Source: Joba’s injury not ‘a long-term problem’

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While we’re always a bit a skeptical of unsourced according-to’s around here, Buster Olney has some comforting words on Joba this morning. According to the tireless ESPN scribe as reported both on TV and in this article, a source said that “[Dr. James] Andrews told the Yankees he doesn’t believe Chamberlain’s injury is a long-term problem.” While rotator cuff tendinitis is not good news by a long stretch, as more information hits about Joba’s injury, the more comforted I am that this is not going to lead to long-term DL trip for Chamberlain.

Update 10:26: It seems my optimism may be an isolated feeling. Tyler Kepner is skeptical of these best-case reports, and other beat writers — well aware of the Yanks’ tendency to downplay injuries — are a bit wary as well.

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  • Count Zero

    Given the Yankees’ tendency to understate the severity of injuries this season, I am only slightly comforted…

    The words “rotator cuff” appearing in the same sentence as Joba Chamberlain make me feel ill no matter what Buster says.

    • steve (different one)

      what about this sentence:

      “Joba Chamberlain drilled Kevin Youkilis in the rotator cuff with a 99 MPH fastball”

      • Count Zero

        lol — I’m OK with that one.

    • pat

      also acceptable :

      joba chamberlain drilled kevin youkilis in the orbital bone with a 99 mph fastball…rotator cuff

  • radnom

    “and other beat writers — well aware of the Yanks’ tendency to downplay injuries — are a beat wary as well.”

    bad pun or typo? :p

    • Rayblay

      haha I was gonna mention that… pretty funny if he didn’t realize (or should i say “punny”?)

  • radnom

    Also, all the skepticism seems to come from the fact that the Yankees themselves have been, well, lets say a bit less than forthcoming about injuries this year. But if this source is correct, this is coming directly from Dr. Andrews, who has no reason to lie. I’m optimistic as well.

  • Chris A

    I trust olney over kep any day of the week

    • Mike A.

      Buster thinks your trust in him is a good fit for his reputation.

  • andrew33

    i was very upbeat at the beginning of your write up but the “debbie downer” part about the yankees downplaying injuies can’t be denied after the posada issues earlier this year ….for all our yankee watching sakes, i hope hes able to throw 130 innings next year because its a hell of alot better then watching el sid and rasner slug along … not that they arent trying

    • jsbrendog

      ok, ponson has had two great starts in a row. I hated the guy, but these last two havent been crappy by any means, they have been extrememyl good against two extremely good hitting teams. It’sm time sid gets some slack. If he pitches another 6-7 inning game giving up 3 or less runs i dont care how many people he puts on abse and people will the need to stop the snacks pontoon (thanks to whoever came up with that on another thread, i lvoe it) bashing.

      seriously…i bashed him as much as anyone, but the guys been great his last 2 starts and if he keeps it up i can deal with gagging on my dinner when i see how many htis and walks he’s given up in the amount of innings he has pitched.

  • Chris

    Weren’t the Yankees off on their initial assessment of the severity of Bruney’s injury? They initially said he’d miss the whole year, but now he’s back. Injuries can be a very difficult thing to predict…

    Also, I think this is the worst possible time for Joba to have the injury. Right now, there is a chance that he can come back for the end of the season/post season, which may play a factor in how long they keep him out. If the injury happened early in the season, there would be no incentive to rush him back a week or two early. If it happened later in the season, they’d just shut him down for the rest of the season.

  • E-ROC

    The shoulder tendenitis might not be a long term problem. For the short term though, Joba might not return this season. I just don’t think he will. I think the Yanks will be ultra-conservative with this injury.

    • AndrewYF

      If Joba is healthy and there is no more tendinitis, it would actually hurt him (not just the Yankees) and his development for him not to pitch. His innings cap this year was presumably right around 150. If he misses three starts, the only way he reaches that cap is in the playoffs. If he misses 10 starts (the rest of the season), his innings cap remains unchanged for next year.

      It hurts him not to pitch. The Yankees will be conservative, but they won’t be stupid. If Joba has no structural damage – and it looks like he doesn’t – then he’ll be back this season. He needs to pitch, and not just for the Yankees’ sake.

      • The Fallen Phoenix

        As I mentioned in a previous thread last night, not necessarily. Or to be more precise: yes, it hurts Joba’s development insofar as he won’t be on track to pitch 200 innings by 2010 (his age 24 season), as he would have been with 150 innings this season.

        However, even if the Yankees are ultra-conservative and don’t put Joba on track to be a 150 innings pitcher until 2010, and a 200 innings pitcher until 2012, Joba will still only be 26 years-old, and still in his physical prime.

        Consider this: most draftees don’t rocket through the system the way Joba has. Not very many pitchers can slot into the rotation as an ace in their second professional season. Indeed, even pitchers with ace-potential tend to take a few years to break into the majors as an ace.

        So even if Joba cannot be fully unleashed on the AL until 2011/2012, that actually puts him on a “typical” development curve for a prospect, considering he was drafted in 2006 but didn’t get into minor league action until 2007. The difference between Joba and your typical prospect, however, is that we know it isn’t his stuff, makeup, or pitchability that will hinder his ability to be valuable at the big-league level. So even if Joba can only pitch 120 innings in 2009, 150 innings in 2010, 180 innings in 2011, and 200+ in 2012, those should still be effective innings for the big league club.

        Furthermore, the fewer innings Joba pitches now, through the injury nexus, means that there is a greater chance that Joba will have a longer career.

        • AndrewYF

          Why would his limit be lower next year than it is this year? Pitching limits generally don’t reference the year before, but the most amount of innings the guy has pitched in a season (which is around 115 for Joba, which is what he pitched last year). If he doesn’t reach around 120, 130 innings this year, his cap will still be 150 next year. Anything more than 120, 130, his cap will raise accordingly. This is the usual way these things work.

          • The Fallen Phoenix

            Which is why I wrote ultra-conservative, as opposed to just plain conservative (which would return his IP cap to 150 next season).

  • Steve S

    Now can we pull the T-Shirts, I beg of you please, at least before the Kennedy start this weekend.

    • Bruno


  • Bruno

    the T-shirts, not the BIG3

  • Beau

    My biggest concern is with the Yankees making the playoffs to begin with. Losing Joba, temporary or not, is a big blow. I respect the job ponson has done and even can tolerate the mediocrity of Rasner as well. However, I think we’re kidding ourselves to think that in crunch time this rotation can limp us into the playoffs. I think all of Yankee land should be worried. Tampa is not going away and Boston has got more depth then we do. The Yankees need to build confidence and sweep good teams, like the Angels. I know we may get back Hughes, Wang, and possibly even Pavano. That means nothing right now. Who knows how well any of them will pitch.

  • jsbrendog

    pavano comes back and pitches 6 consecutive no hitters while hitting a walk off ph hr in the 17th inning of a game on his 3rd day of rest after his 4th no hitter because he was the only player left on the bench.

    then in his next game after the 6th no hitter his arm completely detaches from his body while warming up in the bullpen.