Joba in the ‘pen for 2010 – and beyond?
Yankees director of pro scouting Billy Eppler appeared on WFAN Saturday with host Evan Roberts and, among other topics, was quizzed on the future of Joba Chamberlain now that he has been restored to the bullpen.
Eppler splashed cold water on the idea of Chamberlain returning to the starting rotation at any point in 2010 and, it would appear, beyond that as well — at least, while he’s wearing a Yankees uniform.
Here is the transcript of the exchange that concerns that topic:
Roberts: “Where do you guys envision Joba Chamberlain now? I mean, he’s going to be the eighth inning guy, and he’s probably gonna be damned good at it. He was so good at it in ’07, he was so good at in ’08. There’s good reason to believe he’ll go there, he’ll be lock-down. Is this his future? As a reliever, and eventually replace Mariano Rivera when he is set to retire?”
Eppler: “Yeah, not to get too ahead of ourselves there. You know, I don’t think Joe has quite anointed him the eighth inning guy right now. I understand that there would be beliefs and that a lot of people would think that he should be in that role. I think, obviously, you know, even with the good outing today he’s got to demonstrate the ability to hold that role. But I think there are some other guys in our ‘pen that are that are capable of that as well. It’s kind of a nice problem to have, for lack of a better word. With Joba though, I do believe he could be a starter. You know, just in the environment that we’re in, you’re trying to break with with the twelve best. That’s not to say the other clubs aren’t trying to do that. I think if we were in a different setting, a different situation, you might see Joba Chamberlain in the rotation.”
Roberts: “Yeah; you know, honestly, I think like every other team maybe besides the Yankees and the Red Sox, he’d probably be in the rotation. I mean, he’s got a great arm, it’s just that you guys are so deep. You know, when you when you can go and have Javier Vazquez as your fourth starter. That’s as deep as anybody. I guess, is there a situation where he starts again this year? I’m under the assumption that he’s the eighth inning guy, and that’s it. The debate is over. I know he could still start, like I mentioned – he could certainly start for the Mets, my team.”
Eppler: “In the here and now, I don’t foresee any situation. Obviously, that’s for Brian and Joe, but I don’t think they foresee a situation where he would go into the rotation. He is going to be a reliever, and obviously we’ve seen what he’s been able to do in that role. He’s been able to be very dominant in that role. I don’t foresee a situation where he would be starting at all.”
Roberts: “Right. But does the question get re-asked next year, in 2011, like, is Joba a starter? Do you think that question will be asked again? Maybe he’ll compete for a rotation spot next year?”
Eppler: “Um… I wouldn’t consider that likely, no.”
Thanks to The Yankees Universe for the find.