However, in Yankeeland, something will not change: Pitching philosophy.
Despite Chamberlain's desire to throw 200 innings next season and Joe Girardi's insistence that the pitcher's DL stint and subsequent return to the bullpen this month won't stunt his development as a starter, it is clear the Yankees have no plans to allow their most prized young pitcher to significantly increase his innings total in 2009.
Hank Steinbrenner recently called Chamberlain "the most dominant starting pitcher in baseball," but the reality of the situation is that if Chamberlain's innings limit next year is in the 140-150 range, the Yankees will likely have to take the same approach they did this year, starting him in the bullpen before moving him into the rotation during the season.
Cashman never publicly announced what Chamberlain's innings limit was this season, although it was believed to be between 140-150 after the youngster threw 116 innings in the majors and minors last year.
Cashman acknowledged the obvious yesterday, saying that Chamberlain wouldn't come close to reaching his innings limit this season. The GM added that next year's total would likely be in the same ballpark since Chamberlain is unlikely to even exceed his 2007 total, because history says that adding "significant" innings from the previous year typically results in a breakdown or underperformance by the pitcher.
"He had an innings limit this year that he didn't meet," Cashman said. "Would he exceed that innings limit next year? You wouldn't want to do that. It's as simple as that.
"We'll talk about that, obviously, at a more appropriate time. We have to protect the player."
So folks, back by unpopular demand, the failed policy known as "Joba Rules" will be back in 2009.
Cashman says "we have to protect the player." How exactly did this failure of a philosophy protect Joba, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, who all BROKE DOWN this season?
I predicted in January that this system would fail and it seems that 2009 will bring us more inning counts, pitch counts, under-used starters and an over-worked bullpen.
More of the same: FAILURE.