A New Reliever

The Yankees have officially moved Joba Chamberlain into the bullpen.  He will pitch Monday and Wednesday and then the Yankees will evaluate his progress. 

I am heartened by the fact that Brian Cashman confirmed that Joba’s future is in the rotation, but this move has me conflicted.  Joba could come up to the Yankees and blow people away and make me look stupid in the process, but what if he doesn’t?  What if he struggles and loses confidence?  Some scouts have said they rate Joba higher than Hughes which means the Yankees should have two great young pitchers in their rotation for the forseeable futute and I don’t like messing with that.   

Furthermore, what does this say about pitchers like Ramirez, Bean, Beam and other relievers in the organization?  Jose Veras is back pitching after being hurt earlier in the year.  Only six innings so far, but why don’t the Yankees take a look at him?

I suppose I should be glad that the Yankees are finally trying different approaches.  Their refusal to do so in the past (using Phillips as the utility infielder, Matsui learning how to play firstbase, etc.) has bothered me and I probably shouldn’t complain now, but this move seems like a big risk to me. 

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Depending on what you read, I have seen trade rumors about just about every pitcher in the bullpen.  One fascinating one is that the Mariners might be interested in Igawa.  (Check out Rosenthal’s full count on fox.com)  It’s hard to invision what role Igawa would have with the Yankees in 2008 since the Yankees will probably go with some of their young pitchers (Kennedy pitched six shutout innings last night in his Scranton debut.) and I can’t see him in the bullpen.  His contract is very reasonable ($4 million a year) it is just the $26 million they spent on his posting fee. If they could get a prospect back (and please not Richie Sexson) it could be worth doing.  

One thing is certain, this had better be Farnsworth’s last game as a Yankee.  He is useless to them at this point and he could have broken Posada’s wrist with that pitch he crossed him up on.  It really seems like they have reached the point where his subtraction from the club would be an addition.  

The Yankees have about 44 hours to figure all of this out as the trading deadline is Tuesday afternoon.   

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Phil Hughes is obviously ready.  6.2 innings, three hits, no runs, three walks and four K’s.  He threw 91 pitches.

Should be a fun two days, I will be updating as things happen and tomorrow and Tuesday I will try and aseemble links to all the rumors.