“He had an innings limit this year he didn’t meet,” General Manager Brian Cashman said. “Will he exceed that innings limit next year? You wouldn’t want to do that. You’ve still got to protect the player.”Or you could just figure out whether he's ever going to be able to pitch by putting him in the role for which he is destined. Chamberlain is not some reed-thin 18 year-old. He's a big ol' hoss of a 23-year-old who. If at his age he can't handle the workload of even a fifth starter, he's probably never going to be healthy. Or as Chamberlain says himself:
There’s going to come a point where you have to let it fly and get going as much as you can, as long as you can, as hard as you can. At that point, the maturity factor comes in, and they understand that if something is bothering me, I’m going to let them know.Certainly he wants to pitch without training wheels next year.
What's more, if the whole idea of starting him in the bullpen and then moving him to the rotation didn't work this year, what's to say it would work next year? Chamberlain himself said that he would have preferred to have one role all season for the sake of consistency, so why jerk him around again like this in 2008?
I'm not suggesting that the Yankees throw Joba to the wolves. They should be careful. The should watch his pitch counts. They should rest him the moment he shows any signs of trouble. But for God's sake, let the boy pitch.