œThere is no question about it, you don™t have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don™t do that. You have to be an idiot to do that. – Hank Steinbrenner, April 20, 2008

Conversely, taking a pitcher one year removed from pitching against the Big 12 and throwing him into the starting rotation would be….a work of utter genius? Peter Abraham listened patiently as Yankee GM Brian Cashman calmly defended his own non-idiotic approach.

œWe™re on the same page, 110 percent, Cashman told The Journal News a few minutes ago. œHe understands the situation.
Cashman said Joba Chamberlain would remain in the bullpen for now. At some point (Page 1 of the Secret Plan), he will make the transition to the bullpen.

How Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy or Mike Mussina pitches has nothing to do with it. The Yankees are primarily concerned with Joba™s development and health.

œIf we need a pitcher or somebody gets hurt, we™ll go down below and get somebody, Cashman said. œYou can™t just suddenly put Joba in the rotation.

There is no question in Cashman™s mind – none whatsoever – that Joba™s future is as a starter. He was drafted as a starter, paid a signing bonus as a starter and developed as a starter. His pitching in the bullpen has been a function of innings limits.

As for Hank™s comments that it was a mistake for Joba to pitch in relief last season, Cashman said he explained to the co-chairperson that Joba was about to reach his innings limit when that move was made.

œHank wasn™t involved last season and he didn™t understand what we were doing at that time, Cashman said. œI explained it to him and he had no problems with it.

Whether or not Joba pitched in relief last season, Cashman said, had no effect on his availability as a starter this season.

With all due respect to Lil’ Stein’s baseball acumen, exactly how many 100mph fastballs do you figure Chamberlain might be throwing 100 pitches into a night’s work? Ideally, more than a few, but it’s hard to believe Chamberlain’s transition would be as simple as Cashman’s employer demanding Joba be thrown into the deep end immediately.