Monday, January 5, 2009

Move Joba back to pen?

There is a post from New York Times Bat's blog regard of Joba's role in 2009. I know there are a lot of reactions from Yankees bloggers. Let me say this first. I believe a good starter is better than a good relief pitcher. Simply, when relief pitchers blow the lead, it means we have lead first. I also believe there will be someone in Yankees farm system can do what Joba did in setup role. When I watch Joba pitching, I believe Joba has enough stuff to be a great starter.

I actually think it's useless to debate this issue now. Before we get a veteran starter who can eat 200 innings at one year deal as our no.4 starter(hopefully, it's Pettitte), we need Joba in the rotation. Even if we get Pettitte back as no.4 starter, someone in the rotation may get hurt. You never have enough pitching. Even though everyone in the rotation stays healthy, we may need a strong 5-man rotation to compete in the tough AL East division. If someone gets hurt, we need Hughes as no.5 starter anyway.

No one can predict the future. Most people make their decisions in their life based on the information they have on hand at that moment. Once we makes our decisions, we try it. We may be right or wrong about our decisions, but no one know without trying it. People always should try it, otherwise they would regret they never try it. Let Joba try it. Let us see what Joba can do as a starter. Otherwise, we may keep wondering what kind of career Joba may have as a starter forever. In the end, Joba may be more suitable for a relief pitcher, but who knows?

Mo is still Mo. Why worry about him when Mo show no sign of slowing down? There may be someone in the farm system can do what Joba did given the chance. Who knows?


Anonymous said...

An average starter is better than a good relief pitcher. A good starter is better than any reliever short of Rivera.

There is a mass delusion that runs are worth more in the last third of a game than they are in the first two thirds of the game. There is even an entire class of stats devoted to showing how important those runs are (clutchiness, leverage indexes, WPA, etc.) despite the fact that runs are still not multiplied by the inning number when tallying the final score. Based on this delusion, people have concluded that the 412 varieties of specialists in getting those final outs are more valuable than having your starter get the previous 18-26 outs (not 27! God forbid should they actually finish what they started).

Don't even get me started on pitch counts.

Jessica Lee said...

Great post, hopbitters. Rivera is in the different class than everyone else. I can't image I will watch Yankees games without him one day.

In my opinion, you need to have lead first in order to blow it. When hitters know they have good starters going every night, they won't be panic or feel pressure to hit 5 runs homerun. It certainly adds some confident and affects their approach at the plate. At the same time, When pitchers know they won't lose game after giving one run, they may pitch better as well.

Baseball is a team game. Every run is the same in every inning. I don't buy into that theory as well.

As for pitch counts, Taiwanese baseball coaches are still very very old school guys. I don't think pitch count exists in many of them mind.

I always feel it all dependes on circumstances when coaches decide to change pitchers, not pitch ccounts, such as weather, how hard pitchers work, bullpen conditions, the level of importance of the game,etc.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I don't want to slight the skills of other relievers, but unless you are an extraordinary pitcher AND you are pitching 1-2 innings OFTEN, you will never accumulate enough runs saved to approach a starter. There have been some other good closers over the years (Hoffman, the Spaceman, etc.), but none that have had the combination of quality and quantity of innings to come close to Rivera. When you use someone as a reliever, their value isn't only predicated on their skills, but also their usage (which is out of their control).

I couldn't agree more on pitch counts. There are many more factors than simply counting how many pitches are thrown in the game. A good coach, along with the player's input, should be able to gauge the conditions far better than a counter.

Jessica Lee said...

Of course, having a good bullpen is very important to a team as well. I believe everyone's job has the same weight.