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Thoughts on 3 Starters, Joba, Gaudin, Bullpen

By Mike Silva ~ October 9th, 2009. Filed under: Mike Silva.

An hour before last night’s show Newsday’s Ken Davidoff discussed Joe Girardi’s statement that he would “probably not need” four starters in the ALCS. He would then go on to breakdown the potential schedule. Joel Sherman reported that Chad Gaudin would start a possible ALCS Game 4 followed by Alfredo Aceves. This of course leaves Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen.

A couple of things on this matter. First, there are conflicting reports between the Girardi statement and what Sherman reports. As Davidoff pointed out, Girardi hinted the Yanks could go with three starters in the ALCS. Only Sabathia will pitch on short rest, albeit it would be three times (seems like three is the wild number here). CC hasn’t been overused this year so I would feel comfortable aligning the rotation that way. Of course, if you go up 3-0, why risk the short rest, but we all remember 2004. One caveat, if you do go with four starters in the ALCS, Andy Pettitte would start a potential Game 7. How do you feel about that if you have the ability to put Sabathia in that role? I am lukewarm at best.

Next, you create an all time awesome bullpen. This is probably why Girardi and company are considering Gaudin in a starting role – I think. Games are now six innings and you can get nine “lockdown” outs from Chamberlain, Hughes, and Rivera. This clearly is the best bullpen in the playoffs and may be one of the best postseason bullpens of all time. Joba as a reliever has a 1.50 ERA in his career. Enter Sandman will come earlier than expected for the competition.

Finally what does this say about Chamberlain? As River Avenue Blues Benjamin Kabak stated this move “may reignite the debate over Joba’s proper role.” I couldn’t say it better myself. The Yankees probably don’t care about this. Remember how they ignored the criticism of the “Joba Rules”? In many ways a start would help Chamberlain’s development. How can I feel good about the kid’s future when his team essentially admits they don’t trust him over a career journeyman in Game 4 of the ALCS? Gaudin has a 4.72 career ERA as a starter and numbers similar to Chamberlain’s 2009. It really tells you how little the Yankees trust Chamberlain. This could be a wakeup call, but we have seen Joba step up in small samples (i.e. post All Star Break, Boston, etc.), but never over the course of time. In all likelihood the Yankees will have Hughes and Chamberlain in the back of their 2010 rotation. If Joba is successful this postseason, and he continues his usual shtick in the rotation next year, this will only bring on the bullpen debate. They should give Chamberlain the Game 4 start and caddy him with Aceves/Gaudin. The Joba Chamberlain saga continues to develop such as my worst fear predictions indicated.

Hear the replay of Frank Russo and me talking about the ALDS on NYBD radio which you can download here.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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