Open Thread: Joba the All Star

Imagine if Jeter were having a good season
The longest DotF ever

When the All Stars take the field at Yankee Stadium three weeks from tomorrow night, we’ll be able to count more than a few Yankees among them. Deservedly or not, Derek Jeter finds himself the top AL vote-getter; A-Rod has a lock on his position; David Ortiz’s injury should push Hideki Matsui into the lineup.

While a few Yankees — Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi come to mind — are so far getting the shaft on the popular vote front, those two should find themselves selected by the players and coaches. Meanwhile, the Yanks will see some All Star representation on the mound as well. I can’t say enough about Mariano Rivera‘s incredible season. His numbers are just off the charts this year, and Mo deserves what will be the ninth All Star game appearance of his career. I believe Mike Mussina, 10-5 with a 3.93 ERA, will find himself aboard the All Star squad as well.

There’s one more Yankee pitcher who could get All Star consideration too. A loyal reader Nick tipped me off to this idea: Joba Chamberlain, All Star. Joba right now suffers because he doesn’t have the wins; his lone victory came in relief. But it’s hard to argue with his numbers otherwise.

As a reliever, he threw 23.2 innings to the tune of a 2.28 ERA. He struck out 30 while walking 11 and opponents hit .190/.284/.274 off Joba the reliever. As a starter, he’s thrown 18.1 innings while making his transition, and his ERA stands at 2.45. He’s struck out 19, and while the 12 walks are too many, opponents are batting just .239/.354/.328 off Joba the starter. Not too shabby, eh?

So here’s my question for us to debate while the Yankees enjoy their off day tonight: It’s hard to believe that there are too many hurlers in the AL who would be better choices than Joba considering the nature of the game, and it’s pretty easy to argue that he deserves to make it on his merits. The only knock — and it’s a weak one — is his win total, but if he has a few more stellar starts as he has the last few weeks, the case for Joba becomes even more compelling. So if you were in charge of the All Star Game, would pick Joba Chamberlain as one of your pitchers?

Imagine if Jeter were having a good season
The longest DotF ever
  • huuz

    Mo’s ERA+ is 535! that is obscene.

    i hope he nabs the Cy Young this year…it is a longshot, but he could pull it off.

    nobody is running away w/ the award, yet.

  • Joey

    if its all about winning (which it is because of the home field advantage crap) then I’d say hell yes, it’ll be a huge boost for him because its at home, he’ll only be in there for an inning or so, and you know he’ll have a good time, plus the numbers don’t lie, reliever or starter, he’s just sick, the AL could use him out there

  • pat

    side note: the mexican gangster has been promoted!

    • Joey

      yup, just about to say that. Aceves in AAA!

  • BigBlueAL

    Are you guys serious?? I LOVE Joba as much as anybody, but c’mon an All-Star this season???? You guys rip all the fans for voting in all these Red Sox players and im sure will be outraged if say Dice K and/or Lester make the team, yet you are calling for Joba to be considered an All-Star this season!! I think the All-Star teams are overrated and kinda bullshit anyway so I could care less either way but I’m sure if Joba were on the Red Sox and was picked by Francona to the All-Star game this season, this site would have a nervous breakdown….

    • nmc

      Jon Lester has not been better than Joba this year. Joba has much better peripherals. (better K/9, ERA, WHIP, K/BB, opp BA/OBP/SLG… and Joba has been better in high-leverage situations) (no hitter aside, of course).

      I think it’s MORE likely he takes a non-Sox pitcher than a Sox pitcher, especially for a fringe guy. It seems to me that you lose face and credibility if you select your own guys. Not saying people haven’t done it before, I just don’t think you want to.

      But, I mean, who are your clear AL SPs? No one has really been dominating this year… Duscherer, Cliff Lee, Dice-K have all been great. I think they should be All-Stars After than, no one has really been amazing. everyone is kind of a fringe candidate.

      The AS team had 12 pitchers last year. Is Joba not one of the 12 best pitchers in the AL so far? I bet he’s pretty close in terms of RSAA, definitely if prorated , probably pretty close if not.

      • A.D.

        If Joba was in the pen all season, people would probably consider him an AS right now. With the way he’s pitched in the rotation, if he was doing that all season he’d be an AS, its if the transition takes away from that.

        Probably comes down to teams needing players, i.e. Soria or Grienke will have to get it from KC, Halladay from Toronto, and Sherill from Baltimore (he def deserves it) are guys who will get pitching spots lowering Joba’s chances

  • Jamal G.

    Johan Santana just got completely and totally owned.

    • yankeemonkey

      That was INSANE.

      Opposite-field, no less!

    • Mike A.

      Did Johan get booed?

      • yankeemonkey

        Not really. I think the crowd just kind of sat in stunned disbelief.

  • Ed

    I don’t think Joba stands a chance because of the requirement of having at least one player from every team.

    If Joba was on a team like Washington, it’s a no brainer. But the Yankees will end up with 2-3 players voted in by the fans, and Giambi really should get voted in by the players at a minimum before Joba even gets considered.

    I don’t think Joba would be high enough in the players voting to get in – certainly not in Kansas City’s voting – and Francona isn’t going to go stocking the team with Yankees.

    • Mike A.

      My thoughts exactly. If he doesn’t get forced out because of the numbers crunch, then there’s still no way Francona will take him. He’d take Justin Masterson before he took Joba.

  • Ivan

    Did Felix Hernandez just hit a HR off Santana?

    • yankeemonkey

      A grand slam.

      • Mike A.

        Wow … just, wow.

  • BillyBall

    Off subject debate I am having with a crazed Met fan who is like a brother to me, but he is nuts! First off, the debate centers around Bernie Williams and Carlos Beltran. I stated right off the bat that Beltran is a better defensive player and he has more talent. I know Bernie is retired but I have to stick up for the guy. I feel he is a better offensive player than beltran even though when all said and done Beltran will have more HR’s and RBI’s. In a big spot I would want Bernie up. He thinks I am crazy. I had to laugh but I wonder what people on this site think about this debate.
    P.S. It’s like comparing Mattingly and Keith Hernandez. Who was the better hitter and who had a longer career? I would take Donnie Baseball any day of the week.
    Lastly he tells me Delgado has had a much better career than Giambi. The numbers disproved that quickly. Bitter Met fan!

    • Ivan

      Mattingley was a better hitter than Hernandez mainly because he had more power. Hernandez was a better defender but mattingley was very good as well.

      Beltran has more power than bernie but other than that, I think Bernie was the better pure offensive player. As for D, both are very good Defenders but I wouldn’t say great. Beltran plays too deep for a CF, and Bernie Speed and athletism made up for his instincts and feel. (Bernie would take bad routes at the ball but he still made the catch because of his speed)

      That’s my opinion.

    • Baseballnation

      In no biased opinion:

      Mattingly vs. Hernandez: Mattingly in his prime hands down, but Hernandez for longevity. We know Mattingly injuries cost him a stellar career, but Hernandez played much longer at a higher level, despite not having great power he put up good ops years with good averages and was consistently a really good rbi man.

      Giambi Vs. Delgado: Numbers wise their really close in that term, so you can say it’s a toss up, personally I’d go with Giambi based on the fact he was a better contact hitter, Better obp, and a far better clubhouse guy, so if I started a franchise and had to decide between those too, I’d probably go Giambi.

      Bernie Williams Vs Beltran: This one is the easiest pick, While Beltran is the more gifted player, Williams is much more the model consistency of high performance, of Which Beltran is the opposite in that term.

      • Ivan

        Hernandez had a long career and still wasn’t a HOfer, if mattingley had a longer career, he would of been a hofer.

  • Baseballnation

    My biased love for the Yanks would say sure, especially if he puts up 2 wins within the next week…But Lets be honest, while it isn’t his fault that he has split his innings in the bullpen/rotation, the argument although heated would still not produce much validity of Joba the reliever/starter making the all star team based on his limited innings in the pen , or his sample size in the rotation.

    The Yankees should be pleased at the players that look to be headed onto the all star squad, aside from Jeter who really isn’t deserving, and Giambi and Damon are probably most worthy of the nomination aside from Mo.

    Think after last year, if I we’re to say Mussina, Giambi, and Damon we’re going to have great campaigns and garner an all star nod, I’m sure every single person would be knocked off their feet an utter disbelief…

  • Bruno


  • Realist

    Joba an Allstar this year?????????????? Maybe pencil him for MVP as well? ;-)

    Maybe next year and hopefully beyond?!!!! :-)

  • Chip

    The problem is, he doesn’t have any saves from his relief work and doesn’t have a win from his starting work. So he wasn’t the dominating closer and hasn’t been in the rotation long enough to make it on those merits. Like somebody said earlier, on a worse team he’d probably be in but the Yankees will be well represented

  • steve (different one)

    everything about Joba this year has been so regimented, do we really want Joba throwing a high stress inning in between starts?

    i know that’s not the question, but i would prefer he doesn’t go.

    i could say the same about Mussina.

    • Bruno

      That actually IS smart thinking.

      • Bruno

        If it’s his throw day, would it be Ok?

  • Jamal G.

    Eric Duncan with a RBI-2B against a southpaw and Juan Miranda had another multi-hit game with a 2B off a southpaw. I think they said that’s 15-Hits for Miranda in the past seven games.

  • Bruno

    Based just on the peripherals (42ip, 2.36era, 1.31whip, 49k, 23bb, 32h, 11er, .212baa) JOBA is All-Star worthy. With a 3 more GOOD starts it’s possible. The “non-closer/ace” argument is weak also, outstanding setup guys have made it plenty of times.

    • Baseballnation

      ….He’s not a set up guy no more?? and his 18 innings of set up should not constitute an all star nod.

  • Baseballnation

    Fact is his line as a reliever this year is miniscule…you base an all star nod on that? Be honest and speak the truth: If Chamberlain wasn’t on the yankees this discussion would be flipped upside down about a chamberlain all star possibility. And i look more at whip than actual era, and while chamberlain’s era is great, his whip would say he hasn’t been exactly dominant as it would indicate.

  • Manimal

    Honestly, would Francona pick Joba and Mariano over other people? Would Girardi pick Papelbon and Buccholz over other people? Just doesn’t work that way.

    • yankeemonkey

      Wait, are you saying Francona won’t pick Mariano?

    • Jamal G.

      I can not foresee any circumstance in which Terry Francona will not name Mariano Rivera as his first non-starter on the AL All-Star team.

  • Nefarious jackson

    great night for a lot of Yankee prospects all over the minors, Mike A should have a really good DOTF

    • Mike A.

      If by really good you mean really long, then yes, it will be really good.

      • Nefarious jackson

        I guess I was referring to Gardner, Robertson, Melancon, IPK, Wright, McAllister and even CJ freakin Henry having swell nites :)

        no rest for the wicked

  • stuart

    they will never pick Joba not enough decisions or innings..

    Melancon and Robertson nice nights… well we get too watch the 3 stooges another day for the yanks; hawkins, kyle, ohlendorf, and traber…I guess that is 4.. I am wrong Kyle is a good 9th or 10th arm out pf the pen….

    • steve (different one)

      someone put that needle back on the record, it’s skipping

  • Adrian-Retire21

    Are you guys crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Joba has only played crappy NL teams..MUssina with a 3.93 Era is a all-star?C’mon MO yes but Joba with nearly as much walk as strikeouts.And that 9 strikeout game came against the crappy Padres.He hasn’t been past 6 inning.

    Some Yankees fans like me sometimes think negative at times but I don’t live on fantasy land.Joba,Hughes and Kennedy has proven nothing as staters….nothing.Until they can pitch a full year with great numbers and not get hurt they are not major league staters.Talk to me in 3 years when they do.Like Jeter as the most vote getter it’s BS to think that.

    Until Joba puts Linecium,Verlander,Kazmir numbers he’s not a Ace.Just like Wang who three years in a row is back in the DL.

    Yankees prospects are seen too overrvalued and no one else can help this team or is better.

    • Nefarious jackson

      oh fuck, this asshole back

    • A.D.

      So less deserving ppl have probably made AS games, its just a fun piece. On top of that the only AL starters with an ERA better than Joba are Lackey, Duchscherer, and Kazmir, all All-stars.

      Mussina is among the league leaders in wins, which usually will give you a nod, or at least put you in contention.

      And lastly the all-star game is about who’s having the best 1st half of a season, and who people like, or what team needs to go, Dimitri Young was an all-star last year, Walt “three blind” Wiess made an all-star team, and Randy Winn just to name a few deserving members

    • Chip

      Until Joba puts up Lincecum/Kazmir/Verlander numbers? How about 4.23/4.17/4.13 which are their park-adjusted ERAs so far this season. What’s this? Joba has a 4.09 park-adjusted ERA? Go figure…..

      If Joba can keep doing what he did against the Pirates all season long, I”ll be more than happy. He’ll get his curve under control and then everybody had better watch out. He’s shown he can dominate with two pitches going just wait until he has three.

      And yes, Moose should be an all-star, he’s leading the league in wins and yes that is important in selecting all-stars as much as everbody doesn’t like to admit it. You really think they’re going to deny somebody with 12 or so wins an all-star nod? I could see a situation where most of the AL squad is Yankees/Red Sox so they need to take a few guys from other teams but I think he’s deserved it

  • Steve S

    So on the same day that we take a shot at Jeter, you are going to bring up making a guy who hasnt pitched more than 5 1/3 innings in a game this year an all star? While in the same breath you rip people who say he has greater value in the rotation than as an 8th inning guy, you will use his numbers as an 8th inning guy to justify being in the all star game. lets just relax, he looks good, enough with falling in love with these kids and first remote sign of success.

    • steve (different one)

      So on the same day that we take a shot at Jeter, you are going to bring up making a guy who hasnt pitched more than 5 1/3 innings in a game this year an all star?

      well, except for his last 2 starts.

      • Steve S

        I apologize, he went 5 and 2/3 and six. Well then my whole point is down the tubes because thhat six inning mark is always the mark of an All Star pitcher. You know what we should also Dan Giese to this list, one more good start and he is right there with Joba.

        In fact why invite any other players, except of course the shortstop. God forbid the guy who has had a hall of fame career start at the All Star game in Yankee Stadium, in its last year of existence.

  • Miles Roche

    Brett Gardner is giving me goosebumps!!!

    According to Chad Jennings, he scored from 2nd on a routine grounder to short. Absolutely amazing!!!

    Oh, and he threw out a runner at home trying to score from 2nd on a base-hit.

    Anybody know how many outfield assists the dude has already?

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      This is all done in a league where Kei Igawa has a 3.46 ERA.

      • steve (different one)

        this was a funny comment.

  • Adrian-Retire21


    Yeah sorry I don’t want to take a kid who hasn’t even past 6 innings a All-Star yet.Hey why not take Joba’s number and retired it now.He will be great so why not retire he’s number he’s hasn’t nothing too prove .I mean Barry Zito,Dontrelle Willis,Mark Prior and Kei Igawa all were great in the early 20’s and look at them in the late 20’s.They all are all-stars

    Who needs to wait.Why don’t you wear your “Save The Big Three Shirt”.Thats been helping us lately.

    Don’t hype these kids too much.

    • Chip

      And don’t put these kids down so much. Seriously, did Joba and Hughes shoot your dog or something? Can’t we get a little bit excited about the prospect of Joba out-dueling Beckett for the next few years?

      Besides, Zito, Willis, Prior and Igawa (he should even be in this discussion because he was in Japan) never had nearly the upside Joba does. Prior is the closest mostly because he had such good command but he could never dream to blow away a guy like Joba can. You can teach command, you can’t teach a guy to throw 100.

      • steve (different one)

        whatever MoBoy McLovin.

        • steve (different one)

          that was obviously not directed at you, Chip.

    • Nefarious jackson

      Adrien 21 jack-off

      I don’t need to see JoBA in All star game— you are mindless because you never stop with the BS about how all our prospects suck

    • nmc

      sadly for you, All-Stars are chosen from who is doing best THIS YEAR. say what you will about his time in the pen and his time in the rotation, but every game he’s been in the Yankees have had a legitimate chance to win. and how many of them have they lost? in games Joba appears, the Yankees are 18-6, and, really, only 2 of those losses were his fault. and he contributed significantly to every win.

      if Joba pitched 6 hitless 18-K innings with a single walk per inning every time out, would he be an all-star? you. bet. your. ass. the innings argument is rather stupid, much in the same way that the wins argument is stupid. it’s about everything else, giving your team the chance to win. Joba has done that this year, and he’s done at least as good as Verlander (look at his stats: not nearly as good as last year) and Kazmir (missed a huge chunk of the season).

  • Adrian-Retire21

    Not trying to put down our prospects but don’t put these guys far above anybody else.We tried the Big three and it failed.Hughes and Kennedy need more time in Triple A.I mean Hughes isn’t gonna have 100 innings this year and barely had 100 innings last year.You can’t just say “They Got talent lets throw all of them in the majors”.You are gonna either hurt this team or hurt these pitchers.

    Yes Hughes and Joba are gonna be Aces but this isn’t the team to lets 4 or 5 guys in your pitching staff work threw there stuff thats why they invented AAA..Cashman needed a guy who can give you 200 innings this and next year and let these kids work and progress not forced into being the anchor of this staff.Because you ain’t getting that from even Joba and shouldn’t risk that.

    People might hate what I say but if you think forcing three prospects to anchor a rotation for $200 milion team is just stupid.We don’t have 3- 5 years to rebuild a pitching staff and lose.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    I think Joba has been an excellent pitcher, period, end of sentence. He’s been excellent as a reliever and excellent as a starter. However, I think you can probably find 12 AL pitchers (regardless of team minimums) who have had better first halves than Joba.

    Jon Lester (6-3, 3.13 ERA, 65K)
    Mike Mussina (10-5, 3.93 ERA, 50K)
    Vicente Padilla (10-3, 3.74 ERA, 68K)
    Roy Halladay (8-6, 2.90 ERA, 93K)
    Zack Grienke (6-4, 3.33 ERA, 74K)
    Andy Pettitte (8-5, 4.04 ERA, 74K)
    Shaun Marcum (5-4, 2.65 ERA, 86K)
    Felix Hernandez (6-5, 2.87 ERA, 91K)
    Chien Ming Wang (8-2, 4.07 ERA, 54K)
    Ervin Santana (9-3, 3.17 ERA, 91K)
    Joe Saunders (11-3, 3.03 ERA, 49K)
    Josh Beckett (7-5, 3.73 ERA, 97K)
    Cliff Lee (10-1, 2.45 ERA, 79K)
    Gavin Floyd (8-3, 3.19 ERA, 55K)
    Justin Duchsherer (8-4, 1.99 ERA, 51K)
    Diasuke Matsuzaka (8-1, 3.46 ERA, 56K)
    Armando Galarraga (7-2, 3.03 ERA, 49K)
    Rich Harden (4-0, 2.44 ERA, 72K)
    Scott Kazmir (6-3, 2.03 ERA, 68K)

    Fransisco Rodriguez (35.0 IP, 33K, 2.06 ERA, 31 saves)
    Alan Embree (30.2 IP, 31K, 3.82 ERA, 13 holds)
    George Sherrill (33.2 IP, 32K, 3.21 ERA, 25 saves)
    Octavio Dotel (35.1 IP, 51K, 3.31 ERA, 9 holds)
    Dan Wheeler (34.1 IP, 23K, 1.83 ERA, 17 holds, 2 saves)
    Mariano Rivera (35.1 IP, 40K, 0.76 ERA, 21 saves)
    Scott Downs (34.1 IP, 30K, 1.31 ERA, 11 holds, 5 saves)
    Jon Papelbon (33.1 IP, 43K, 2.16 ERA, 21 saves)
    Ron Mahay (38.2 IP, 27K, 2.09 ERA, 11 holds)
    Scott Linebrink (29.0 IP, 27K, 1.55 ERA, 16 holds)
    Joakim Soria (34.0 IP, 35K, 1.32 ERA, 20 saves)
    Joe Nathan (30.2 ERA, 33K, 1.47 ERA, 19 saves)
    Scot Shields (30.2 IP, 31K, 2.35 ERA, 15 holds, 2 saves)
    Troy Percival (25.1 IP, 26K, 2.84 ERA, 1 hold, 17 saves)
    Brandon Morrow (20.0 IP, 30K, 0.90 ERA, 3 holds, 2 saves)

    Joba Chamberlain (42.0 IP, 49 K, 2.36 ERA, 12 holds)

    I’d say that the 12 best pitchers in the AL this year have been (in order) Cliff Lee, Justin Duchsherer, Ervin Santana, Roy Halladay, Joe Saunders, and Mike Mussina for the starters, and Mariano Rivera, Fransisco Rodriguez, Joakim Soria, Jon Papelbon, Joe Nathan, and Scot Shields for the relievers, and there’s some other guys besides those 12 who have had better starts than Joba.

    He’s close, but not quite.

    • Rob_in_CT

      You appear to be putting to much emphasis on wins. Mike Mussina, while I’m pleased with him, is *not* the 6th best AL starter so far. Not even close. I could probably list 15 to 20 starters who have been better. He’s been solid, but he’s got a 3.9 ERA plus a fistful of unearned runs.

      Joba’s main problem wrt to the all star game is his relative lack of innings pitched. He’s in a sort of no-man’s land b/c of his transition. His IP # is that of a reliever… and non-closers don’t usually go to the ASG. If he had put up his ~2.5 era as a starter all season long (so 90-100 IP by now), then he’d certainly be worthy. So, basically… next year :)

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Sorry… my comment was in reference to ASG purposes, not strictly who is better than another. I should have spelled that out better.

        I agree that Mussina is not the 6th best starting pitcher in the AL, but he has the 6th most impressive statistical season among AL starting pitchers. I’m emphasizing wins because All-Star voters, managers, and coaches emphasize wins. If you have 10+ wins by the break, you’ve got to have HORRID peripherals to not make the game.

        Mike’s peripherals are solid; not outstanding, but solid. That, plus double digit wins and an ERA under 4.00 means he’s a friggin mortal lock for the AS team, even if Shaun Marcum and Zack Grienke have been better pitchers than he has (and they have).

        Think about it this way: If Marcum gets left off the team, there will be hundreds of fans screaming about ERA+. If Moose gets left off the team, there will be millions of fans screaming about wins. One group may be smarter, but the other group is a buttload louder.