For The Love of Joba: Move Him Back to the Rotation

Cliff Lee was obviously the story of last night, and rightly so, since so many Yankee fans assumed the Yankees would sign him. Yet I don’t find myself all that upset with the developments; $100+ million contracts are rarely a good idea and the Yankees have already given out plenty of them. And it’s not like Cashman didn’t try – he offered Lee the best deal. Lee took something else. Whatever, you move on.

So what have I had on my mind since the Lee news broke? Joba Chamberlain. I know I’ve wasted far too much time writing about him already, but I can’t help it. His descent from being the Yanks top prospect to being nothing more than an afterthought continually perplexes me. Why did the Yankees waste so much time making him a starter only to turn him back into a bullpen piece? If they really think he’s a reliever, why didn’t they trade him for Dan Haren?

None of it makes sense, but the thing is there is still time. Yes, Joba has been inconsistent the past 2 seasons, but we’ve seen flashes of him as a dominant starter. In 2008, Baseball America predicted Joba would be the Yankees’ future #1 starter. Now we don’t think he can even be a #5? ┬áIt’s only been two years since then and believe it or not, Joba still has that kind of upside. Remember, when Chien-Ming Wang was Joba’s age, he had never thrown a pitch in the majors; yet CMW was the Yankees erstwhile ace for a couple of seasons before his unfortunate injury.

Unless Joba has some sort of injury issue, there is absolutely no reason not to give him another crack at the rotation. His upside is much greater than Ivan Nova and miles ahead of Sergio Mitre. Really, what do the Yankees have to lose at this point? He can always go back to being a middle reliever and honestly, his stock can’t fall much further anyways. So rather than making a panic trade or an ill-fated signing, the Yankees should look to fill from within first. It wasn’t long ago we envisioned Phil Hughes and Joba leading the Yankees’ rotation for years to come and, at only 24 and 25 years of age respectively, they still can. Cliff Lee, after all, had not yet thrown 100 innings in the majors when he was 25 and he didn’t have a really good season until he was 29. If the Yankees are really serious about getting younger, they need to show patience and moving Joba back to the rotation is the place to start.

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5 Responses to For The Love of Joba: Move Him Back to the Rotation

  1. To Lee says:

    Exactly my thoughts too, especially since the Yankees are done messing around with his psyche with "Joba Rules".

  2. john says:

    this guy who wrote this article make valid points. As a REDSOX fan, I do think Yankees to give joba a shot again. If he pitches well like Hughes then yankees will have a solid rotation again. A.J BURNETT wont cut it for you guys.

  3. BleedingYankeeBlue says:

    I agree. Simply put the Yankees botched the grooming of Joba he’s a strong workhorse starter and the Yanks never let him do what workhorses do and that pitch.
    CC. Sabathia
    Phil Hughes
    AJ Burnett
    Joba Chamberlain
    Ivan Nova don’t look that bad. And a lot bet than Mitre. The last two get them to shrinks please.

  4. Mindkind says:

    Yesss!!! Great article!!! Man why is it that the Yankees just don't see this? Joba has the stuff to be a front of the rotation pitcher so…Let him develop!! I wanted Lee but hey i think this just gives us the chance to bring in Joba again and this time let him develop. Keep the money that would have gone to Lee, sign Kerry Wood and maybe Pedro Feliciano and let Nova/Joba and maybe even Brackman compete for the 5th spot. this is the time to go young find our own Lee, Lincencum and Felix's of the world. The only one I would trade for would be josh johnson. Other than that let's go through the growing pains, develop and pick our spots in trades.

  5. dondbaseball says:

    With supposedly 4 plus pitches, Joba should be a starter but could Cashman being waiting until he signs Kerry Wood for the set-up role to try this again? For some reason the front office is bent on keeping him in the bullpen due to his '07 magic. I agree whole heartedly with the article and hope a writer addresses it with Cashman to hear their thoughts now that the Lee acquisition didn't work out.

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