A few question into an otherwise routine, postgame interview, Joba Chamberlain was asked about his ultimate aspiration. He started his answer with these words.
“This is probably going to spark a bunch of stuff.”
Oh boy, here we go.
“It’s one of those things where it’s like, do you think you have the capability to start? Yes,” Chamberlain said. “Do I have four pitches that I can throw for a strike? Yes. Do I have two plus pitches in the bullpen that I can throw at any time? Yes. I guess I’m trying to have my cake and eat it, too. I feel like I’m good enough to do both. I’ve proven that I can do both. Whatever it is, if I close (or start), I want to be one or the other. I’ve been in the role of in the bullpen for a while, but am I confident that if I got the chance to start again somewhere — wherever that’s at — I could do it? Without a doubt. I just have to focus on this year and what I can do to improve to help this team win, continue to try to win ballgames for them.”
To be clear, at no point did Chamberlain say he should be a starter. At no point did he say he wants the Yankees to put him in the rotation, and at no point did he complain about them putting him in the bullpen. In fact, he was very clear about being happy to do whatever the Yankees want him to do.
“We’re down an outfield bat right now, too,” Brian Cashman said.
Obviously the Yankees aren’t putting Chamberlain in the outfield, and both Cashman and Joe Girardi made it clear that they won’t put Chamberlain in the rotation either.
“I’d like to catch one more game, too,” Girardi said.
Why was Chamberlain pulled from the rotation in the first place? Girardi said the bullpen simply “fit who he was,” but Cashman referenced the 2008 shoulder injury. After that, the Yankees gave Chamberlain one more year in the rotation before ultimately deciding he would be better off as a reliever. But let’s face it, no pitcher grows up dreaming of becoming a seventh-inning guy. Closer or starter; those are the high-powered jobs.
“I don’t know what the future holds for me,” Chamberlain said. “I have no idea. All I can control is to be healthy this year, to go out and pitch and whatever happens, happens.”
Associated Press photo