How Many Can He Get?

Joba is coming back to the Yankees this week and the big question is how many innings can he throw between now and the end of the season?  The Yankees are going to bring him back as a reliever and build him back up the same way they did back in May/June.  The problem is, they have less than a month to do it.

Joba has thrown 89 innings so far and the Yankees need to get him as many innings as they can over the remaining weeks of the season.  Realistically, I think it is going to be hard to get him more than 25 innings and that is being very aggressive.  That would leave him at right around 115 for the season and probably mean that Joba is going to have an innings cap of 145 next season.  

Add in the fact that Phil Hughes has thrown a total of 51 innings this season and Ian Kennedy 109 and you basically start 2009 in the same place you did 2008- three young pitchers with innings limits.  The Yankees could send one or all of them to the Arizona League, but would they risk that with these arms?  I’m not sure what the right answer is here, but it is something to keep a close eye on over the last few weeks of the year.