Is this debate about Joba Chamberlain ever going to end? I have a feeling that for the entire season we are going to be hearing fans and the media going back and forth about whether or not Joba should be a starter or if he should be in the bullpen.
I will admit, I was one of those fans who thought Joba should be in the pen. I have to also admit though that I listen to Mike Francesa quite often, and was suckered into the mindset that he had about how Joba is better as the guy who will eventually take over as the closer of the team once Mariano retires.
I have since then developed my own opinion and contemplated the pros and cons that erupt from both sides of the spectrum. On one hand, Joba had great success as the 8th inning man and it proved to be a great combination of having Joba being the bridge to Mo.
But you have to look beyond that. Joba was brought up as a starter through college and in the minor leagues. The reason the Yankees placed him in the pen was due to the fact they needed a boost to their bullpen and knew they needed to restrict the number of innings that he could pitch. It was designed as a temporary solution, not one that was going to continue long-term.
It's as easy as this: The man has 4 developed pitches. It would be hard to, if not impossible, to find a guy in the Major Leagues that has so many strong pitches and is being designated as a 8th inning man. Rivera, like Joba, was brought up in the minor leagues as a starter. But unlike Joba, Rivera has only 2 successful pitches that are part of his repertoire. Plus, with Rivera still the closer, you are wasting the talent that Joba has so that can he pitch the 8th inning of a game that could be a meaningless blowout.
Simple stated, you get more out of Joba as a starter. Perhaps a situation will arise where the Yankees are desperate for a closer and the switch to a starting role in the Major Leagues hasn't worked out well for him down the road. You never really know what can happen, but for now, you need to keep him where he is at. Where he has been at since a player in college. I am sure the is just the beginning of the debate of where Joba should be pitching, especially once Wang comes back and if Hughes is showing success in the major leagues. I guess time will tell, but regardless there will always be a group of people on either side of the argument that will be complaining.