Joba Joba Joba

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In five short hours, Joba Chamberlain will climb aboard the Yankee Stadium mound and begin his tenure as a starter. We’ll have our thoughts and analysis as the afternoon goes on, but we’re not alone in assessing a move that’s made headlines among the Yankee literati for the last few months.

Today, though, the debate is flowing fast and furious, but it’s a different kind of debate. We start with Hank Steinbrenner’s predicting greatness for Joba over the next ten years. “This is about what Joba can do for us over the next 10 years,” Steinbrenner said to Pete Caldera of The Record. “That’s what we’re going to look at in a lot of way, with the new dynasty, hopefully, we can build.”

Meanwhile, as PeteAbe notes, Hank doesn’t understand innings limits. “Again, I would have perferred to start the year with him as a starter, but this is the way they have come up with,” Hank said. Always good for a quote, that Steinbrenner. I’m sure he’ll have some in-depth analysis after the game tonight as well.

Picking up where I left off this morning with claims of a mishandled transition as it relates to the bullpen, Brian, the world’s only Yankees/Flyers/Eagles fan writing at Depressed Fan, believes that the transition on the Joba end was handled poorly as well. Brian, who feels that Hank is just contributing to this circus, writes:

The problem: He isn’t ready. He can’t be. The Yankees have completely botched this transition and there’s no way he should be starting a game this soon, and there’s no way he’s ready to be stretched to 70 pitches. If I had to guess, I’d say the pressure is coming from the top down. Hank said he wants Joba to start, so they began the transition. The transition consisted of three outings of 35, 40 and 28 pitches, respectively. His previous high this season was 33. Hardly a stretch.

Yes, he followed those outings up with a bullpen session, but there was no pressure on him. Joba’s arm and his body are not ready for 70 pitches. He very well may get through 70 later tonight, but at what price? He’s going to be running on adrenaline. I can only hope he doesn’t get hurt.

I’ve toyed with this idea in my head over the last few weeks. I think it was especially glaring when Joba didn’t pitch in the extra-inning game in Baltimore and then threw just 28 pitches the next night. It seemed like the Yanks were implementing half of a plan, and now, they’re just throwing Joba into the fire for a few innings.

In the end, I have to put my faith in the Yankees Brain Trust. They know what they have in Joba Chamberlain, and they appear to know what they are doing with him. They managed to stretch him out without losing him to the Minors for ten days. I just wish today’s start didn’t have that Hail Mary feeling about it.

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  • whozat

    They’ve pulled him early all along. I don’t think he’ll go to 70 tonight.

    It only feels like a Hail Mary if you’re thinking Joba’s going to save this team. He’s not, not by himself. If the rest of the guys don’t step up, the season’s not going anywhere anyhow. So, this doesn’t feel like a hail mary.

  • Sean O’Kane
  • Adam

    it seems a bit silly to use a starter with an explicitly stated low pitch limit. if i were the blue jays, i would do everything in my power to get joba out of the game in the 4th inning, and then take my chances with the “soft underbelly” for the next 5 innings. plus, if joba doesn’t come out for the fifth, mike has to be cereal for some canadians.

    • Joey

      Damn Canadians…

    • Joseph P.

      Joba can’t get pulled in the fourth. If that’s the case we owe Drunk Jays Fans a box of Cookie Crisp!

      • Mike A.

        I’m not ah-boot to send those hosers a thing!

  • Cam

    Hail mary feel is a very good way to put it. That’s exactly what I’ve been feeling but couldn’t figure out how to describe. Maybe we should all just stop analyzing for once and just sit back and watch. Bottom line, this is just as exciting, if not more, than Hughes’ first start last year.

    • Chris

      Speaking of Hughes, has anyone heard an update on him? It’s been 5 weeks since his injury. Shouldn’t he start throwing soon?

      • whozat

        Last week there was an update. The break isn’t fully healed. He’s having another bone scan this week.

      • TurnTwo

        i thought i read something, maybe on LoHud, last week about how a recent XRay showed the bone hadnt healed yet, but cant remember for sure.

    • ctkaiser

      Hail mary worked for Eli a few months ago though it wasn’t your typical hail mary type of football play. I agree with whozat about the rest of the Yankees. You can almost read Girardi’s mind in the dugout as Livan Henandez throws a pitch at least a foot outside to Melky who lets it go by but swings from his heels when the next pitch is only six inches outside. Yes, he drove in a run but overall he and Cano need to swing at better pitches. I guess when they hang out with Abreua on the bench they’re not talking about working the count.

  • Chris

    35, 40, 55, 70… this is similar to the way they stretch out pitchers in spring training. Next start should be about 80, then 90 or 100.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Good point. Here’s another:

      Spring Training games don’t count.

      • Chris

        It still counts if you throw too many pitches and blow out your arm.

        My point is that they’re stretching him out the same way everyone stretches out pitchers in spring training.

        • RustyJohn

          He has thrown in Spring Training, thrown int he pen all season and now they are upping his pitch count- I, too, don’t see any difference between this and Spring Training. On March 1 when he throws 2 innings and then throws three on March 6 does everyone blog, “He isn’t ready! He can’t take this! This is too dangerous!”

          How is this any different from sending him down to AAA to have him throw 70 pitches/four or five innings? There is none. Oh wait, there is one- if sent down he can’t be called up for ten days and we have at least two starts but one K. Igawa.

          • Chris

            Excelent point, couldnt agree more.

            • steve (different one)

              thank you. someone has common sense.

              the notion that the Yankees would risk the health of Joba Chamberlain is absolutley absurd.

              • A.D.

                When this all started Joba said he has no worries of his arm handling this, just that his legs may not be in that shape yet, guy knows himself, he wasn’t asked the question of his arm handling it, and NO ONE including Joba will think of risking injury tonight and pushing beyond for a louzy June start for a team in 4th place

      • steve (different one)

        so by this logic, no starter is EVER prepared to start the season.

        i guess Wang and Pettitte and Mussina never got stretched out b/c ST games don’t count.

        this is up there with saying a pitch thrown in the bullpen doesn’t count.

  • Chris

    “The transition consisted of three outings of 35, 40 and 28 pitches, respectively. His previous high this season was 33. Hardly a stretch.

    Yes, he followed those outings up with a bullpen session, but there was no pressure on him”

    So since he didnt throw all of his pitches in the game its not considered a full 55 pitches?

    Wat kind of logic is that? So those pitches in the bullpen build less arm strenth?

    I franky dont give a fuck where he gets his work in, so let me correct the quoted statement above. He went 35, then 40 then 55 now he is up to 70. He seems to be in line if you ask me.

    Santana did a simmilar thing in his career and i never heard one word about it, and it worked out fine.

    btw….is anyone gonna be at the game tonight…i will be in the tier reserves behind homeplate wooooo!

    • Old Ranger

      I too will be at the game thanks to an old Army buddy. Up a few rows on the 1st base side. I’ll be the real old guy (with a Army Ranger hat) charting the game/ pitches, unless he can get us better seats (hard to chart pitches from over there).

      • Old Ranger

        I see Joba tonight, and I also saw Whitey Ford back in July/Aug 1950/51, about there, I think. Great things for Joba are expected, but not to soon, he will regress a few times before he takes off and becomes we all hope he will be. 27/08.

      • mustang


  • Chris A.

    I guess we have 2 Chris’ here, I’ gonna change mine so ppl arent confused..btw thats my post up there^^^

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    So, wait, you’re blaming the Joba “Rush to Saviordom” on me? LUDICORUS! Cash and Op told me not to change the schedule, and you know what I told them?

    “I go do it, I go do it, I go do it, do it, do it
    Well I’m here, I’m there, I’m Big Bank Hank, I’m everywhere
    So just throw your hands in the air
    And party hardy like you just don’t care”

  • steve (different one)

    Joba’s arm and his body are not ready for 70 pitches.

    i love how everyone is an expert now.

    Leo Mazzone said the Yankees were doing it right and that Joba CAN handle this.

    but what the hell does Leo Mazzone know?

    • ctkaiser

      I don’t know what Leo knows but what does Dave Eiland talk about in that nine second trip to the mound?

  • A.D.

    Regardless of any perceived pressure, they wouldn’t put Joba out there if they’d be risking his health. Additionally this start wouldn’t happen if IPK hadn’t gotten hurt, the Yankees had the trade-off to start Guise and then have Joba get his work, or have Joba get his work and then pitch Guise. They took the latter, which makes perfect sense, he will throw exactly the # of pitches they want him to.

    Tonight’s game, as Hank eludes to, isn’t about game 58 of the 2008 season, it’s about looking at the future of the Yankees, hopefully Joba does well and begins a very prosperous starting career

  • mustang

    The funny thing is that very anti-Yanks fan I know is watching tonight’s game hoping to see him fail. It’s crazy to see how much passion, good and bad, this organization generates.
    That’s lot of pressure on the kid and I see that Hanks not making it any easier. I think he going to live up to the hype.
    Good luck,

    • steve (different one)

      all this time, who knew that mustang’s first name was also Joba?


      • mustang

        Now that’s funny.
        LOL… I know how people love that.