Saturday, May 31, 2008

Joba to Start on Tuesday

Joba will start on Tuesday for the first time in his major league career. Some people, who I assume have eaten a lot of paint chips in their day, believe Joba should remain in his eighth inning role for the rest of his life. The best argument I've heard is as follows:

In games where the Yanks score a lot of runs, say 6 or 7, it doesn't make a difference whether you have Joba giving up only two runs or a Mussina type giving up four. You'll still win those games. But it's the 1-2 or 2-3 games that you need to win to get to October and to another World Series and in those games you need to lock down the later innings.

This makes sense until you realize that you only have games that close if you have starters that will hold opposing teams to 1 or 2 runs. Joba, it is presumed, will do that more often than the Mussina types, so you don't get close games without strong starting pitching. You have to find out what Joba has as a starter. If he sucks you can easily put him back in the bullpen.

We certainly had some good relievers during our run of championships in the late 90s. Stanton, Nelson, Lloyd: all good relievers. None of them however struck fear in opposing teams. They were not 7th and 8th inning Mariano Riveras. You need strong starting pitching to win in October and a strong closer. The middle inning guys are important, but they have to be good not great. We have enough guys in the bullpen to put together an 8th inning. Joba is simply more valuable to the team as a starter.

What do you guys think? Keep in mind, that if you disagree with me, the presumption is that you eat paint chips.

3 comments:

Fred Trigger said...

Good starting pitching is far more valuble than an 8th inning guy. Plus, dont forget, most relievers are failed starters.

Darren said...

I think it is great that he is starting. I felt from the beginning of the year he should be a starter. I will be at the stadium Tuesday night watching what I hope will be the first of many wins.

Roberto Alejandro said...

Tuesday should be an interesting night at the park. I can only imagine what the atmosphere will be like. This will be the first test of how Joba fares when he has to face the same batters more than once in one game. It will be an important test.