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Guillen weighs in on Joba debate

Guillen weighs in on Joba debate

CHICAGO -- No one within the Yankees' hierarchy is likely to ask Ozzie Guillen what he thinks they should do with Joba Chamberlain, but just in case, the White Sox manager is already armed with his answer.

Guillen watched Chamberlain come out of the bullpen on Tuesday to shut down a Chicago rally at U.S. Cellular Field, firing 1 2/3 innings of relief and escaping what could have been a disastrous situation with just one run scoring.

His initial impressions of the 22-year-old right-hander? If the Yankees want to have Chamberlain once every five days -- as Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner opined earlier this week -- instead of multiple times in a series, that would be just fine with Guillen.

"I've never seen him as a starter, and I don't have any opinion about him starting," Guillen said on Wednesday. "But what I [saw] from him out of the bullpen, that was pretty special -- real special. That guy has an arm and is going to make a lot of money. And he plays for the right team."

Chamberlain came in to bail out Brian Bruney from a one-out, bases-loaded situation in the seventh inning on Tuesday. Dialing his fastball as hot as 97 mph, Chamberlain fanned Carlos Quentin swinging before a 3-2 heater ran inside to Joe Crede, forcing in a run charged to lefty Billy Traber.

Chamberlain then got Juan Uribe to foul out to catcher Jorge Posada, ending the inning and preserving a Yankees lead.

"What I [saw] last night, that's electric stuff," Guillen said. "They have a manager and GM to make those decisions, and they will make the best decision for the ballclub and the kid. I think [manager] Joe Girardi will handle that situation well, because Joe Girardi is a baseball man and knows what he's doing."

Girardi has divulged only that the Yankees have a plan for Chamberlain and they are staying with the plan. Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman have said that they are on the same page with regard to Chamberlain, who is eventually projected to become a starting pitcher for the organization on a yet-to-be-determined timetable.

Speaking to an assortment of Chicago- and New York-based reporters, Guillen then turned his tone comical, as he often does.

"Just make him a starter," he said. "We can see him once a week and not every day. I'm telling you, you see this kid coming out of the 'pen every day, and it's pretty interesting. You see him and [Mariano Rivera] back-to-back, that's something special. Where did they find that kid?"

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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