Joba Chamberlain spilled the beans on the most recent secret chapter of the Joba Rules, saying on Wednesday that he expects to make six more starts during the regular season.
Chamberlain has been idle in anticipation of a start next Tuesday at home against the Rangers, when he'll be pitching on eight days' rest. The Yankees have staggered his late-season starts, hoping to have him finish near 160 innings.
"It's better to know, just so you can kind of have it in your head," Chamberlain said. "I expect the unexpected at all times now, but I now have an idea of what the plan is pretty permanently."
The 23-year-old right-hander has gone 8-3 with a 3.98 ERA in 23 starts this season and has compiled 126 1/3 innings. He logged 100 1/3 innings last season in 42 games, making 12 starts after transitioning to the rotation.
"I know I have six starts left, so that will put me at 29," Chamberlain said. "[Manager] Joe [Girardi] wasn't lying to me when he said he was going to give me 30 starts at the beginning of the year. I know I have these starts left and ... hopefully [we'll] continue to go on from there."
While recently acquired right-hander Chad Gaudin stepped in for his Yankees starting debut, Chamberlain tossed two simulated innings in the bullpen on Wednesday at Oakland Coliseum. He will toss again on Friday and Sunday at Fenway Park to prepare for the upcoming homestand.
The Yankees have been reluctant to reveal all of the details of the plan for Chamberlain, hoping to avoid a media firestorm like the one that accompanied Chamberlain during his first 19 games as a prized eighth-inning arm in 2007.
After speaking with Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland, Chamberlain said his understanding is that the innings clock will reset, so to speak, once postseason play begins.
The Yankees could use Chamberlain as either a starter or a reliever should they hold on to their sizable lead in the American League East and qualify for the playoffs.
"I think one training wheel is off, and the other might be off at that time," Chamberlain said. "It's good. You definitely learn to try and adjust and manage physically and mentally the best you can. It takes some time, but we're getting there."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.