Let’s put Joba AND Hughes in the bullpen…
Seriously! Well, no, not seriously.
Here’s a bit on the subject from Joel Sherman (NY Post):
And, really, the bigger question the Yanks might want to ask in spring is not Joba vs. Hughes as much as 2010 vs. the future.
Because aren’t the 2010 Yanks much better if both Joba and Hughes are in the bullpen? Think about it.
As long as they have health with their main veteran starters — Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte and Javier Vazquez — the importance of a No. 5 man dims.
The No. 5 competition could be among Alfredo Aceves, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre. The winner probably could pitch to a 5.00 ERA and still win in double digits because of the strength of the Yankees’ offense, but also because the No. 5 starter would be backed by a bullpen that had both Chamberlain and Hughes.
Manager Joe Girardi is very protective of relievers, anyway, and with both Chamberlain and Hughes available, he could continue on that path more comfortably while further diminishing the temptation to ever push Rivera into the eighth inning before the postseason.
While I know that there are actually a number of folks out there that wholeheartedly believe using Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, in tandem, in the Yankees’ bullpen is a good idea, as Sherman later realizes in his own piece, such a move is detrimental to the organization’s future with regards to starting pitching. Believe it or not but, at some point, Andy Pettitte will retire and Javier Vazquez will, if not retire, move on. Both starters could very well depart next season (both will be free agents) and, in order to prepare for tomorrow, the Yankees will have to plan accordingly today.
As Sherman himself notes, “To put both Chamberlain and Hughes into the pen would mean that neither is in position to be a full starter in 2011,” which, thankfully, all but eliminates any possibility of seeing both pitchers working as relievers this season. Furthering this belief is manager Joe Girardi, who struck down the idea when asked about it yesterday. “You can’t do anything for just one year,” he said. “We do weigh [the future], and that is difficult because you know the importance of winning now here. We would like to see one [of Joba or Hughes] develop as a starter [in 2010].”
I couldn’t have said it any better myself. With regards to young starting pitching, the Yankees need to think long-term, and putting Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes in the team’s bullpen in 2010 is simply a near-sighted approach.
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