TAMPA, Fla. - Joba Chamberlain understood the questions would come, because they always do.
"I don't know if that debate's ever going to stop," he said Wednesday morning after throwing a bullpen in front of new pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
That debate, though in the organization it really isn't much of one anymore, is whether he should be tried again as a starter.
“I worry about whatever today is, getting through today,” Chamberlain said. “If that comes up in the future then we’ll answer that question. But as of right now you can’t think about it.”
General manager Brian Cashman has said all winter the team views Chamberlain as a reliever.
"I knew it was coming, especially with us not signing those guys [Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte]," Chamberlain said of the rotation questions. "I guess you take it with a grain of salt. Cash said what he said, that's his opinion and he's a big part of our organization. So I have to take my role and embrace it and try and be the best I can to help us win another championship."
What that role will be exactly has yet to be defined. Rafael Soriano will pitch the eighth -- the job Chamberlain had and lost last season -- and David Robertson, based on last season, would be the next righthander in line. Pedro Feliciano and Boone Logan are the lefty specialists.
“Everywhere from the sixth [inning] on, I would presume,” he said of his role. “We have a pretty good bullpen. It’s going to be fun out there with those guys.”
Chamberlain has enjoyed his limited work so far with Rothschild.
"He’s been great," Chamberlain said. "He’s been really easy to talk to. He didn’t throw a million things at me, there was only a couple of things, which were exactly what I was thinking, too, so it was nice we were on the same page."