clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

New York Yankees notes: Who's No. 5?

New, comments

The biggest ripple effect of the New York Yankees trade for Javier Vazquez is, of course, that if everyone is healthy there is only room for one more starting pitcher in the team's rotation.

So, who do you want it to be -- Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes? Seems like whether Joba, and now Hughes, should start or relieve is the Yankee topic that will never go away. Vote in the poll below to give us your opinion. And go to the jump to see how I try to frame arguments for each.

Joba Chamberlain should ...

BE A STARTER: He was inconsistent as a starter in 2009, but he showed flashes he could be the top-flight starter the Yankees envisioned. He has all the pitches to do it. Plus, no more Joba Rules. He is at the point in his career where he is ready to be a full-fledged starter, no being pulled after three innings so he doesn't pitch too much. Not having to deal with would make manager Joe Girardi's life easier. And it would be nice to find out what kind of starter Joba could be without the restrictions.

BE A RELIEVER: I have been loathe to admit it, but it was pretty obvious in post-season that Chamberlain's personality fits the bullpen. He feeds on emotion and adrenaline, and coming out of the bullpen for an inning or so he doesn't have to reign in his feelings. He doesn't have to pace himself, and he not only throws harder he seems to be more aggressive.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Joba Chamberlain 9-6 32 31 0 0 0 0 157.1 167 94 83 21 76 133 4.75 1.54

Phil Hughes should ...

BE A STARTER: Hughes has always been looked at as a guy who would someday be at the top of their rotation. How will the Yankees ever know if they don't give him the chance? He certainly has all the pitches, and after 2009's success in the bullpen he would seem poised to carry that into the rotation.

BE A RELIEVER: It seems like we have waited forever for Hughes to be a top-flight starter, even though he is still just 23. He is just 8-9 with a 5.40 ERA as a starter, though, so he has never shown he can do it. Much like Chamberlain, though, Hughes has shown better stuff and a more aggressive attitude out of the bullpen. All of the numbers scream that he is more effective out of the bullpen. His emergence as the eighth-inning guy in 2009 was a key to the Yankees' regular-season success. Why mess with that? Plus, having only pitched 86 innings in 2009 he would be subjected to the innings limitations Chamberlain has outgrown -- the 'Hughes Rules,' if you will.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Phil Hughes 8-3 51 7 0 0 3 3 86.0 68 31 29 8 28 96 3.03 1.12

Other Notes

Mostly, more reaction and fallout from the Vasquez acquisition.

"Everybody that knows me knows I didn’t want to leave the first time," Vazquez said, adding later, "I’ve got to say, it’s a great opportunity to be back, and hopefully I can erase those memories."

Since leaving the Yankees, Vazquez is one of only two pitchers with at least 1,000 innings and 1,000 strikeouts; Santana is the other. The Yankees’ scouts consider him one of the 15 best starters in the majors, and when the Yankees analyzed their options for improving the rotation, Vazquez’s name was one of three that stood out.

The others were Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.