The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feinsand: Amazingly, Joba Chamberlain has reignited the whole starter vs reliever controversy

“I guess I’m trying to have my cake and eat it, too. I feel like I’m good enough to do both. I’ve proven that I can do both. Whatever it is, if I close, I want to be one or the other. I’ve been in the role of in the bullpen for a while, but am I confident that if I got the chance to start again somewhere – wherever that’s at – I could do it? Without a doubt.

Doesn’t he realize his stuff plays up in the bullpen?

--Posted at 3:52 pm by SG / 28 Comments | - (0)


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It kills me to think that someone might be able to sign him relatively cheap (likely around $5 million) next year and get a cheap, good starter.

[1] Unless that someone is the Yankees.

Oh yeah, that’d be awesome. But they sure don’t seem to think of him as a starter at all, do they? Girardi was talking recently about Joba’s chances as a closer. He seemed to think that that was the best Joba could hope for. Starting didn’t even seem to cross his mind for Joba going forward.

I think he’d need to change organizations to get a chance as a starter. Which is too bad.

Oh, don’t even get me started.

[1] Ugh.

It’s always cake with him.

Urge to destroy the planet rising.

I’m remembering correctly that Cashman said, post-shoulder injury, that Joba was still capable of starting, right? And then thought highly enough of him to refuse a trade for Dan Haren?

While true, that struck me more as an indictment on Dan Haren than a positive for Joba.

Off topic, and maybe its been discussed here already, but there is a nice documentary about Toots Shors, the very visible and well-known restaurant owner from Manhattan during the heydey of “classic” New York sports in the 50’s.  Its a few years old but it has been playing on the Sundance Channel quite a bit lately and there are great images of NY sports stars from those days, as well as interviews with surviving players like Whitey Ford and Frank Gifford.  Fantastic material there if you have not seen it…

The Corner HBO On Demand sort of a precursor to The Wire riveting and intense.

[7] There’s a real history and a revisionist history, and we agonized over this for months one evening.  The way it basically ended was, he competed against Hughes for the 5th spot in the 2010 rotation, lost, and then miraculously was no longer eligible to be a starting pitcher thereafter.

Re Joba thinking he can start, Girardi says he wants to catch a game and Cashman says they need an outfielder.  Sometimes I hate this team.

Also, “has reignited” - someone asks him what his aspirations are as a pitcher, he gives the answer plain to everyone outside the Yankees FO, and that’s reigniting?

One thing the Yankees front office seems to do is avoid marginal moves that raise awkward PR issues, like Joba starting, and the way they just stuck Igawa in AAA rather than release him or trade him for peanuts at the point it became clear they were never going to use him again. Maybe they could have saved themselves the major league minimum for a few days while someone else gave him a shot.

I’d like a big rock candy mountain.

ETA: Apparently the original song includes these lines:

“I’ve hiked and hiked till my feet are sore
And I’ll be damned if I hike any more
To be buggered sore like a hobo’s whore
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains.”

[13]  Not sure if deciding to try Joba at starting again after 2010 would have been a “marginal move.”  There could be a lot of innings in his future if he’s an effective starter.

Article makes it sound very much like he hopes to move elsewhere as a FA and start.

In retrospect, it would have been better to give Joba and Hughes spots in the rotation heading into 2010, especially given how Vazquez flopped. We all obviously would have rather seen Joba flop, knowing for sure he couldn’t hack it in the rotation. I’ve had to stop myself from judging Joba’s 2009 too harshly, given that any young pitcher, without much track record, could be inconsistent in their first full year in a Major League rotation.

All that said, I think Joba could have an awesome season in 2013. Think it’s an overlooked storyline.

Or more likely an awesome 2014 as a starter for the townies or Texas of the mutts.  Yikes!

[14] I wonder why the Coen Brothers removed that line from the film.

[16] I also think Joba is set to have a dominant season. He looked pretty good once he shook the rust off at the end of last year.

Oh yeah, the good thing about Joba being stuck as a reliever is that at least he will likely be a really good reliever.

[16] Mike K. and I were at odds over this, if I recall. I think I yielded when he made his point that perhaps there was something about Chamberlain - related to physical health/injury - that Cashman knew that just made him starting not a possibility. Certainly that was/is possible.

Now with Chamberlain saying he thinks he can start, it’s literally 100% on Cashman’s evaluation.

If he ends up starting for a team on 2014 and pitching well (say, as a #3 or better), I am going to be calling for Cashman’s head. It makes no sense to me that you would identify that young starting pitching is the most valuable commodity, and then not give Chamberlain every chance to do that.

That said, Chamberlain has been injured off and on for years now, so evenn if he was a starter, he likely wouldn’t have pitched much. But I’m more focused on the decision making process here, which has always been a head scratcher to me.

I am actually resigned to Joba moving to a place like Kansas or Seattle and get a chance as a starter. Or maybe even St. Louis. The Yankees (i.e., Cashman-Girardi) don’t like him much, and it doesn’t appear he likes the Yankees much either.

Regarding Cashman, I am not a basher, but I think time might be approaching when Yankees would need a fresh guy as a GM.

Not sure how I double posted. I swear I don’t have a mouse, I type on a laptop.

I’m strongly rooting for Joba to leave and become a #3 or better somewhere else.

Chrome and/or this website recently changed for me so that reloading after a comment will attempt to repost the comment. Maybe that’s what’s happening to you?

Also, I think of marginal baseball moves as either small in size or things that have a reasonable chance to leave you worse off than before. Joba starting is the latter (and possibly both).

[20] I vaguely remember the conversation though I don’t remember with whom it was.  Given that there were some injury concerns w/ Joba pre-draft (IIRC there was some talk that other teams viewed Joba as a reliever pre-draft), and then the shoulder injury, followed up in 2011 by the TJS, I think it’s valid that there would be reasons why the Yankees wouldn’t be comfortable with him as a starter.  Especially as they probably know more than we do. 

I think there are also valid reasons why they should have just put him back in the rotation and let him keep pitching until he proved he couldn’t hack it in rotation (either couldn’t stay healthy, or couldn’t put up results).

So…I’m pretty sure we shouldn’t judge whether Cashman stays or goes completely on this though.  And also…what happens if Joba goes somewhere else and the new team doesn’t try him as a starter?  I don’t think that proves anything either way, but…even more, what happens if he goes elsewhere and fails as a starter?  Will that mean people will say Cashman was right?  Or (more likely) he would have been great but Yankees ruined him?  IDK…

[26] If that last happens, then we’ll be clamoring for Hal to go, since he will be the one who drove Cash out, and how can we bring him back from Texas where they’ve won 3 out of 5 WS.

You just can’t please some people. I know, it says so in the bible or something.

In the bible it says you shouldn’t please some people.

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