- First, the Joba Rules would appear to have failed. Some will say the Yanks messed with this kid’s development under the guise of “trying to protect him”. Joba goes back to the bullpen and maybe that’s where he was destined to be all along, despite the protestations of lunkheads like me, who see greater value in high end starters than high end relievers. Then again, maybe Joba would never be the high end starter that we envisioned but is certainly able to be the high end reliever, Mariano’s heir apparent.
- Second, Hughes’ possible version of the “Joba Rules”. The “Hughes Mandate”? “Hughes Rules”? Will the Yanks do what they did with Joba, steadfastly believing they are right in the way they are doing things? Will they change or tweak their methods or the way they count innings, more about high stress innings instead of the absolute value of innings pitched?
- What if Hughes The Starter struggles once the regular season starts? Will the team yo-yo these two? Will Aceves be the first one to be called to replace Hughes? And if Hughes is in the bullpen with Joba, how good could that be (at the expense of the starting rotation)? Remember, Hughes was ridiculously good last year in relief.
- We discussed the Hughes/Joba Conundrum recently as well. What I mentioned then (Feb. 3, 2020):
But…. (deep breath)… did we really witness Joba’s true calling this past Fall? Coming in as the one or two pitch ace reliever who can eventually take over for Mo. There’s no doubting his success as a reliever. Ditto Hughes. Seems that most scouting types seem to favor Hughes as a starter rather than Joba, if given a choice. Hughes just seems more starter-like (calmer, composed, taller, etc.) while Joba just seems like a closer (emotional, hyper, pure heat).
At some point, these guys need to stop worrying about their roles and just worry about pitching. Sure, we could say that right now, that they should just worry about pitching, but it’s only natural to be concerned about one’s role on a team. And without having ever pitched, I wonder if the off-season/pre-season prep is different for a starter versus a reliever.
If Joba is in the ‘pen and Hughes is a starter in 2010, we’ll have to toy with Hughes in a similar way as they did with Joba, though we can only hope that the Yanks learned from their mistakes with Joba last year. And what does that say about “the Joba rules”? Do the Yanks have to admit that they wasted a few years of this kid’s development chasing a busted theory, or can they simply state that they think he’s best suited as a reliever after just one year as a starter?
This has all the makings of a huge mess.
All of this is just teeth-gnashing until the season kicks off. We’re all sick of many of these same stories and debates. I’m looking forward, as are you, to discussing the games, finally. Soon, friends, soon.