When Brian Cashman was on with WFAN's Mike Francesa, he was asked 2 distinct questions, that the answers to, should have raised some eyebrows.
Question 1 was the about how he will fix the pitching rotation. Cashman's answer was that Wang and Chamberlain were in and the other 3 spots will be filled through "trades and free agency."
Question 2 was about any changes to the coaching staff. Cashman said that decisions like that would be discussed when they hold their "organizational meetings" in a few weeks.
Yesterday, when Joe Girardi was asked about the coaching staff by Francesa, he gave a similar answer.
So, what does this mean?
Well, Cashman clearly stated that Chamberlain would start the season as a starter. He previously said that would be in the pen to start the season then move to the rotation later in order to keep his innings down.
Is this a departure from "Joba Rules"? Remember, the philosophy is that a pitcher cannot throw more than 40 innings than the previous season. That would limit Chamberlain to 140 innings in 2009. Starters are expected to give between 175 and 200 innings.
If this is, in fact, a departure from "Joba Rules", this could mean that there will be a change in the coaching staff. Dave Eiland is a proponent of the "Joba Rules" philosophy. I can't see how you can retain a coach that is not on the same page with the organization.
Now, the quote about filling the 3 remaining rotation spots through free agency and trades is puzzling. Where does this put Phil Hughes and/or Ian Kennedy? My guess is that Kennedy is traded and Hughes is in Scranton.