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On a night when A-Rod hit two bombs (only one that counted, though) and the Yanks won a laugher 8-0, the talk of the town is Joba Chamberlain.

If you tuned out after the 7th inning, you missed two innings of work from Joba in which he threw 35 pitches, walked 2, struck out 3, gave up 1 hit and working in his full repertoire of pitches. After the game, Joe Girardi made it official. This was the beginning of the transition from Joba the reliever to Joba the starter.

It's a good thing tonight's game was a laugher, because the Joba situation brings up a boatload of questions. Foremost among them, is who will take over the 8th inning role. Peter Abraham has some good guesses. Nominally, it will probably be Farnsworth, but we'll probably see Edwar, Ohlendorf and maybe even Veras make a couple of appearances in the spot. Abraham also points to J.B. Cox and Mark Melancon who were recently promoted to AAA and AA respectively. Either one, or both, could make their way to the bigs in the same manner Joba did last year. If they excel at the new levels and/or someone falters in the Yankee pen.

The next question is what is the time frame. I can see sending him out there to throw 35 pitches again, maybe you can even stretch him to 50 pitches in relief (although it wouldn't be easy to schedule a 4-inning relief appearance), but beyond that, he's going to have to start a couple of games on a very limited pitch count. Do you have him start those games for the Yanks? Maybe you have he and Kennedy or Rasner split games, with Joba starting until he reaches his pitch count, and the other guy in long relief of him? I don't know. The original plan was to send him to AAA where he could really stretch it out, pitch every five days, and slowly build the arm strength back up. At this point, I'm not sure that's the route they're going to take.

Left unanswered, and it will remain so until July, at least, is where Joba will fit into the rotation. More importantly, who will be the odd man (or men) out. If Rasner keeps pitching like he did tonight, I don't see how you can remove him from the rotation. If he stays that means Kennedy and Hughes are bumped. If Rasner moves to long relief, either Kennedy or Hughes will be on the first bus back to Scranton/WB. It's an interesting problem to have. Personally, I think Kennedy would probably benefit more from some time in AAA. Hughes needs to get healthy and get back out there facing major league hitters.

I'll be at the stadium tomorrow night to see IPK. Unfortunately, I probably won't get there until the 3rd inning due to grand jury duty, but I'll be there. Is two wins in a row too much to ask?

Player of The Game: A-Rod. 3/4, 2 doubles, 1 dong, 2 RBI, 2 runs.
Team Record: 21-25
Damon: First swing of the game, broken bat on a foul ball.

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by Brian on May 22 2008
Tags: Alex Rodriguez | Darrell Rasner | Orioles |