Yesterday, Steve pointed to an interesting WFAN interview from Saturday, in which the Yankees’ director of professional scouting, Billy Eppler, discussed Joba Chamberlain’s future as a pitcher. To the dismay of many – myself included – in the interview, Eppler basically stated that Joba would remain a reliever in 2011, rather than transition back to the starting rotation. Luckily, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch caught up with Yankees GM, Brian Cashman, to discuss Eppler’s comments, and he seemed to indicate that Eppler was offering a personal opinion – his perspective on what Joba’s future should look like – not a plan of action that had already been agreed upon by those within the organization.
“We haven’t had any team meeting and said, ‘He’s a reliever for the rest of his life,’” said Cashman, claiming that the Eppler interview was an example of the “healthy dialogue going on behind the scenes” regarding Joba’s role. “Billy’s good,” Cashman added, “He’s been an asset and he’s going to continue to be an asset… Although, at times, I might disagree with his opinion, he makes us better. I want him to be out there talking to you guys as much as he can. I don’t want him shying away from his opinion.” Note Cashman’s repeated use of the word opinion here. He is trying to frame Eppler’s comments as such, though it did seem as if Eppler was speaking for the club at the time of his interview.
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