In 2007, Joe Torre famously tired of the restrictions imposed by the Yankees' front office on the use of Joba Chamberlain. The now infamous "Joba rules" were not the last time restrictions on pitchers would rear their heads, and they are now being blamed for the Yankees recent struggles against the Baltimore Orioles.
"I had trouble locating my fastball," explained new Yankee ace CC Sabathia, "but in fairness, it was the first time I'd thrown a fastball since last season. The Yankees were very cautious with me this spring because I pitched on three days rest so many times at the end of last season. They made me stand in front of the mound when I pitched in exhibition games. It was my first time on a mound in a while."
Because of a foot injury last summer, the Yankees were even more cautious with sinker-baller Chien-Ming Wang. "My mechanics were off," explained Wang through a translator. "It didn't help that the Yankees made me train for the first half of the spring by playing MLB The Show on a PS3. I wasn't even allowed to step on the practice field. I was only allowed to walk on carpet or grass. I didn't leave the clubhouse in Tampa until today so I could pitch in Baltimore."
Today, A.J. Burnett had his first start of the regular season. Because of his past injury history, it was the first time he had thrown a ball since the end of last season. "I wasn't invited to camp," explained Burnett. "Somehow I made the roster."
The Yankees have indicated that they will continue to be cautious with their pitchers, limiting their innings and pitch counts in order to avoid injuries. "We've invested a lot in these players," explained Yankees GM Brian Cashman. "We can't risk them getting hurt doing something as silly as playing baseball."