Chamberlain to make first start Tuesday vs. Blue Jays
MINNEAPOLIS -- The wait is over.
Joba Chamberlain has a spot in the New York Yankees' rotation and a date for his first start: Tuesday night against Toronto. Manager Joe Girardi said the 22-year-old will be limited to 65 or 70 pitches when he takes the mound at Yankee Stadium.
After deliberating about the decision during New York's off day Thursday and consulting with general manager Brian Cashman, Girardi said Friday he decided to keep Andy Pettitte on his regular throwing schedule and use the left-hander for Monday's series finale against the Twins.
The hard-throwing, high-energy Chamberlain said his goal is to get six innings in.
"I have a tendency to get long in counts, so I've got to be more efficient that way," he said, adding: "You're still going to see the same person. I'm going to use my emotions to my advantage. Sometimes I can let them get the most of me and try to do too much."
New York has been grooming Chamberlain for the rotation since selecting him out of the University of Nebraska with the 41st overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft. After posting a 0.38 ERA in 19 appearances last season, Chamberlain had a 2.28 ERA in 20 games out of the bullpen this year.
After throwing on the side Friday, the rookie right-hander was excited.
"I feel great. Everything is going well. Every `i' is dotted, and every 't' is crossed, so far," Chamberlain said.
There has been plenty of fanfare over his arrival so far. Last year, he was phenomenal down the stretch, striking out 34 and walking only six with 12 hits allowed in 24 innings. Team co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner was vocal earlier this year about wanting him in the rotation.
Steinbrenner doesn't have to wait any more.
The Yankees considered using Chamberlain on Monday for a road game to minimize the pressure, but they decided normal rest for Pettitte was more important.
"Eventually you have to pitch at both places," Girardi said.
As for the buzz in the Bronx?
"I don't think it probably matters what I say," Girardi said. "Every time he came out in the bullpen I think people expected him not to give up a run. Unfortunately when there's a lot of hype around a guy, it's hard to control people's expectations."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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