Who Will Get Voted Off The Yankees Island?

The competition for the Yankees’ #5 starter is becoming both clearer and murkier. While Gaudin is pitching himself out of contention, the others – Hughes, Joba, Mitre and Aceves – are keeping things interesting in Tampa. What would I do if Opening Day were tomorrow and I had to make the Big Decision?
I can’t really justify my vote. Aceves and Mitre have both pitched well enough to earn the job. So has Joba, although his value as the 8th inning guy can’t be overlooked. I guess it’s just instinct; Hughes had the job from the get go, in my opinion. It was his to win or lose. Aceves is the best long reliever we’ve got and could always step in when there’s an injury or somebody gets shelled or Hughes has to be kept on an innings leash. As for Mitre? I don’t know. Trade him or keep him for the pen, so we can say goodbye to Albaladejo? 
The good news is the Yankees have plenty of arms that could help out in the pen right now – from Mark Melancon and Boone Logan to Amaury Sanit, the Cuban sensation who continues to impress. Yup, the more I see of the 2010 Yankees, the better I feel about their chances. CC’s performance today – and A-Rod’s tape measure homer – were hard to ignore.
P.S. I listened to the Yanks-Rays game tonight while I was in the car. The Rays announcers were talking about how unfriendly the staff is at Steinbrenner Field and how glad they were to be broadcasting from Port Charlotte. All I can say is, “The ushers and security people at SF were nice to me!” But maybe that’s because I was wearing this?


  1. nbaballer913@yahoo.com

    While Hughes has been good and I wouldn’t mind either him or Joba getting the 5th starter job, I just want to point something out since you said that Joba’s “value as the 8th inning guy can’t be overlooked.”

    As relievers:
    Joba: 1.50 ERA
    Hughes: 1.40 ERA

    And for fun:

    As starters:
    Joba: 4.18 ERA (despite the various irritable Joba Rules)
    Hughes: 5.22 ERA

  2. devilabrit

    It’s probably going to be a tough call… I like Hughes for the 5th spot and Joba out of the pen, he is a good setup guy and that role can be as important if not more so than the closer at times… and as you say Aceves really has to be in the pen, you need a guy that can go deep from the 2nd or 3rd inning and he’s the one, Mitre not sure, maybe he has to go….
    Outside the Phillies Looking In

  3. Jane Heller

    While your stats are interesting and valid, nbaballer, and certainly suggest that Joba could be a starter, I’m thinking of 2007 when he burst on the scene as a reliever – and was dazzling. That’s the Joba I, personally, want to see – the one who served as a bridge to Mo so effectively. And, as I posted several days ago, if Mo thinks Joba should be the 8th inning setup guy, so do I!

  4. Jane Heller

    Yup, we’re in agreement, Peter. Now let’s see how the rest of spring training plays out. It’s possible this race will go down to the wire.

    You really think Joba will get the job, Bernadette? I know the Yankees wanted him to be a starter from the beginning and the Joba Rules were all about getting him into a position where he could be a full fledged member of the rotation. But I’m still leaning toward Hughes in the #5 spot. Joba was just too impressive as a setup guy.

  5. ladybatting@gmail.com

    I think Joba will get the job. I think it was his to lose all along. They just didn’t want to say that for fear of what happened a few years back with Hughes and Kennedy; they were just handed the job and they stunk up the joint. The Yankees did the same thing last year with Melky Cabrera. It was his job to lose (and he lost it).

  6. raysrenegade

    Watching the game yesterday at Port Charlotte, Mitre actually looked to be in great control and had his breaking stuff crossing the plate nicely and had a few Rays with their knees touching.
    I hate to say, but Gaudin might have taken himself out of the equation for right now, but a lot can happen in three weeks.
    Joba and Hughes are good enough, but how can you downgrade their respective reliever stats as being a vital cog to the late inning Yankee machine.
    Might not be someone voted off the island, the grouping might just pick straws and the short one leaves…….doubt it, but weirder things have happened in life….and baseball.

    Rays Renegade


  7. Jane Heller

    Hahahaha, Virginia. Of course you would pick Mitre. I don’t think he’ll get the job, but the Yanks will probably keep him.

  8. TotalBases

    Chamberlain. Hughes was too good in that role as the setup guy. It would be stupid to take that away. The one thing that was questiontioned about the Yankees last year was their bullpen, and Hughes changed that. Mitre and Gaudan are terrible. Aceves is good in the pen. Put Joba in the rotation.

  9. Jane Heller

    Renegade, maybe picking straws is exactly what the Yankees should do. Good suggestion! I didn’t watch the Yanks-Rays game last night but from the audio feed it sure sounded like Mitre had his stuff, especially since he was facing the Rays’ A team, for the most part. Girardi said after the game that Gaudin hasn’t been eliminated, but I have to think he’s slipped behind the others.

    Hughes was terrific in the setup role during the regular season last year, Total Bases, and Joba was exceptional in the same role the year before. Whichever of them ends up in, the Yanks will be in good shape.

  10. diane.anziano@gmail.com

    I still feel Hughes is the right pick for #5. He’s solid, consistent and doesn’t seem easily frustrated. But all of the options are good ones…there are worse problems to have.

    I saw a brief report on Boston – they are said to be very strong defensively this season but no so productive offensively. We’ll see what happens. All in all, Tampa was rated higher than Boston on this program which I thought was interesting. But the show put our Yankees above all else in the AL East. Hope they are right.

    Beautiful weather here in NY again, Jane, but we’re supposed to be back to the low to mid 50’s tomorrow and for a few days to come. But its now officially spring and I’m a happy camper.

  11. Jane Heller

    Diane, you nailed it: the #5 starter question should be our biggest problem this season. And since today is the first day of spring, let me say a special “Let’s go Yankeeeees!”

  12. Jane Heller

    Yeah, that’s the thing, Jeff. A couple of shellings and I’ll reverse myself. lol. But right now I’m going with Hughes.

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