Friday, February 13, 2009

Another option?

I have been thinking long and hard about this upcoming season, and a few things dawned on me. The Yankees have great depth in their lineup and 4 solid pitchers set in stone for their rotation. The only possible problem i saw, was in the bullpen.

I'm not saying the Yankees' bullpen is not good, because it's great, but there are a few question marks, and you don't want to get caught off guard if players like Edwar Ramirez or Jose Veras don't perform up to expectations. Now, the Yankees have a great oppurtunity, most every Yankee fan who hears what i have to say here, will disagree.

If you want a definite World Series winning team, you may need Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen. The Yankees have a few guys who are capable of filling in the role of the 5th starter, i.e Phil Hughes, Alfredo Aceves, Ian Kennedy and Phil Coke.

Joba has nasty stuff, he could be a great number 1 guy within the next few years, but he has a history of shoulder problems that may say otherwise. We Yankee fans want to believe Joba's shoulder wont cave in, but he could be just another shoulder injury away from becoming the next Mark Prior, Kerry Wood etc...

We saw last year that Joba fit into the starting role very well, perhaps with the propper conditioning for the job, we won't see him suffer anymore freak injuries.

Again, i'm NOT saying put Joba in the bullpen. What i am saying is the Yankees do have the option to put him in the bullpen and succeed just as well, maybe even more than had they kept him as a starter.

The main risk with having Joba in the bullpen, would take away from him improving as a starter, and maybe eliminate starting from his future entirely.

The Yankees may have the bullpen with the greatest potential in the majors, Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez and Mark Melancon each have nasty stuff, but we've only seen how succesfull they can be briefly. Putting Joba in the 8th inning role would give the Yankees the best bullpen in the majors, with a top 3 starting rotation. Ofcourse their lineup, when healthy... speaks for itself.

Even with the whole A-Rod, Joe Torre and DUI situations as possible distractions for the players, i still see the Yankees having one of their best seasons since the beginning of the new century.

10 comments:

Ras said...

I'm OK with Joba in the rotation, although I can see your points. What bothers me the most is that they brought back Andy Pettitte. He's not the same guy as he was back in the 90's. They would have been much better off having Hughes, Kennedy, Coke, ect. fight it out for the 5th slot. I think the pen will be OK without Joba. Their thinking is that they'd rather have Joba start every 5th day - that he's more valuable in that role, rather than setting up Mo.
We shall see. Of course Torre and A-Rod had to screw things up, also. Unwanted distractions. Personally, I feel that A-Fraud will NEVER be clutch in pinstripes, and they made a mistake
bringing him back after he opt'd out. Best hitter in BB ? Ya, but not CLUTCH. Now how will his ego be with his new tarnished image? Think he'll be 100% focused ? Heck, he had all sorts of "thinking" problems before all this steroid stuff broke out last week. They would have been better off saving a ton of $$$ and gotten a good 3rd baseman, one with alot less ego that would be a grinder, not a super star...

Alex H said...

Ras,

I guarentee you we'll see Hughes/Kennedy/Aceves and Coke start games for the Yankees this year. Joba, if he ends up starting the season as a starter will eventually be limited with his innings, and i can't assume that all 5 of these guys will remain healthy.

I also think having Pettitte as a 4th starter instead of having him be our number 2 guy last year will take off alot of pressure. He also had to deal with the steroid controversey last year.

I also understand that Yankee fans lost alot of faith in A-Rod recently, but i'm not going to count him out until he flops this year, i personally see him having a monster year, 2007 esque.

J said...

AHJShjfkjhsfaiahfaf

/obligatory violent disagreement

Jennifer said...

I don' think it's a bad idea, i just don't want Joba to get hurt for good

She-Fan said...

I think the bullpen would be better off with Joba in it, but he's starting and that's that. I think/hope Bruney will emerge as a trusted arm in the pen and that Marte will have a good season. Just not sold on Veras and Ramirez. And, of course, we need Mo to be Mo.

Alex H said...

Jane, that's exactly how i see the situation too. I also hope Bruney pitches as well or better than he did last year, he apparently lost 16 more lbs, as did Nick Swisher, hopefully the weight loss sets a fire underneath both players.

I don't necessarily want Joba in the bullpen, but do i feel he may be better off there in the long run? maybe.

ras said...

Re: Joba in the pen....
Mo started out as a starter, and so did Rags, so don't rule out Joba replacing Mo at some point....

Alex H said...

Ras,
Yes, maybe Joba is the future closer of the Yankees... he's the only one i can confidently say would handle the role well. Alot of people are talking about Melancon to take that role, but we haven't even seen him pitch once... so maybe my opinion will change after the guy pitches in a few spring training games, i hear he has nasty stuff.

Bob Ruffolo said...

I agree, and I think at some point you will see Joba back in the pen this year.

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