TAMPA -- Nine years ago, CC Sabathia was in a spot similar to the one Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are in today.
He was 20 years old and locked in a fight with Steve Karsay for the fifth spot in the Cleveland rotation.
One difference was that Sabathia and Karsay waged their battle in Winter Haven, with only two newspapers covering the competition.
Chamberlain and Hughes? Their fight plays out on the back page of The Post. They also have Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves in the hunt.
I still think Joba can be a good starter, so I'm pulling for him to win the fifth starter spot out of camp. I think if Hughes starts out in the pen he'll still have a chance at the rotation in the future, whereas if Joba starts out in the pen that is pretty much where he's going to end up.