Bob Klapisch from the Bergen Record and SI has long been one of my favorite baseball writers, and I've always considered him one of the most informed baseball writers out there. I was therefore very surprised to see a column from him this weekend advocating keeping Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen for this season and beyond. This passage, specifically, really took me back:
"The team is convinced Chamberlain belongs in the starting rotation, simply because he's got more to offer than his fastball and slider.
In a very narrow sense, they're right: Chamberlain has a four-pitch arsenal that includes a ready-for-prime-time change-up and quickly evolving curveball. As pitching coach Dave Eiland said, "You look around the big leagues and see how many four-pitch pitchers there are out there, and almost all of them are at the front of the rotation."
Excuse me, but what? How is it narrow-minded to want a kid with 4 conceivable plus pitches to actually use them all? The kid quite simply has the potential to be a lock-down ace, and it's a crime to rob him of that potential. I don't know if he's ever going to become that guy, but I think you have to find out. 200 innings of lockdown pitching is far more valuable than 60 innings of the same.
Again, I like Bob Klapisch quite a bit and will continue to read him, but he misses badly here.