Perhaps Joba Chamberlain wanted to remind people of his capabilities. Perhaps he hoped to frame his case as an impending free agent. Perhaps, less than a week into the Yankees’ Grapefruit League schedule, he was just bored.
Whatever the reason, Chamberlain chose the visitors clubhouse at Bright House Field as his pulpit Tuesday afternoon, when he declared himself still capable of succeeding in the major leagues as a starter. His remarks were unprompted. He understood the implications of what followed.
"This is probably going to spark a bunch of stuff," he said, before plowing ahead.
"It’s like: Do you think you have the capability to start? Yes," he said after throwing a scoreless inning in a 4-3 loss to the Phillies on Tuesday. "Do I have four pitches that I can throw for a strike? Yes. Do I have two plus pitches that I can throw from the bullpen at any time? Yes."
"I guess," he continued, "I’m trying to have my cake and eat it, too."
It is critical to note that these words hold little bearing on the Yankees. Manager Joe Girardi intends to use Chamberlain as his seventh-inning reliever. General manager Brian Cashman shrugged off the thought of using Chamberlain as a starter. Plus, Chamberlain said he has not complained about his role. He does not intend to.
"I’m open to anything," he said. "I don’t care what it is. I’ll fold towels, if you give me a job."
But he did want it known that he could still succeed as a starter, a role he has not occupied since 2009.
"If I got a chance to start again somewhere, wherever that’s at, I can do it without a doubt," he said.
Joba Chamberlain revisits debate about starting, even if Yankees don't plan on it
Newark Star-Ledger | Feb 27