Thirty starts for Joba? That's unlikely to happen

February, 25, 2009
Tyler Kepner on the Yankees' rotation:

    Meanwhile, before leaving for Dunedin, manager Joe Girardi announced his spring rotation. Starting March 6, it lines up this way: Sabathia, Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain. Girardi likes the idea of putting Wang between two strikeout guys.

    "It's a different look, a sinker as opposed to a couple of hard throwers," Girardi said. "I also think what Chien-Ming Wang has done here is pretty special."

    Girardi said he had lined up the pitchers all the way through the 162-game schedule, and he projects Chamberlain for 30 starts. "I'm not sure we skipped him at any point," Girardi added.


    In the meantime, the idea of Chamberlain making 30 starts is intriguing. If he averages six innings per start, that would be 180 innings -- 80 more than he threw last season, well more than the Yankees want. Girardi acknowledged there will be times he'll have to pull Chamberlain after five to keep down his innings.

    "It's tempting to want to leave him in, because he has the ability to shut people down," Girardi acknowledged. "But you understand it's a long-term project."

Two things here:

One, I'm still waiting for a study even hinting that the sequence of your starting pitchers makes any difference to the enemy hitters. They've taken thousands and thousands and thousands of swings in their careers, and after a good (or bad) night's sleep it's going to make a difference whether today's hurler is a power pitcher or a sinker-baller? Sorry, but I'm from Missouri.

And two, if Joba Chamberlain starts 30 games I'll renounce my citizenship and move to Albania. I suppose that penciling out the rotation for the entire season is a moderately useful exercise, but it's not likely that more than two of those guys will start 30 games. And Joba's the least likely of them all.



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