Andy Pettitte is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts. Once 6-7, he is 10-7 and is the team’s best starter at the moment.
Hideki Matsui has hit in 12 straight and is up to .302.
You may have heard of this rookie right-hander Joba Chamberlain. His stats so far: 6 innings, 2 hits, 0 runs, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts. He’s thrown 78 pitches, 49 strikes.
The Yankees want Chamberlain to throw no more than 130 innings this season. He tossed 88.1 in the minors and 6 so far in the majors. So over the next 41 games, they can squeeze 36 innings out of him.
That cap doesn’t include the playoffs.
Why 130? Chamberlain threw only 89.1 innings at Nebraska in 2006 and didn’t sign in time to play in the minors. The Yankees sent him to Hawaii for winter league and he got 37.2 innings. So all told in 2006, he got in 127 innings. But there was a four-month gap between his seasons.
Studies have shown that young pitchers develop arm trouble when their workloads dramatically increase from one season to the next. Gradual steps are safer. With a prospect of Chamberlain’s caliber, the Yankees aren’t going to take any foolish chances.