Hit and Run: Joba Chamberlain Edition

As the season draws closer the Yankees have a big decision coming up as to who they are going to pick to be their fifth starter this year. Despite my belief that it would be a waste to go with anyone other than Joba Chamberlain, there is a very real chance that he could get passed over especially considering he hasn’t really pitched all that well this spring.

It seems crazy to me, but if you believe the local media yesterday was a very big appearance for Joba. He hadn’t pitched well so far in spring training and apparently it was put up or shut up time for Joba, even though yesterday was only his third appearance of the spring and he was getting over the flu during his first outing.

But Joba pitched well yesterday. He pitched in four innings, only three official innings, and he pitched so economically, 48 pitches in 4 innings, that he had to throw a simulated inning after the game. So I thought I’d share some Joba links:

  • Before yesterday’s appearance Joel Sherman of the NY Post made it sound as if Joba would never be considered a starter again if he had a bad outing yesterday.
  • Instead he had a good outing, but the Post is quick to find an unnamed source to temper any enthusiasm. “He wasn’t as bad as he has been.”
  • The Post is also warning us to forget about 2007.
  • Despite the Posts pessimism regarding Joba, he’s still in the hunt for the fifth starter role.
  • The Daily News isn’t a whole lot better though as Bill Madden warns us that Joba’s next start could be the last of his entire career.
  • To find an actual positive article on Joba you have to look to MLB.com who have Joba “firmly in the mix” for the fifth starter role.

Finally, I thought I’d wrap this up with some quotes from yesterday:

Girardi on Joba’s outing yesterday: “Outstanding,” Girardi said. “Worked quickly. Attacked the zone. He’s got to go out and throw more, and that’s what you want to see. Quality.”

Joba on what he improved: “I’m back to having fun,” Chamberlain said. “Just embrace the challenge. That day off (Monday) was good for me to think about what I needed to do. I went back out, attacked the zone and tried to stay positive.”

Thoughts: I’m glad Joba pitched well yesterday. Considering his bout with the flu, there was really only one bad appearance for him though. This entire situation seems ridiculous. I mean, it seems like the Post is almost just anti-Joba to drum up some drama that they can sell. Personally I’m with Jason from It’s About the Money, (stupid), I’m tired of the daily temperature taking. Since when were a few starts in spring training so important? If you believe Joel Sherman and Bill Madden, Joba’s next start, nevermind that he pitched brilliantly for a 23-year-old for most of 2009, could decide the fate of his entire career (DUN, DUN, DUN).

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2 Responses to Hit and Run: Joba Chamberlain Edition

  1. Mike S. says:

    It almost seems as if the Post has their own agenda and that is to push Joba into the closer's role. Agree with you there.

    I just want him where he can succeed. Doesn't matter where it is. But you have to see if he can start. It's easier to put him in the bullpen if he fails as a starter than vice-versa. Hughes succeeded in the bullpen after having trouble starting. Same with Mo. It's where Eckersley went after he couldn't start anymore. It's where Gossage went back to after his one-year trial as a starter.

    Even if Joba fails to be the #5 now, who is to say what happens in the future? Putting him in the bullpen now doesn't close the store on starterdom now and forever. The kid is still only 24. He has less than 300 MLB innings under his belt (in the old "ace in the 4-man rotation had 40 starts" years, it would equal one year of being an ace).

    Writing off youngsters under 25 and with less than 300 IP in the majors? Ridiculous. Have these people forgotten that going into the 1961 season a certain 25 year old lefty was 36-40 and had thoughts of retirement? Yes, Sandy Koufax.

    When Ron Guidry broke out in 1977, he was 26. He turned 27 in August of that year.

    I am not saying Joba is another Sandy or Gator, but just pointing out the absurdity of giving up on someone with his kind of talent too quickly.

  2. Mike S. says:

    Closer's role meaning after Mo retires, of course. Set-up until then.