Jorge Posada, after catching Phil Hughes and facing Joba Chamberlain in the batter's box, didn't offer an evaluation in the clubhouse.

“Joba looked good, Phil looks good,” Posada said with a smile.

The catcher did have some interesting thoughts on the competition, once things begin for real next week when the games start.

“They gotta show us early, they have to,” Posada said. “Competitions like that, they have to show us from the get-go.”

Both pitchers agreed, with Hughes saying, "I definitely agree. I don’t think you can have too many lapses with so much on the line. It’s not like you have three months of spring training. Once March 1 rolls around and those games start coming, you have four, five outings and you need to start showing something. Out of those few outings you have, how many can you not afford to be on your game?”

Posada also commented on the much-scrutinized Joba Rules from a season ago. On the surface, he seems to be attacking them but there's plenty of nuance here.

"The pitching coach telling you, ‘You got 20 pitches’ before an inning starts, that’s tough to do, it really is," Posada said. "Ask any of the veterans. And he has handled it real well."

But Posada also said this. "You try to keep them healthy, the both of them [Chamberlain and Hughes], you have to. They’re still young guys. They’re [the organization] trying to protect their arms. They’re our future so you can’t really rush them into 200 innings, you have to protect that."



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