This is Why the Yankees Babied Joba


No word on whether he’s throwing a ball or a towel, but 29-year-old former Cubs ace Mark Prior is pitching off a mound in California, according to his agent, working his way back from his second right-shoulder surgery.

“Mark has been through so many timelines, at this point I’m almost allergic to the word,” agent John Boggs said. “But he’s out there. He’s getting himself ready. And when he’s ready, I’m sure you’ll hear a lot about him. Then we’ll invite teams to come watch him throw. And hopefully, he’ll be the next Ben Sheets.”

Also, this story is related to the Mark Prior one. After throwing 100.1 innings in 2008 and 163.1 total innings in 2009, this season will mark Joba Chamberlain’s first without an innings limit. It’ll be nice to see what Chamberlain can do in a full season without restraints. If he can recapture his magical fastball/slider combo, the Yankees could end up with the best rotation in the game.

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9 Responses to This is Why the Yankees Babied Joba

  1. I cannot help but wonder if Prior has been struggling during his towel regimen because he might be working with "Towlie" from "South Park," and all Towlie's distractions have somehow unduly influenced Prior's work ethic. Inquiring minds…

  2. Well, I'm pretty sure he lives in South Cali and you know he's got lots of down time. Plenty of down time.

  3. Big Amen to this all around, Dan. Anyone who complains about Joba’s innings cap or the ephemeral “Joba Rules” should immediately revisit Mark Prior and Kerry Wood as the how-not-to cautionary tales for GMs and managers. The more the 2003 season wound on, the more Baker burned out Prior and Wood.

    Agreed also on Joba’s stuff–to which I’ll add his curve. It may never have been more dazzling than July 25, 2008 in Fenway, beating Beckett. When he’s on, Joba’s yakker is a flat-out money pitch.

  4. It’s almost funny in a way, every year we get these ‘updates’ on Prior, but it’s always the same thing. Working his way back from an injury.

  5. Dan LaTorraca says:

    I stupidly drafted Prior with the first pick in my fantasy baseball league after his huge 2003. That is all I have to say on the matter.

    But in all seriousness, I hope 2010 marks the year Joba develops into the ace we know he can be. It sure would make for one hell of a rotation.

  6. The Yankees rotation would be sick if Joba turns a corner this season.

  7. No doubt about it. Should Joba turn in a season like, say, 14-9, 3.85 ERA, the Yanks would be primed to repeat–all else the same, that is.

  8. I wonder if Prior did not decide to go to college and stayed with the Yankees if this would have happened to him….

  9. That's an interesting thought. I think Dusty Baker certainly did a number on him in 2003. He regularly threw 120-130 pitches per game that year. We're talking about a 22-year-old who averaged 113 pitches per game. That's where you get the Joba rules.

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