Brian Cashman created his own Joba problem

From a substantive matter, I guess I mostly agree with Cashman. It’s certainly true that the Yankees didn’t really have Joba “bounce around” from the rotation to the bullpen, anymore than any starter who breaks into the big leagues in the bullpen is bounced around, and that has been a common practice in MLB for decades now. To that end, it’s also extremely stupid to say that that cause Joba to need Tommy John surgery in 2011, both because there’s no evidence for that at all and because, by that point, Joba hadn’t pitched out of the rotation since September of 2009. And the point about other teams is certainly true, though I’d politely suggest Cashman take that up with the local media that he happily enables most of the time.

On the other hand, it’s sort of hard to get past the fact that Cashman pulled the plug on Joba as a starter after just one full season in 2009, ostensibly because Joba’s stuff played better in the bullpen (something that Cashman has said publicly). So really, what the heck does he expect the people who thought Joba should be a reliever from day one to think when he’s basically signaled, at least, that they were right all along? Perhaps if he hadn’t been so quick to give up on Joba’s development he wouldn’t have to deal with all of that criticism that he “stews” in these days.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

10 thoughts on “Brian Cashman created his own Joba problem

  1. Bob

    Doesn't it matter who ELSE you have in the rotation and how badly you NEED someone like Joba in the pen as well? If her were on the Pirates a few years back for instance he'd probably BE a starter. If he were on the Phillies, he'd be a reliever. Why isn't that taken into consideration in this discussion?

    • Well, okay, when the Yankees decided to make Joba a reliever in 2010 (or if you want to be generous, decided that either Hughes or Joba would go to the bullpen), their rotation otherwise consisted of C.C. Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and A.J. Burnett. The guy who forced them to bump either Hughes or Joba was Javier Vazquez, who they didn’t *have* to acquire by any means, and the other two guys in the 5th starter competition that year were Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves, the latter of which wound up getting hurt.

      You want to bet that Joba wouldn’t have been a better starter in 2010 than Mitre, Vazquez, and A.J.?

      • Hugh

        He might have been better, but, after the 2009 season, I think it would have been reasonable to expect superior starting production from AJ and Vazquez. Mitre, then and now, would obviously have been a different matter.

        • michael

          Considering the way pitching goes, both this year and in many years past, teams need more than 5 reliable starters to begin the season. To maintain more than 5 starters on a roster, keep excess starters in a position where they can transition fairly readily to making starts. This can be done by keeping the player in AAA or in the pen for multi-inning usage. This worked perfectly this year, largely to the surprise addition of Pettitte. Nonetheless, it should be the default approach with arms.

          Considering Vazquez left his 2009-stuff somewhere else, and how quickly AJ followed suit, there were plenty opportunities to use a multi-inning reliever. Then ultimately replace the ineffective starter with said long reliever. It's possible it was a major front office gaffe. It is also possible Yankee's have internal information about Chamberlain's health and didn't / won't ever trust him with a 200IP workload. He hinted at this last offseason. If true, it restores some level of competent decision making with the front office. Though, it doesn't make it any easier for Cashman to vindictively explain player usage, rip the MSM's narratives, or clear his reputation.

  2. Evil Hubie

    The whole quote from Cashman was "I don't think his stuff is the same since he hurt himself in Texas [in August 2008]. … The stuff plays up better in the 'pen."

    If Joba were still the 98 MPH monster from the minors and first half of 2008, it would have been silly to keep him in the bullpen. Cashman never signaled that the Joba-to-the-bullpen camp was right from day one. It was only after the shoulder injury that Joba's stuff diminished considerably and the Yankees' plans for him changed.

    • Mike

      This is the part that usually doesn't get mentioned; he's been a different pitcher ever since then.

  3. mike ant

    Cashman should stick to climbing buildings. He is a wart on Sticks ass and should have been fired long ago.

    • mlblogspauly

      You're asessment of

      You're assessment of Cashman is asinine. He built a solid farm system instead of going out after a million free agents like was done in previous years. His record is solid with a few blemishes, but no GM is perfect. Granted, Stick is one of the Major reasons the Yankees have been successful since '94. However, Cashman has done a good job.

  4. oldyankee7

    It may be a situation where Joba comes back with a much better arm and in better shape. I think the team knows more about his shoulder problems then we do.

  5. mlblogspauly

    Joba is Joba"s problem. He is a delusional ass and not very bright. He can't admit it when he stinks. At least Hughes knows who to blame when he screws up. Joba is a moron.

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