Cashman: Chamberlain's long-term role uncertainPhil Hughes will be fifth starter, but Joba still in mix
New York general manager Brian Cashman on Sunday didn't commit to or rule out Chamberlain getting an opportunity to be in the rotation next season. Chamberlain was moved into a relief role Thursday when he lost out to Phil Hughes in the fifth starter competition.
Cashman said his focus is on this season and that there have been no decisions made on Chamberlain's status for 2011.
"We haven't had any team meetings and said 'alright, he's a reliever for the rest of his life.' No we didn't do that," Cashman said. "Essentially, though, I think what the mindset has got to be, he's not going to help us in our rotation right now because we picked five guys. His role on the club is to help us out of the pen."
Chamberlain, who threw a scoreless inning out of the bullpen on Saturday, said he is taking things day by day and that it would be unfair to his teammates to look past this season.
"It's one of those things where you can't look ahead because you've got to be focused on what you're doing right now," Chamberlain said.
There are indications that the Yankees see Chamberlain, who had an 0.38 ERA in 19 games out of the bullpen in his rookie season of 2007, as a reliever for the foreseeable future.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi, after Sunday's game with Detroit was canceled by rain, said the team would likely turn to Sergio Mitre or Alfredo Aceves-and not Chamberlain-should a starting pitcher get hurt. Some have projected Chamberlain as a future replacement for closer Mariano Rivera.
"From my perspective, we all can have various views," Cashman said. "He's going to be a starter pitching out of the pen."
Chamberlain still thinks he can be a successful starter.
"No matter who you are, you're going to have your opinion of what you think is best," Chamberlain said. "That's what I trained for. I don't get caught up and worrying about what's going to happen. The future has a lot in store for me."
Chamberlain is scheduled to pitch again on Monday night against Baltimore.
"It sounds like the Joba starter, relief thing will be forever," Cashman said.