Yankees to leave Joba in bullpen

I heard rumblings of this before I left my old gig and now Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that the Yankees are planning to keep Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen if they advance beyond the Division Series.

Chamberlain had mixed results against the Sox this season, going 2-1 in four starts with a 4.91 ERA. In 22 innings, he allowed 26 hits and struck out 24.

It’s a smart move for the Yankees. Chamberlain had a 7.75 ERA in his last 10 starts of the season. Chad Gaudin doesn’t scare anybody, but the Yankees were 6-0 in his starts and he posted a solid 3.43 ERA in 11 appearances overall.

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The Yankees are surely cognizant that Gaudin has a 2.64 career ERA against Boston over 30.2 innings. It’s not much of a sample size, but at least there is something they can point to.

It’ll be interesting to see where this will leave Chamberlain come 2010. The pitcher Red Sox fans love to hate may be no better than a set-up man after all.