A spring competition
According to Newsday‘s Ken Davidoff, who spoke briefly with Joe Girardi tonight at the 2010 annual “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” Benefit, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Alfredo Aceves, Sergio Mitre, and Chad Gaudin will compete for the fifth spot in the team’s starting rotation during Spring Training. In reality, although Girardi told Davidoff that the competition will feature five pitchers, I’m sure the central contest will ultimately be between both Hughes and Chamberlain, with the subsequent winner of that battle slotting into the rotation behind Javier Vazquez, while the loser spends the majority of the season in the bullpen, setting up for some guy named Mariano Rivera.
UPDATE – I figured I should probably inject some personal opinion into this particular item. As I have stated in previous posts, I believe that Joba Chamberlain should be in the team’s starting rotation and that Phil Hughes, at least for 2010, should be in the bullpen. My respective conclusion is based on a number of factors, including innings limits, track record, repertoire, etc. With that said, I do think that it is wise to create a competitive environment in the spring in order to compel Joba to succeed. He should know that if he fails, there are others capable of taking his spot.
Photo by Reuters