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What Part of "200 Innings > 60" Do You Not Understand?
Thursday, May 22, 2008
It's time to bid farewell to those old Joba rules that precluded him from pitching more than an inning or so every couple days: Girardino confirmed last night that Jobamania will be taking a spot in the floundering rotation sooner rather than later.

Joba's already pitched almost as many innings as he did last year, when the rules were even more stringent, and with the exception of a couple brief blips in the road (6 earned runs... I've had to remind myself he is indeed a human being and not a pitching android) he's been as fist-pumpingly effective as ever. With his youngster pitching counterparts Hughsie and I-Ken blowing it in grand fashion all year and his team's struggle to score more than 2 runs per game on a consistent basis, his presence in the rotation has become more vital with each passing day.

The plan to work him into the rotation is simple: get him into more games and keep him in there longer. No target date has been set - or if there is one, Girardi ain't sharing it - but they got the ball rolling yesterday by having him pitch two innings instead of his usual one. I'd imagine it's going to take a little while, though; there is a big difference between a 20-pitch outing and a 100-pitch start. Obviously, he was a starter in the minors, so the role isn't foreign to him, but he hasn't started a game in quite a while and needs to get back in the groove of going 6 or 7 innings. There's a chance he might make a brief detour back to AAA to start a couple games before starting for the Yanks, but that's just speculation at this point. Much as I would hate to lose him for a couple weeks, I have to admit that would make sense.

What doesn't make sense is the fact that Girardi's announcement last night sparked a debate amongst journalists, bloggers, and fans over whether the team would be better off keeping Joba in the set-up role and out of the rotation. Yes, he's stellar out of the 'pen, but wouldn't most any amazing pitcher be? Why would you settle for 60 innings of opponent shut-down when you can get 200? Would you put Santana in the bullpen? What the Yankees - and this goes for any team, obviously - need is a pitcher that can go out there every five days and get the team a win, and with I-Ken, Hughsie, Moose, and even Dandy Andy struggling to do just that it would be a disgrace to try to rely on Kei Igawa once a week when Joba and his robo-arm is sitting right there.

Sorry, Kei.

(No I'm not).

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, May 22, 2008  
7 Comments:
  • At 5:03 PM, Blogger Bill said…

    I really do not like Joba moving to the rotation. I think he could be a top closer and he shortens games pitching in the 8th inning.

    Not a good move.

    http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/thebronxdaily/

     
  • At 8:44 PM, Blogger Phil said…

    I am all for it and am excited to see him start. There's guys in the pen that can step up and be 8th inning (and 7th if necessary) guy. As much as we're all nervy about Farnsy, he's done pretty well over all. Yanks fans have been spoiled with Joba and Mo at the back end for the past year (and Flash in prior years). While they're bound to lose a few because someone didn't keep the hold in the 8th, they'll win far more with Joba as a starter for years to come. Someone from the minors can be the heir apparent to Mo. Joba needs to start.

     
  • At 7:15 AM, Blogger YankeeFiend23 said…

    O.K., for one player to make $300 million in one ten year contract one must assume that this would be the "most complete player" in the game, period. Most would agree that Arod is worthy of that monekar. Why is it then that, in the bottom of the ninth - no outs - runner on first - infielders playing WAY back, is the "most complete player" not bunting the runner over and most likely legging out an infield single (without running too hard and re injuring himself).

    Now I lay none of this on Arod. I have an increasingly big beef with The Giardino. Make that 98% percent of the managers in MLB anymore.

    First off, as soon as Matsui called time at first a pitch runner should have been halfway there.

    Secondly, WHAT HAPPENED TO SMALL BALL?!?! If Girardi calls a bunt there, like I said, you have a runner on second and most likely first too.

    Now, the game worked out in the end but how many haven't when small ball was ignored? Seriously, tell me, when the fuck did players become bigger than the game? How much do you have to make to be "above" bunting regardless of the situation. Where have the Brett Butlers of the world gone?

    Most people will tell me I am crazy for saying Arod should bunt in that situation. However, think about it like this.....

    There are no outs and a runner on. The infielders are near the back of the diamond playing the DP. The runner advances easily and Arod is most likely safe because no one is in position to play that. If you have a burner on the base paths, with the 3rd baseman charging, 3rd base open, you could possibly get him to 3rd on a bunt.

    This would also play in the heads of opponents in the future. In a similar situation, knowing that he did that once they may choose to keep the infielders a step or two in. When he swings away and hits a hot shot along the infield, it stands a better chance of getting through because they had to play the bunt.

    Call me nucking futs but I think the players should play to the game and play according to what the situation calls for. But, the "OK, you make more than 5 Mil, just try and crush it, we'll get by" mentality rules.

     
  • At 8:35 AM, Blogger Nesto said…

    I'm not sold on Joba being a dominating starter because the whole 200 being greater than 60 is assuming that he will be great and not mediocre or injured for those 200 innngs which isnt very clear. It easier to be dominate a lineup if they only get to see you for at bat. A couple dominate setup/closers have tried thier hand at starting and failed. But Santana did start off in middle relief, so here hoping that Joba turns out to be more Santana than Danny Graves, and that Farns can keep it up.

     
  • At 12:40 PM, Anonymous tanning lotion said…

    I think pitching him more makes a lot more sense to me.

     
  • At 1:01 PM, Blogger Phil said…

    Nesto, I agree that there have been cases where relievers haven't translated to starting. Hell, Mariano was an awful starter. However, Mo didn't have the complement of pitches that Joba has. Also, it's not as if Joba was coming up through the system as a reliever/closer. He was a starter and has always been seen as a starter for the Yanks, but was thrust into the 8th inning role by necessity.

    As long as he gets the feel back for his curve and changeup, as well as his arm strength up to snuff (which is what the stretch out is all aobut) he should be great. Of course, there's no was to know for sure, but the other advantage is that he's been in the bigs so the bright lights and major league hitters won't rattle him.

    Yanksfield, it's not about the amount of money that ARod makes. It's the fact that he's the most dangerous hitter in the line up. You don't ask the guy that has the ability to end the game, whether with a home run or double, to bunt the runner over.

    If he does indeed bunt and pops up or bunts too hard or whatever and doesn't move the runner over, then what? Everyone would be killing Girardi for bunting with ARod.

    You would never see Manny bunting in situation. You wouldn't see Pujols bunting in that situation. Hell, you wouldn't even see Lance Berkman doing it. Why would you do it with ARod?

    You can't make assumptions that it would 'most likely' have been 1st and 2nd, no out. Your comment about a 'burner' also doesn't apply, as the Yanks don't have a burner on the bench. Gonzalez has decent speed, better than Matsui, sure, but wouldn't classify as a 'burner'. Besides, ever heard of defensive rotation? If the batter bunts and the 3rd baseman charges, SS goes to 3rd, 2B goes to 2nd. 3rd would NOT be open.

    Small ball works when the right players up in the right situations. That wasn't one of them.

    And what exactly does your post have to do with Joba's transition to starter?

     
  • At 7:39 PM, Blogger Pasqua said…

    To piggy back on Nesto's comment: the 200 > 60 innings argument is completely flawed. As the set-up man, Joba would probably guarantee 55, or so. of those 60 innings to be dominating. Once his arm wears down over the course of the year (not to mention as each lineup gets to see him 2-3 times over the course of a single game), the percentage of "dominating" innings is guaranteed to go down.

    In other words, if you expect every inning that Joba throws as a starter to be as intense and impressive as his one inning every other day, you're in for a rude awakening.

    That said, I'm liking the move the more I think about it. If he fails, he can return to the 'pen. If he succeeds, management looks like geniuses.

     
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