Joba set for Tuesday return

Tampa wraps up their season with a win
Game 137: A Labor-ious road trip

Posted by mobile phone:
After missing nearly a month due to rotator cuff tendinitis, the Yankees plan to activate Joba Chamberlain from the DL on Tuesday. For now, Joba will rejoin the team in the bullpen as the Yanks stretch out his pitch counts while allowing him to contribute at the Major League level. At some point this month, he should return to the rotation as the Yanks attempt to get him the innings he needs while keeping his arm and shoulder in shape.

Tampa wraps up their season with a win
Game 137: A Labor-ious road trip
  • Matt

    How many innings do you think Joba will be able to get before the end of the season?

  • Hitman

    This is dumb. When have you ever heard of a starter going to the bullpen after coming off the dl? Start him and if you only get 4 innings bring in Aceves unless of course they plan on putting him in the rotation.

    • Steve

      Actually, this makes more sense than doing it the other way. When he was starting games on a low pitch count, teams were simply waiting him out and taking lots of pitches. He’d be out of the game in the 3rd or 4th inning and your bullpen was getting overused. This way, if you get 3-4 good innings out of Ponson then Joba could possibly get you to the 8th. Much better and much less strain on the bullpen.

      By doing it this way, he can come in if/when the starter gets in trouble, hopefully get you out of a jam that could decide the game, and then go as long as he can after that. Its playing these games like they’re all the 7th game of the WS, so it not only will stretch Joba out but also give you the best chance to win.

      • A.D.

        that happened once, and he was being squeezed on top of that

  • brockdc

    Agreed, Hitman. If the organization sees him as a starter going forward (and they should), he should be treated as such. This will surely add fodder to the “Who’s gonna’ pitch teh 8th1!1!!” contingent. He has the stuff to be one of the greats, and you just don’t waste that in the pen.

    • kunaldo

      guys, stop getting all hot and bothered over nothing. stop listening to the media and understand that they need to stretch out Joba first(pitch count/innings-wise). So, since the minor leagues are going to the playoffs now, and his “stretch out innings” will be useful nonetheless, this is really the only route to go, and ultimately the plan HAS always been, and WILL always be for him to be a starter.

      the more important question is whether they’ll send him to the AzFL w/ Hughes to get his innings in, since he most probably won’t hit even last year’s totals by the end of the regular season.

      • MD

        I watched Girardi on the post-game answer questions about Joba….when asked if he thought Joba’s arm could handle starting going forward, he gave the pat answers, but you could see in his body language that he wasn’t giving it his all……I think the injury has them questioning whether they would be better off putting him in the pen and ultimately becoming Mariano’s successor…….I like him as a starter, but he has a history of arm misery, and I think they are questioning it also……if they really do get aggressive this winter and bring in a few starters, then we will see….remember, Mariano pitched about 130 innings when he was in that role……believe it was 1996.

        • Steve

          “I like him as a starter, but he has a history of arm misery”

          Really? What is this long standing history of arm injuries?

          When he was drafted in 2006 he had a bicep injury which made teams worry he would need TJ but it turned out to be nothing. Other than that, I know of no arm injuries whatsoever. He didn’t pitch much in HS, he was a basketball player. He had weight issues, but he seems to be on top of that.

          Lets not go nuts about shoulder tendinitis, its something almost every pitcher will experience at one time or another. Mussina had it and has been extremely durable throughout his career.

          • MD

            “When he was drafted in 2006 he had a bicep injury which made teams worry he would need TJ but it turned out to be nothing”……yet….

            I dont think I used “long standing” in my comments…..I’m simply trying to read their take on this….I think we all agree that having him succeed as a starter is the favored path… may not be their plan, though.

            Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Hughes, Kennedy, Sabathia, Sheets, Burnett, not to mention off-the-scrapheap starters like Washburn, Bedard, etc. would be available, and I dont know if Tampa, with it’s limited payroll, will be able to hold onto Kazmir….just seems like the selection for starters is pretty broad, which may also influence their thinking re. Joba.

            • 27 this year

              I love what you just said MD. Off the scrap-heap starters like Washburn, Bedard. Might as well add teh rest of the Seattle rotation aside from Felix.

              • 27 this year

                Bedard, keyword.

            • A.D.

              So from all signs, at almost all times the Yankees have shown that Joba at the top of the rotation is his plan. Yes there are other options but:

              Pettite and Mussina maybe in their last years with the Yanks, if not chances are only 1 signs, and Pettite has struggled this year

              Sure CC, Sheets, and AJ are all free agents but doubtful they sign more than 1.

              Off the scrapheap? sure they might be able to get Washburn for a minor prospect, but Bedard, they just traded a big chunk of their farm for him, he won’t be “off the scraphear”

              Kazmir is signed through 2012… i’d rather not be counting on free agents for the 2013 season

            • tremont

              Joba should be a starter until he absolutely proves he can’t handle the workload. We are a long way from that point.

  • Mark B

    Without a doubt, the Yanks seems to be privately paranoid about the the thought of placing Joba back in the rotation. Not sure why, unless they are worried about him pitching more than 100 innings for this year.

    If that is the case, I ask – if his health will be affected by putting back in the rotation, why not shut him down for the season all together?

    It seems like Cashman has already analyzed the potential off-season market for set-up men and starters and realized the the market for starters is much more plentiful, making the Yanks look to target two new starters and move Joba back into the bullpen in ’09.

    I could be totally wrong on this, though we’ll see come this off-season.

    • Steve

      Actually, being paranoid and overly cautious is how they screwed up Phil Hughes.

      Phil strained his elbow the week he showed up with the Yanks in 2005, and they wound up changing his delivery and (largely) scrapping his money pitch (the slider) to take strain off the elbow. Made him a fastball/curve guy. They are now trying to UNDO all of that because it didn’t work on the MLB level. The fastball straightened out when thrown over the top and the curve was too easy for MLB hitters to identify. He was able to dominate minor leaguers, but couldn’t finish off MLB hitters. He’s now had to completely redo his repertoire and he’s back to throwing 3/4 and using the slider, curve, and a new cutter.

      Just let him pitch. If he gets hurt, you deal with it.

      • 27 this year

        Good point, Steve. We can’t shut down Joba also because how would he get his innings. It wouldn’t make sense to send him to the AzFL to get innings when those innings could be had here against major leaguers.

  • ortforshort

    I don’t like Joba’s delivery as a starter. Not smooth, too much stress on the shoulder. I don’t think he’ll last very long as a starter. The tendinitis in his shoulder is a red flag. I’m sure that the Yankees are concerned that this 22 year old guy had to shut down after only 12 starts. He and the Yankees would be a lot better off in the long run with Chamberlain pitching out of the pen. The season’s over. Go find some starters somewhere else.

    • Hobs

      If he wasn’t pitching in 102 degree heat that night in Texas I’d bet this whole thing would have never happened. His shoulder tightened up a bit from the heat leading to an injury so common it’s referred to as pitcher’s shoulder, a non-red-flag-injury.

      It seems to me that a lot of people are making a big deal out of nothing. According to Moose: Tendinitis = No problem. It’s highly likely that his mechanics had nothing to do with the stiffness in his shoulder.

      • GoYankees

        Inflamations are caused by physical damage. Tendonitis in the shoulder is not what’s wrong. It’s the symptom of something else like a small tear. It’s a warning sign that I would heed if I were Yankee management. For whatever reason, delivery, past injury reopened, whatever, I would put Joba back in the bullpen for now, and see how he reacts. I would rather have that than Joba on the DL.

  • ortforshort

    One more thing, I like the Hughes analysis above but not the analogy. No one is talking about changing Chamberlain’s delivery, but it looks like pitching a lot of innings at one time puts a lot of strain on his shoulder with the delivery he has. If the Yankees changed Hughes’ delivery and took away his money pitch, then they were obviously wrong. The results show that. Hughes with a 95mph fastball and a late breaking slider/cutter/sinker is an effective major league pitcher. Hughes with a 91mph fastball and a curveball is useless. Hard to believe the Yankees would do that regardless of worries about an arm injury.

  • A.D.

    Wang had shoulder issues all through the Minors and in his rookie year, and I don’t remeber anyone having this much issue when he back after a stint on the DL, let Joba pitch, if the trainers say he’s good to go, then let him work it out. Sometimes this stuff happens because of lack of innings and because his body hasn’t done it before

  • Pops

    I wanna see the rotation of Joba Hughes Kennedy Aceves and Muss for the rest of this season. No more Pettite Ras or Ponson or Pavano. Lets see how the young guys handle it and see if maybe they are the real deal

  • ortforshort

    You need to look at Pavano to see if you want to pick up his option for next year. If he can still pitch, he can be a big asset because there’s not much else positive with the Yankee rotation

    • tremont

      If Pavano were to go 7-0, I don’t think Pavano’s option would be picked up.

      • Steve

        If Pavano was to go 7-0, pitch to a 0.00 ERA, and get 7 saves on his throw days, I still don’t think they would pick up that option.

        There’s no way on earth he will get 13 mil guaranteed for next year on the open market. Even if they wanted him back (and they don’t) he would become a FA and they would sign him back at a reduced rate.