The idea will be to work Joba back into the rotation the same way which was implemented the first go-round - in other words use him in relief until his arm strength allows him to start again. This is an especially smart move because the minor league season will soon be over and therefore take away the chance for him to rehab down there.
Things looked good for Chamberlain when he got back up on the mound in the latest in a series of throwing sessions. The news has been more about shifting him back to the pen than it has about the success of his steady but slow return. There are a couple of factors that appear to be pushing him to relief work, none of them having anything to do with the injury. First is the impending end of the minor league season, making it tougher to send him down for a rehab start, and secondly the Yankees have chosen a more advanced approach to pitching management, something that has allowed them to transition Chamberlain from the pen to the rotation in the first place. Think of this as the same sort of transition, allowing him to build up stamina at the major league level while controlling his innings. The media and less-informed fans might panic, but in the end the Yankees have one starter who should be established enough for them to build around for 2009 and beyond.
*** Humberto Sanchez has been promoted to Tampa and pitched one scoreless inning Monday night.
*** Ian Kennedy struck out another nine batters over six innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Over his last two starts IPK has punched out 18 batters over just 11 innings while walking just three. As you've read here [probably too many times], Kennedy needs to refine his curveball if he's going to be successful in the bigs. And that's what he's been doing during his latest foray into the minor leagues. Hence the big strikeout totals.