Joe Girardi said just a few minutes ago that RHP Joba Chamberlain would open the season in the bullpen.
He left open the possibility that Chamberlain will move into the rotation later this season. “His future will be as a starter,” Girardi said.
Chamberlain will pitch in relief against Toronto tomorrow and again on Saturday. Ian Kennedy will start against the Blue Jays, a sign that he has nailed down the No. 5 starter job.
Girardi did not define Chamberlain’s role in the bullpen other than to say that he will be used in the “back end of games.”
There will be no Joba Rules. Chamberlain can be used for multiple innings and on consecutive days. “It will be common sense,” Girardi said.
The Yankees are not laying out their entire plan. But it seems fairly obvious that Chamberlain will be used as a reliever for half the season then make the transition to become a starter. If all five starters are healthy and productive, than the decision could be difficult.
But if all five starters are healthy and productive, that’s a problem the Yankees would be happy to have.
Time to head down to Bradenton. Back with more later, including some audio.