Praise the Lord! Our 2010 starting rotation has been set!
Yesterday, Joe Girardi announced the final piece to our starting rotation puzzle: Phil Hughes. He will be our 5th starter in 2010.
I have no idea what took them so long to make the announcement. Most of us following spring training saw it coming, it was obviously going to be Hughes from the start. Alfredo Aceves was most valuable to us working from the bullpen, as was Joba Chamberlain. So, why the wait? I think the Yankees wanted to build up anticipation, and provide drama to an otherwise boring spring training.
If the aim was to glorify this decision, then I give you a short clip that I made.
I present to you, The Arms Of God:
Now, we can sit here and argue over Joba’s situation, and curse the day that the seemingly pointless “Joba Rules” were enforced, but it would be a waste of time. This year, it doesn’t look like Joba will be a starter. Those of you who were pulling for him to start this year should get over that dream.
Who knows if Joe Girardi will put Joba in the rotation for the second half of the season, should Phil Hughes make a mess of things. “You can’t predict baseball, Suzyn”, and you definitely can’t predict what Girardi will do. I highly doubt that will happen, though, and I don’t recommend it. I’ve been saying all along that Joba Chamberlain should be in the bullpen. With a relatively light work load, and the opportunity to regain his confidence in his own pitches, we could have our next closer-in-the-making with Joba. I hope that God [Mariano] will take him under his wing and teach him how to “accidentally” throw his cutter.
We’ll have to wait and see how this season unfolds.
I have confidence in the abilities of Phil Hughes. He’s done really well this spring training, and we’ve seen him improve the command of his pitches. Joe Girardi said that he will limit Phil’s innings to 170. With the rest of our inning-gobbling starting rotation, 170 innings from our 5th starter will be wonderful.
I was surprised by some of my fellow Yankees fans’ reactions to the announcement yesterday. Some people responded to it like it was the end of the world. While I respect the opinions of those of you who think that Hughes is the wrong man for the job, I kindly ask you to calm the [expletive] down.
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that Phil Hughes isn’t as great a starting pitcher as Girardi thinks he is. So what? He won’t be worse than the mess we had in our 5th rotation spot last year. Let’s also assume that Hughes won’t be able to pitch deep into games. Who cares? Have you seen our bullpen pitchers recently? They’re more than capable of picking up the slack. Also, don’t forget who our top 4 pitchers are, chances are we won’t need much work from the bullpen when CC, AJ, Andy and Javy start the game. So if Phil needs help from the bullpen, they’ll be more than ready to take over.
Furthermore, look at the other teams in the American League. Who has a starting rotation that is better than ours top to bottom? No one. The Red Sox come close, but we get the cigar. While some of you are panicking over our 5th starter not being as great as our top four, other teams don’t even have one solid pitcher in their rotation. Remember when, as a child, your mother said to you “You better finish your dinner plate. There are starving children in Africa who would love to have the food that you’re tossing aside”? Look at the pitching problems the majority of teams in Major League Baseball have.
Relax. Stop being so spoiled.
I think Phil Hughes will be just fine in the 5th rotation spot. He won’t win the Cy Young Award, and his ERA will probably be around 4.50, but that will be more than enough for us this year. I believe that Hughes will be a starting pitcher for a very long time, but as I said before, we’ll have to wait and see.
Now that Phil Hughes is “The Chosen One”, and we no longer have to argue about it, we can fill the void by arguing over who will be in the bullpen. I can focus all my energy on campaigning for my boy Boone Logan.
Boom Boom Boone.