Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kennedy remembers how to pitch; Cano how to hit

Look out, here come the Yankees. Two in a row is a move in the right direction; not to mention that IPK finally had a solid start. He walked a few to many but he gave them six solid innings keeping them in the game, and that is all the Yankees need from him right now. It's also nice to see the Yankees coming back on a team and having a little late inning life. They've lacked that late inning magic all season.

With the Mariners coming to town you would think the Yankees will keep this momentum going especially since they beat both Bedard and Hernandez earlier in the year when they swept Seattle at the Stadium at the start of May. Personally, I don't like it when a team is playing poorly and they come in to play the Yankees. The Mariners have to win sometime and the odds are getting better that they'll run in to one soon, especially with their two aces on the mound.

I haven't weighed in on the Joba move yet either, but my stance is pretty simple: he belongs in the rotation. Period. You don't sacrifice 200+ good innings for 70+ great ones. Now Joba is in no position to give them that many innings this season or even next season, but with Pettitte struggling, Kennedy having an ERA north of seven and Mussina being such an uncertainty they have to give Joba a spot.

Anyone who argues otherwise just doesn't understand the dynamics of pitching in baseball today or who Joba Chamberlain is as a pitcher. First an foremost the Yankees have Rivera signed two more years after this year. Those who want Joba to close will not have the opportunity to see the benefits of him holding that position for a long time. You can find someone to pitch the eighth inning anywhere. All you have to do is play the hot hand and the Yankees have about three guys who could all fill the Joba role this season or next depending on how quickly they push the likes of Mark Melancon or J.B. Cox.

Radio personalities in New York seemed to be obsessed with keeping him in the set up role(most notably Mike and the Mad Dog). Everyone needs to understand that Joba is a starter. He was a starter in college and a dominate starter in the minors. He wasn't just a mediocre starter he was a filthy starter. He only went to the bullpen because the Yankees had a need and he had reached his innings limit. He was always going to be a top of the rotation guy.

If Detroit can go to the World Series with Todd Jones as their closer and the Indians can get one game away with Joe Borowski shutting the door then I'll take my chances in the eighth with the Yank's motley middle relief.


Dennis said...

Well, if that is the thinking how come Mariano Riviera was never made a starter? Certainly 200 very good innings would be better than 70 dominant innings.

Dan said...

I hate to defend my brother, but I think they tried Mariano as a starter first and liked him better in the set up then closer role.

I think the desire by a lot of Yankee fans to make Joba the closer is because they have grown accustomed to Rivera all of these years. They feel that naturally a replacement who is just as good must be found. That may be impossible.

I agree with Pete that 200 innings a year is more valuable, but if Joba doesn't work as a starter. They can make him the closer again. You never know unless you try.

I had always hoped that the Sox would switch Papelbon to a starter, but that's not how things worked out. He now relishes the role of closing games, and it appears he belongs doing that.

Peter said...

Dan is exactly right about Mariano. He came up as a starter and was terrible. He only had that one pitch and as starter he couldn't survive with just the cutter. Joba on the other hand has four good pitches in his repretoire.

Plus almost every reliever is a failed starter. They are always given a chance to fail in the starting role before moving to the pen.

Mike said...

I remember watching Mo's debut. It was a start against the Angels. He struck out about 5 guys in the first 2 innings and got shelled after that.

That happened a few more times that year....1995 I believe, and he was sent to the pen in '96. He was untouchable as the eigth inning guy with Stanton and Nelson in the 7th and Wetteland closing. That was an INSANELY good team.

But, yes, Pete is right.

Dennis said...

I don't think there is a right or wrong. Chamberlain has been very good as a reliever, and now the Yankees are going to try him as a starter. He may be good there as well. He may not be.

The point of my post was that Peter was claiming that anyone who didn't want to make him a starter didn't know baseball, and I don't think that is true.

My personal opinion is that making him a starter will be a painful process, with a lot of ups and downs. Remember, Hughes was just as much of a sure thing two months ago. So the result is that the Yankees will be a better club with Chamberlain in the rotation down the road, but probably will be worse off for it this season.

It will be fun, I will give you that. What is the over/under on how many 8th inning leads can be blown by Farnsworth before the New York Post (and Peter) are calling for Chamberlain to be moved back to the bullpen?