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Around the Yankees Galaxy 2/15/10

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-Move over Cervelli vs. Posada, or Joba rules vs. no Joba rules.  We're about to engage in a new argument that will certainly last not only for the next month, but perhaps throughout the entire season: Phil Hughes vs. Joba Chamberlain for the 5th rotation spot. 

Rob Neyer raises a very good point about all of this:

Does (Hughes) throw a changeup (a pitch Dave Eiland has him working on) with the bases loaded in a game next month, knowing that just a few errant pitches in spring training might inflate his ERA to the point where the Yankees will have an easy excuse to send him to the bullpen?

This is the irony of Spring Training.  Between the small samples of innings, and the subpar competition from B-squads and minor leaguers, it's hard to put much stock in anybody's numbers.  And yet Spring Training performances often decide which youngsters make the big club, who makes the bullpen, and so forth.  You would hope that a well-run team like the Yankees would avoid making that mistake, but this seems like the standard procedure.

-This is a good problem to have, six talented starters and five rotation spots to fill.  But the sooner Joba and Phil can settle into a fixed role, the better.  I don't really care how well Joba did in the bullpen in 2007 or Phil in 2009; if Javy Vazquez signs elsewhere in 2011, Andy Pettitte retires, and the Yankees don't sign somebody like Cliff Lee, the Yankees rotation heading into Spring Training 2011 could consist of CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and three question marks, with Sabathia allowed to opt-out of his contract after the season.  Considering that, the most logical thing to do is give both of these guys as many opportunities to start as possible, but that's going to be difficult unless either Girardi gets creative or somebody gets injured. 

-Baseball Reference has an interesting point about Derek Jeter and the uncharted territory he may be about to enter, and this will certainly be the major point of next year's contract negotiations.  But then again, all-time greats are supposed to do great things.