Although some buffoons, such as Kevin Kernan, continue to insist that Joba Chamberlain would serve the Yankees better in the bullpen now that they have added Andy Pettitte, the team has decided to make the logically sound decision. Per Pete Abe:
Joba is headed down to Tampa tomorrow and is ready to start throwing off the mound “Twenty-five fastballs, I’m feeling great,” he said.
The Yankees, he said, told him in November that he would be a starting pitcher and he has been preparing for that. “It’s a relief to have it all settled,” he said.
That sounds like a pretty definite statement, as Joba considers the issue “settled.” This leads me to believe that the team told him that he will remain in the rotation barring some unforeseen circumstance. Considering the depth of the other rotations in the AL East, the Yankees need strong pitching from the 5th spot to match up with hurlers such as John Smoltz and David Price. On a more general level, being that a solid starter is worth more than an eighth inning reliever, this continues to be the right move, no matter what the relative state of the rotation and bullpen.