Interesting Moves

Joel Sherman has two reports this morning.  First, Phil Hughes will win the fifth starter job and second, Curtis Granderson will play center and not left. 

I always expected Hughes to end up in the rotation, just not this year.  I figured Joba would get the call because of everything the Yankees went through to get him ready to start.  But, Hughes had pitched better and while it will be infuriating to go through another year with "rules" we have to remember that Hughes is only 23 and needs to be protected.  As Sherman says, he has a high ceiling and the Yankees want him to be around for a long time.

What should be interesting to watch is how the Yankees spin this news in regards to Joba.  Personally, I think that this move should put an end to the Joba as a starter argument.  The Yankees can’t keep yanking him around and I can’t see how they could productively put him in the bullpen and then move him back into the rotation in 2011.  Part of me wonders if this move has more sinister undertones.  After all, Rivera will be 41 in the offseason and a free agent.  Having Joba return to his previous greatness in the bullpen would take a lot of pressure off Brian Cashman in those negotiations come November.  Hmmmm…

One decision that I think nobody will disagree with is the one to put Granderson in center.  Even if Garder is a better centerfielder, Granderson can play the position well.  He is more valuable to the Yankees in center and remember that Carl Crawford, a leftfielder is going to be a free agent next year.  Obviously, it isn’t a permanent change, if Granderson struggles they can always switch them, but it is the right call for now.

LoHud also took a guess at the final roster and it makes sense based on what we know now.   A bullpen of Mo, Joba, Marte, Aceves, Robertson, Mitre and Park means only one lefty for now, but Logan has options so he can go to AAA.  Thames and Pena win the backup spots, though I think Thames is going to need to wake up his bat quickly if he is going to keep that spot during the season.