Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Phil Hughes Vs. Joba Chamberlain: Round 2

I didn't get to see any of today's Yankees/Tigers game. I forgot to check if it was on TV to set the DVR. I was hoping it would be rebroadcast tonight but it's not, unless it's on after the Nets game, didn't check. All I have to go on are what I've read online, which really isn't that much to go off of.

I like the write-up Sam Borden did over at the Lohud Yankees Blog. He makes the point that you really can't put much value in spring training statistics. I wholeheartedly agree with that. When it comes to spring training, I put very little value into how guys do. As Sam mentions, there are other things at work here. When it comes to pitching in ST, guys often spend time trying to develop and perfect certain pitches. They don't necessarily throw what they'd throw if it were a regular season game. There's no cause for alarm if a guy gets tattooed. In ST it's bound to happen to the best of pitchers. Just look at CC Sabathia's last ST outing. If you think that's a sign of things to come, then you're in for quite the surprise. CC is probably going to win 15-20+ games. You can bank on that.

When it comes to ST I typically look at 2 things when checking out the pitchers. How's their velocity (is it standard and does it improve with each start) and how's their control (do they hit their spots)? It's hard to tell that from a box score. The box score from today's game tells me that Joba got shelled again. The 3 walks jump out at me. I'd like to see the balls/strike ratio but the box score didn't have that. I'm assuming from the 3 walks that Joba wasn't hitting his spots. I would think he missed them by a great deal to walk 3 guys. On the flip side, Hughes didn't walk any today. Based on what I've read and what I've deduced, I'd say Hughes got the better of Joba again. If I've got it wrong, let me know.

On my unofficial scorecard, I've got Hughes up 2-0 after the 1st 2 starts. If you're a frequent reader of the blog, you know I'm Team Hughes all the way. I think he's got the tools and the make-up to be a major league starter. I think Joba is more suited for the bullpen. He just seems to have that mentality and from what I've seen so far in Joba's career, he excels in that late inning role. Now that doesn't necessarily mean I want to see Joba in the bullpen forever. I'd love to see him start, but not now. If it comes down to 1 open spot, I want Hughes to start and Joba to relieve. That's just me. What say you?

It's possible though that neither of these guys become the 5th starter. Alfredo Aceves is giving them a run for their money. I will admit I haven't seen him pitch yet, but when a guy pitches 6 perfect innings (no hits or walks) he must be doing something right. I like Ace and wouldn't mind seeing him as the team's 5th starter. If that ends up happening, I'm cool with that. He's impressed me in his 2 major league seasons. I still think in the long run Phil Hughes will be the best of the bunch (Hughes, Joba, Aceves, Gaudin, and Mitre), but I think Aceves is earning a spot.

But that's just me. What say you?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,