Without an innings limit holding him back, isn’t Joba the favorite for the 5th spot?

While pitching coach, Dave Eiland, recently noted that he is excited for the upcoming rotation battle this spring that will feature Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, in particular, with Sergio Mitre, Alfredo Aceves, and Chad Gaudin thrown in for good measure, he did state that the amount of innings a starter could provide over the course of a full season would play a significant part in the team’s final decision regarding the fifth and final rotation spot. “We want 200 innings in all five of our guys,” Eiland said. This is an obvious plus for Joba Chamberlain, who has no innings limit going into the season, while Phil Hughes, on the other hand, will be under the protection of a limit. Based on this alone, it seems safe to dub Chamberlain – not Hughes – the early favorite to land the fifth spot in Spring Training, right?

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