Joba, Kennedy headed to winter ball?


The Yankees have two pitcher spots left to fill for the Arizona Fall League. There’s been some speculation that one of those spots could go to Joba Chamberlain, who could use a few more innings this year after missing a month with shoulder tendinitis. Today, Joel Sherman reports that the Yankees are “strongly weighing” the possibility of not only sending Joba to the AzFL, but also Ian Kennedy, who missed time in May with a back injury.

The Yanks would very much like all three of their young pitchers to get additional work to refine their repertoires and also to build innings so that they could be in position next year to take on expanded roles. But, especially in the case of Chamberlain, the Yanks are worried about putting too much on a pitcher who this year began spring as a starter, switched to the pen, moved to the rotation, went on the DL with shoulder tendinitis and returned to the bullpen. That is why the meetings include not just GM Brian Cashman, minor league head Mark Newman and minor league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras, but also consultations with trainers and doctors.

It’s good to know the team is being cautious. While the average fan probably thinks Joba should pitch this fall so that he can expand his innings limit for next year, we don’t have all the relevant information. They’ll have to get a real gauge on Joba’s shoulder before making any kind of decision on whether he pitches, ad what his role will be in the future.

Sherman also touches on Ian Kennedy, who was the losing pitcher in last night’s Bricktown Showdown. The Yankees are considering calling him up to make a start before the end of the season, but will only call him up if he’s penciled in. He could take Andy Pettitte‘s final start after he closes down the Stadium, or he could take Pavano’s spot. At this point, there’s no reason to not give Kennedy another start. Why trot out an injured Pettitte or a healthy Carl Pavano (ha!)?

Categories : Pitching
  • Ivan

    Well hopefully they send Joba to Winterball to get some innings. Hey if they wanna avoid what happen last season moving him back and forth, then maybe sending him to Winterball getting what 30, 35 maybe 40 IP would certainly help. Also IPK could use the innings as well.

  • Cam

    It was nice to see his velocity back up the other night when he pitched, but maybe the best thing at this point in his young career is making sure that he gets his shoulder 100% healthy before making him pitch again.

  • radnom

    This is why its fucking retarded that they are having Joba pitch one inning at a time instead of as a long reliever every 4-5 days building up each time. The games don’t matter anymore. Unless of course they know something about that shoulder they arn’t letting on.

    • Ivan

      They know more than I and everybody on this blog in this situation so whatever they do is for a purpose obviously and a plan so I can’t really go head over heels here.

      That said, making him get his innings up in Winter ball sound like a good idea.

    • steve (different one)

      This is why its fucking retarded that they are having Joba pitch one inning at a time instead of as a long reliever every 4-5 days building up each time.

      the Yankees have spoken with the authority on this subject, Dr. Andrews.

      i think it’s safe to say that they know more than we do.

      yet everyone is suddenly an expert on keeping Joba healthy.

      • Ed

        Obviously the Yankees know more than we do.

        Everyone’s an expert because the way they’re handling him doesn’t make sense based on the information they’ve disclosed.

        Their handling makes sense if one of the following is true:

        a) There’s more to the injury than they’ve let on

        b) They’ve given up on using him as a starter

        c) They’ve decided to just let him start next year and hope for the best regardless of inning count increases

        • steve (different one)

          you’re forgetting the entire point of this thread:

          d) they are letting him take it easy for the rest of the season with an eye on sending him to winter ball

          • Ed

            No, I’m not forgetting that. He’s pitching an inning at a time once or twice a week. Do you expect him to go from this workload straight into making starts in winter ball?

            If he is going to start in winter ball, it would’ve made a ton of sense to have him building up his pitch counts now to get back into shape for starting.

            • steve (different one)

              well, that depends on how many innings they want him to actually finish up with.

              right now, he’s going to end the season with about 100 innings.

              he could make what, about 7-8 starts in winter ball?

              even if they work him up gradually in Winter Ball, he would easily get to 30-35 innings. maybe that’s all they want him to get to.

              i am not claiming to know the answer.

            • radnom

              Thank you Ed. You get what I was saying, instead of trying to mock me by pretending I claimed to be an expert on Joba’s health.

              • steve (different one)

                sorry, it was the expression “fucking retarded” that prompted my reply.

                that tone seemed to imply that you think you know better than the Yankees and their medical staff.

                but i understand that things get lost in print, so i apologize if you think i was mocking what was a reasonable (once Ed spelled it out) argument.

  • Nickel

    Is it right to assume that if they want to build up his innings limits, then the Yanks are leaning intending to make Joba a starter?

    • AndrewYF

      The Yankees, Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi, and Joba himself have all explicitly stated that he is a starter long-term.

      Sending Joba to winterball, if he really is healthy, is the obvious decision, especially since players with 2 years of service time can now go.

      It would be very interesting to see the “Trio” all pitch in winter ball.

  • http://Melancon Andy

    Any word on call ups after the Bricktown? I would love to see Melancon before the year is out…

    • Joseph P.

      Just Miranda for now. I’m sure Melancon is going home for the winter.

  • Count Zero

    That is why the meetings include not just GM Brian Cashman, minor league head Mark Newman and minor league pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras, but also consultations with trainers and doctors.

    Is Posada invited? Because obviously he knows more than anyone else about it…

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos


    • radnom

      Who do you think called the meeting in the first place?

  • zzzzz

    if we keep pavano in the rotation and continues to do well, can we pick up his option and flip him to another team? or is it not even worth it???

    • Ed

      The option is for something like $13 million. The Yankees would have to pay almost all of it to trade him, and even if they did, I wouldn’t expect them to receive much for him.

      • yankeemonkey

        I also seem to recall that a NTC clause would come with the option, but I might be wrong about that.

        • steve (different one)

          probably. but i would guess that Pavano would be thrilled with the Yankees picking up the option, since he’s unlikely to get $13M on the open market.

          so i think he’d be amenable to any trade if it means he gets that $13M.

          that said, you’re right, it’s just another hoop to jump through for what would probably be a fairly insignificant return in any trade.

          • troy

            While I know it sounds crazy but would you prefer Pavano at $11.1 mm incremental (I think his buyout is $1.9mm) or Petitte at $10-$13mm. Both would be 1 year gigs. I think Petitte will return to his old self next year but there is certainly no guarantee. Ironically this might the healthiest Pavano is in his career and he has low mileage. Why trade him? Make him the Opening Day starter!

    • radnom

      Continues to do well? Have I been watching the wrong games?