LADY AT THE BAT: Staying The Course, Starting With Joba

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Staying The Course, Starting With Joba

When it was announced that Joba Chamberlain would enter the starting rotation sooner than later, I wasn't sure how I felt about it. All I could think about was the big hole he was leaving in the bullpen. But after Ian Kennedy was placed on the DL, I didn't think there was any other choice. What were the Yankees supposed to do? Call up Chase Wright? Give Kei Igawa another shot? Two-fifths of their starting rotation are on the DL. Joba is Major League-ready. To me, that is a no-brainer. You put Joba Chamberlain in the starting rotation now.

I think that a lot of the debate about this has to do with the expectations that the Yankees will panic and trade away blue-chip prospects to get someone like CC Sabathia. Years ago that probably would have happened. Joba would have stayed in the pen and the Yankees would have traded away someone like Austin Jackson or Mark Melancon just to get Sabathia. But I believe those days are over. The Yankees have learned to stay the course and develop their youngsters. They see how it's paying off for other teams and they remember how it paid off for them in the late '90s and early '00s.

There's another part of this lesson, as well: staying the course and developing youngsters likely means fewer trips to the playoffs. I'm not sure if the Yankees are ready to publicly embrace that part of the lesson, but privately perhaps, they might have.

The Lady

[Photo: Willens/AP]

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