17 Dec 2009
In today’s Daily News, Jorge Posada voices his hopes that the Yankees will add another starter so that either Joba or Hughes can pitch 2010 in the bullpen.
I think that he is absolutely right and I am almost positive that the Yankees will do this based on what happened in 2009. What do I mean? I mean the 2009 Joba Rules and the fiasco they created. You remember all the fun, but the net result is the Yankees won a World Series and they got Joba 160 innings of work. Now, they can safely deploy him for around 200 innings in 2010, hopefully putting an end to all the insanity (Note, we can fight about Joba’s best role more next season. Let’s just agree for now that after all they went through in 2009, the Yankees are definitely going to try and use him as a starter in 2010. If he stinks in that role, that’s a different story.)
Now, consider Phil Hughes a minute. Hughes is younger than Joba and last year was the first year since 2006, that he actually threw more innings than the previous season. (2006- 146, 2007-109, 2008- 70, 2009 back up to 105) Based on those numbers, I don’t see how the Yankees open the season with Hughes in the rotation because they probably want to keep his innings down to 140 maximum. I think in an ideal world, the Yankees put Hughes into the bullpen, but let him thrown more innings there than he did in 2009. Maybe they have him do the 7th and 8th a lot, maybe they think about switching him to the rotation midway through the season, but I don’t see him starting there.
That makes it a perfect fit for the Yankees to offer a one-year deal, loaded with incentives, to someone like Ben Sheets. If Sheets is really expecting $12 million, you obviously look elsewhere, but there are plenty of choices on the market- right now.