Is it the worst in baseball with a 5.93 ERA through 24 games? You bet!
Does Joba Chamberlain belong in the bullpen? Absolutely not.
Over the last week or so, especially on the ESPN broadcast last night, people have not stopped talking about the "possibility" of Chamberlain being moved back out because of the rough situation. There is no possibility. It's not going to happen.
Joba Chamberlain is off to a good start for the Yankees as a starter. His ERA is a solid 3.13, his whip a respectable 1.215, and his SO/9 rate is a great 10.6. He has pitched 23 innings so far, so he's averaging about 6 IP per start. As you all know, Joba has great stuff. A nasty slider, a good hook, and a power fastball that will challenge any hitter in the game. Here's the deal. Joba Chamberlain is much more valuable for the 6 or 7 IP he has per start than he is for 1 IP every couple of days. He has some of the best stuff on our team, so why wouldn't you want him for 6 or 7 IP every 5 days? Removing a starter, especially one with the potential of Chamberlain, from our rotation to make him a set up man will not do anything except lower the chances of us winning the game where Joba should be pitching. In addition, Joba WANTS to be a SP! He has expressed that he isn't interested in the SU role. A high morale can go a long way... Joba is one of the more highly touted SP prospects in the game today. Let the kid pitch.
The bullpen should be able to figure itself out. Granted, Bruney and Marte are both out, but Girardi should be able to make a bridge with the guys he has out there. Adding Aceves was a great idea (a little overdue), because he should be able to take the load off some of these guys. Girardi has to use everybody out there, but at the same time needs to let people settle into roles. There has been a lot of Joe Torre bullpening, and its not helping anybody. It's also not helping that guys that should be pitching well are grossly underachieving. Albaledejo's ERA is sitting at 7.30, Vera's at 8.03, and Ramirez's at 5.40. These are all guys that contributed a lot last year, and they are just having rough starts.
The bullpen should be able to get back on track soon. The guys out there did a good job last year, but they need to pull their socks up and get going. But I'm sick of hearing that Joba is the "answer". He's not.