According to Peter Abraham, Joba Chamberlain will begin the season in the bullpen.
[Joe Girardi] left open the possibility that Chamberlain will move into the rotation later this season. “His future will be as a starter,” Girardi said.
Chamberlain will pitch in relief against Toronto tomorrow and again on Saturday. Ian Kennedy will start against the Blue Jays, a sign that he has nailed down the No. 5 starter job.
Girardi did not define Chamberlain’s role in the bullpen other than to say that he will be used in the “back end of games.”
There will be no Joba Rules. Chamberlain can be used for multiple innings and on consecutive days. “It will be common sense,” Girardi said.
I had a feeling that the Yankees would end up going this route, so this isn't so surprising. The Yankees want to limit The 3 Amigos' innings this season, so it would have been hard to depend on all three to be starters the whole season but still be under some sort of limit.
Chamberlain will likely spend the first half of the season in the bullpen before transitioning back into the rotation. It should be interesting to see what happens if all five current starters are performing up to their ability.