’t be considered for the job. Which makes little sense considering that Joba was a starter throughout high school, college and the minors prior to his callup in 2007 and that he throws four pitches.

As I said last week, this all seems like a lot of fuss over nothing. I have a mild preference for Chamberlain as the starter simply because I think he stands a chance to be a better pitcher than Hughes in the long run, but the fact of the matter is that no matter what happens this spring both of these guys are likely to start games for New York this year and both will probably be starters if someone gets injured, if Javier Vazquez leaves after this year or whenever it is that Andy Pettitte decides to retire.  Which is probably going to be after this year.

  1. YankeesfanLen - Mar 22, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    A bad 7th or 8th and Joba can get the quick hook, there’s plenty down there now with Park and Robertson in particular. My problem with Joba is when he blows up in the 3rd or 4th and screws up relief for 2 or 3 days.

  2. Ron - Mar 22, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Zack Grienke pitched in a minor league yesterday. Using this reasoning, he’s headed to Omaha for the season.

  3. Joey B - Mar 22, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    “Zack Grienke pitched in a minor league yesterday. Using this reasoning, he’s headed to Omaha for the season.”
    There might be more to the reasoning than that. Such as Pitcher A has a 16.20 ERA with a 5/7 K/W ratio, and Pitcher B has a 2.08 with a 4/2 ratio.

  4. Ron - Mar 22, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    This is why spring taining stats don’t mean anything. The point was, and is, it doesn’t matter who he’s pitching against. Trying to say Chamberlin is out of the rotation becasue he’s pitching in an intra-squad game (aginst the World Champions, by the way) is irrelevant.
    Just like saying Greinke is having a great spring because he posted some of his numbers against minor leaguers. He’s not going to face minor leaguers durig the season, so it doesn’t matter how well he does against them now.
    If Chamberlin’s out of the rotation, it’s becasue he’s not pitching well, not because of who he’s pitchig against.

  5. Richard Dansky - Mar 22, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    At what point does this spin off into FireJonHeyman.com? Not that I’d complain much, mind you.

  6. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Mar 22, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Heyman must know where the bodies are buried. It’s the only way someone can write the crap he does and still have a job.

  7. Joey B - Mar 22, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    “If Chamberlin’s out of the rotation, it’s becasue he’s not pitching well, not because of who he’s pitchig against.”
    Heyman didn’t explicitly say that, but it would make sense. If, and we don’t know for certain at this point, if Hughes has beaten out Joba, would it make more sense for Hughes to pitch v Philly or the minor leaguers. If it were me, I’d be pitching my starter v Philly.

  8. YANKEES1996 - Mar 22, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    The world according to Jon Heyman, not much worth listening to! Joba may or may not be the fifth starter in our rotation but according to Joe Girardi the decision has not been made yet. They added an intra-squad game because of the most recent rain out and apparently there were several pitchers that needed work so they split them up. I personally would like to see Joba be the heir to Rivera, I think he has the demeanor and fire to do the closers job really well, and of course being mentored by the greatest closer of all time isn’t bad either.

  9. Joey B - Mar 22, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    “I personally would like to see Joba be the heir to Rivera, I think he has the demeanor and fire to do the closers job really well, and of course being mentored by the greatest closer of all time isn’t bad either.”
    That’s always been my take. I understand you’d prefer an ace in training rather than a closer in training, but when he first broke in, he’d have been literally be one of the best 5 closers in BB (except for Mo).

  10. DiamondDuq - Mar 22, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    Agreed! The discussion isn’t that anyone doesn’t think Joba COULD be a good starter, it’s that he IS an elite reliever. The drop-off between reliever Joba and starter Joba is a drastic one and to go from elite reliever to pretty good starter isn’t worth it, especially for a guy who has already had arm problems, admittedly minor but arm problems just the same. On the other hand you have Hughes who is a good reliever and an equally good starter, there’s not as drastic a drop-off and there’s a need for a 5th starter. A lot of the debate, I believe, is people selling Hughes short more than anyone selling Joba short. For most, as previously indicated, the arguments against Joba getting the 5th starters spot have little, if nothing, to do with Hughes and more to do with what you’re losing in the bullpen while the arguments against Hughes getting it have entirely to do with people not thinking he’ll be as good as Joba, which remains to be seen and no one really knows but like to speculate about.

  11. mak - Mar 22, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    I think everyone is nuts, this trying to force Jaba in to the rotation. He has the fire and the makeup to be the heir apparent to Mariano. I personally think huges has more of an upside then Jaba. If Jaba does not want the reliever spot, then i have no problem doing a deal and moving him on.

  12. Nasty Boy - Mar 22, 2010 at 7:42 PM

    Aside from spelling his name wrong , I agree with you.I never thought he had the stamina to be a starter. When he relieves he throws mid to high nineties, when he starts he throws low nineties. I feel he’s overrated, if they don’t think he can eventually replace Mariano, unload him while teams are still high on him. I feel if they are determined to make him a starter , and he gets bombed, who in hell will trade for him. Then what do you do with him ?

  13. ray - Mar 23, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    Is it a pet peeve of anyone else that rather than just focusing on the content of people’s posts, some need to point out spelling mistakes? Yes “Nasty Boy” it would great if mak spelled Joba correctly, but do we all think more highly of you since you pointed it out? Nope. Who sat in the front of the class and raised his hand to correct the teacher? I’m thinking it was Nasty Boy!

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