Big Stein may be leaving the world in the lurch for the time being when it comes to the fate of the Torremeister, but he and his cronies have made at least one decision about the 2008 Yanks already: the "what will Joba's Job(a) be?" question. Joba came to the Yankees' rescue in August by filling a gaping hole in the bullpen evacuated by injuries and Farnsworthless' ineptitude, his 24 near-scoreless (save for 1 lone solo homer) innings, setting up Mo for many a save and keeping the Yanks in the game (and in the post-season hunt), but before being called up he had spent his career as a starter in college and in the brief time he was down on the farm. Even though he was brought up as a bullpen boy, the Joba Master Plan was set to shift him right back into starter-ville as soon as the season was over. After seeing the way he was able to shut down batters in tight situations and simply overwhelm his opponents without showing even the slightest inkling of feeling intimidated, though, a lot of folks began to think that perhaps he could be even more valuable in the 'pen than he could be even as a top starter. This week Big Stein & The Gang (similar to Kool and his Gang, yet not as inclined to sweet, sweet disco-funk) announced that he, along with P-Hughes*, would be heading to Spring Training in '08 as a starter. The benefit to having Joba start, of course, is that the team will (barring a visit from Pavano's Patented Pain Plague) likely get at least twice the number of innings out of the kid; the downside, then, is that the Yankees bullpen essentially adds up to a barren wasteland with a little Mariano oasis (assuming he comes back, but that is an issue about which to be blogged another day). Since Big Stein has already proclaimed that Joba will indeed be a starter and we know all too well that what Steinbrenner says goes it is a moot point to even discuss the possible merits of keeping Joba in the 'pen, but let's do it anyway.
*I-Ken, in case you were wondering, will also be joining the team in Florida for Spring Training, it simply hasn't been determined what his roll will be - possibly competing with the Moosester for a starting spot.
Labels: front office, jobamania, roster moves, spring training