Joba Chamberlain told the New York Post that he will arrive in Tampa next week with the mindset of a starting pitcher:
“I’m going to go in and understand a lot of guys are fighting for that spot,” Chamberlain said after an autograph signing in New Rochelle in conjunction with Steiner Sports. “Nothing is guaranteed.”
The team has asked him to go into camp expecting to be a starter, but he’ll compete with Phil Hughes, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Chamberlain, 24, is a bit of a mystery after finishing 9-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 2009. His season took a turn for the worse after he was faced with the “Joba Rules” in the summer. He found himself in the bullpen during the postseason, posting a 2.84 ERA in 10 appearances while seeing an uptick in velocity. Hughes figures to be his biggest competition for the fifth spot, but we could see a different Joba this season, as those pesky innings limits are expected to be a thing of the past.