Monday, April 21, 2008

Words From Big Bank Hank

Hank Steinbrenner, aka Big Bank Hank, has dropped another nugget of gold into our collective laps with regards to Joba Chamberlain being a starter:

"I want him as a starter and so does everyone else, including him, and that is what we are working toward and we need him there now. There is no question about it, you don't have a guy with a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and keep him as a setup guy. You just don't do that. You have to be an idiot to do that. The mistake was already made last year switching him to the bullpen out of panic or whatever. I had no say in it last year and I wouldn't have allowed it. That was done last year, so now we have to catch up. It has to be done on a schedule so we don't rush him."

He also added, "I think once Hughes and Kennedy get plenty of starts and get Joba back, and with (Chien-Ming) Wang and (Andy) Pettitte, we will be fine."

Tell us how you really feel Hank. Now what I take from this is that Hank thinks that Joe Torre, Joe Girardi, and Brian Cashman, amongst others, are idiots. There's a vote of confidence if I've ever heard one. I don't think Hank knows as much as he thinks he does. There's a reason Hank is an owner and not a coach or general manager. I don't think Hank has a good understanding of what comes along with the day-to-day operations of managing a young pitching staff. You have to take into account innings limits for these youngsters. There's no way that Hughes, Kennedy, or Chamberlain should log 180+ innings this year. They'll each easily reach that limit if they start 30 or so games, which they would if they spend the year in the rotation. Stats have shown that guys that increase their inning more than a certain percentage develop arm issues and also they show not to be as effective. The last think anyone wants is for these guys to flame out before they're even in their prime.

The success Joba has had as a setup guy isn't going to translate to the same success as a starter. Joba can live off his 2 best pitches (fastball/slider) in a 1 inning. He'll need to throw a more variety of pitches if he starts. No guarantee that he'll be able to do is as effectively. The coaches know what they're doing. They're doing this for a reason.

I agree with Hank to a point but I think he's panicking because the Yankees are sitting at 10-10 and the pitching so far has been a problem. I don't think Hank would have made these comments if Hughes and Kennedy were living up to expectations.

Calm down Hank. It'll be OK.

Be back later with a weekend wrap-up.