Via the Daily News:
The Yankees envision Joba Chamberlain as a starter and they are eager to see what his blazing fastball and electric slider can do as part of their rotation. But the Bombers also are concerned about how many innings the 22-year-old will throw next season, so Chamberlain may start the year in the bullpen.
"We're going to prepare him as a starter and we see him as a starter," Yankee GM Brian Cashman said yesterday. "But we have an innings limit that he won't exceed. How we manage the innings limit remains to be seen. The plan is to have him start, but there are a number of scenarios that we'll review."
Cashman refused to reveal Chamberlain's innings limit. Asked if Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy have limits as well, Cashman said, "We'll manage innings limits on everyone who's got them."
This is the reverse of the way I would handle the situation. I think Joba should begin the season as a starter and then move to the bullpen as he nears his innings/pitch limit.
This has the advantage that if the Yanks make the playoffs Joba will be available as a starter.
I am glad that things will still be structured for Joba and IPK, even if the structure is more 'fluid.' Beneath all the expectations it's easy to forget that these pitchers are only entering their second pro season.
It's interesting that Cash refused to specify who is playing with limits. He was steamed at Torre for going public with the Joba Rules, and I believe that's part of the reason Cash didn't fight harder on Torre's behalf after the season.
Stay tuned: I'm sure every third question Joe G. fields during Spring Training will relate to the Trinity's innings cap.