NEW YORK (AP) -Joba Chamberlain figures the longer he stays in the game, the more he helps the Yankees.
The 22-year-old began the transition from setup man to starter with 35 pitches in two innings in Wednesday's 8-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
``I'd rather be out there trying to compete for eight innings just like I did for that one inning,'' Chamberlain said Thursday.
He expects to increase his output to 45 pitches Saturday. Chamberlain and manager Joe Girardi didn't want to get into talking about a timetable beyond that.
``Your guess is as good as mine,'' Chamberlain said. ``It's just going to kind of depend on how my body reacts. I've never done this before, so we've got to make sure we do it the right way.''
Girardi insisted that the switch has nothing to do with New York's slow start. The Yankees are in last place in the AL East with a 22-25 record, 7 1/2 games out of first.
``This is what we all talked about all winter long,'' Girardi said. ``We eventually knew we were going to do it.''
Girardi, general manager Brian Cashman and pitching coach Dave Eiland all talked to Chamberlain on Tuesday about making the switch.
``We wanted to make sure his heart was in it,'' Girardi said.
It was.
``It's what I've done my whole life,'' said Chamberlain, a starter at Nebraska before the Yankees selected him in the first round of the 2006 draft.
He made 15 starts in the minors last season but came out of the bullpen after he was called up.
Chamberlain is 1-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 18 games this year, covering 20 1-3 innings.
Kyle Farnsworth will pick up many of the late innings that have gone to Chamberlain, Girardi said. Farnsworth pitched a perfect eighth with the score tied 1-1 Thursday night.
Last season, Chamberlain dominated with a 100 mph fastball and sharp slider. This year, he's been working in a curveball and changeup.
What he doesn't expect to change is his mentality.
``You don't have to change it,'' Chamberlain said. ``You're going to see the same guy you've seen in the eighth inning that you're going to see in the first.
``That's who I am. That's what got me here. That's what I'm going to continue to do.''
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