Chad Green should stay in the Yankees bullpen

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 20: Chad Green
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 20: Chad Green /

Did the Yankees learn nothing from Joba Chamberlain? You can’t force someone to become a starter if they are a far superior reliever. And now, here we go again with Chad Green.

I honestly thought the Yankees front office had learned from the error of their ways.

Remember when Dellin Betances first came up in 2011, he was a starter. Sure he threw hard, but his location was erratic at best, his stamina nonexistent. This led to a quick demotion down to the minors to learn the finer points of relief pitching.

Obviously, it worked — since returning to majors in 2013, Betances has made four straight AL All-Star teams.

Back in 2007, the Yanks had a good thing going with relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain. The amped-up right-hander was unhittable in 19 late-season appearances, compiling a 0.38 ERA and 12.9 K/9 — midges in Cleveland notwithstanding.

Then in 2008, out of the 42 games Chamberlain appeared in, 12 of them were starts. This was because once upon a time at the University of Nebraska, Joba looked like the next coming of Roger Clemens.

And although Joba’s numbers were still very good, buoyed by a 2.60 ERA and 10.6 K/9, bouncing between the rotation and the bullpen began to prey on his psyche.

The next year, Joba Rules went completely out the window as he was moved to the rotation full-time. In 31 starts, Joba put up a 9-6 record, 4.75 ERA, 1.544 WHIP and 7.6 K/9.

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What did this lead to? How about being sent back to the ‘pen for the next four years of his Yankees’ career.

What could have been the next dominant reliever, a la Trevor Hoffman, turned into a cautionary tale of not knowing how to successfully maximize a young players’ potential.

Chamberlain last played for the Indians in 2016, at the ripe old age of 30.

On Tuesday, Newsday’s Eric Boland reported that the Yankees intend to have 2017 breakout reliever Chad Green enter spring training as a starter.

"“The reliever situation is a fallback. But nothing is certain yet. You can’t disregard how exceptional he [Green] was in the role he had but at the same time he didn’t find himself in that role because he was a failed starter.”"

In 69 innings pitched in 2017, Green posted a remarkable 1.83 ERA, 0.74 WHIP and 103:17 K:BB ratio. In August alone, Green compiled one of the greatest pitching lines in baseball history, which included a 17.05 K/9, 0 home runs and a 0.08 FIP.

At 26, Green should be entering his prime, not starting over. With only two stellar pitches to rely upon, his arsenal makes him much more effective in small quantities — even if that does consist of 6-8 outs at a time, which we saw plenty of in ’17.

I fully understand Luis Severino used to have the same amount of effective pitches, but Severino was never this dominant getting the ball into the hands of Aroldis Chapman (out of the ‘pen, of course).

With another season of question marks within the rotation, the strength of the bullpen cannot be overlooked. Besides, it’s not like Green hasn’t had his chance to prove he belongs in a major league rotation. In nine career starts, he has a 6.10 ERA and 1.51 WHIP.

Next: Carlos Beltran, next Yankees' manager?

Hey Cashman, just leave well enough alone and go get a proven starter. Or call one up from the minors. But Green is a dominant arm of the ‘pen. Why is that a bad thing?