Yanks will take it easy with Joba this spring

Open Thread: Juan Cruz signs, finally
Musings on an A-Rod suspension

There was a little bit of panic when Joba was only throwing 88-89 in his start today, but it was clear that he wasn’t throwing with full effort. Turns out that yeah, the Yanks will be taking it easy on their ace-in-training during camp. “For Joba, he doesn’t have the same experience the other guys have,” said Joe Girardi. “We think it’s important to get him on the mound and build him up because he had the (shoulder) issue last year.” Also keep in mind that the regular members of the starting rotation won’t begin throwing in games until next week, and Joba’s scheduled to make two starts before then (including today), putting him that much ahead of the pace. Like we were saying earlier: relax, it’s February.

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Open Thread: Juan Cruz signs, finally
Musings on an A-Rod suspension
  • Cam

    You could definitely tell during the game that he wasn’t throwing with full effort. However, that 88 that he was throwing was incredibly easy. It looked like he was just having a game of toss out there. It’s scary, and exciting, to think how hard he’s really throwing when he’s putting up 98 on the gun.

  • http://nyfaninboston.blogspot.com/ Manimal

    Wait, do Spring Training innings count toward his innings limit?

    • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Do throws over to First Base count towards his pitch count?

      • FL Yank

        This made me laugh.

  • Rich

    It sounds smart, and I expect CC and AJ to teach him about not having to max out on every pitch even in the regular season.

    • whozat

      Yes. Let’s have AJ Burnett teach Joba how not to go on the DL with shoulder and elbow problems. Maybe ARod can teach him how to be universally loved in New York too.

      • Tom Zig

        Maybe Jeter can teach him how not to get herpes?

        • Onanistic

          Maybe you should teach him the Masonic Secret Self Handshake

        • anonymous

          Maybe Andy can teach him how to negotiate with management?

          • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

            and then Phil Hughes can teach him the secret to being an ‘Iron Man’

      • Rich

        I dig the sarcasm, but both CC and AJ have said during the offseason that they each learned that they can be more effective by pitching at 94 rather than 97. It took AJ until he was over 30 to learn that. It could benefit Joba to learn that now.

        • whozat

          Well, my first point was that I don’t really buy that AJ has actually “learned how to stay healthy” by not throwing max effort all the time. Additionally, in Joba’s starts last season, he WAS sitting in the mid-90s and only dialing it up when he needed to. The kid’s a starter, and knows his business. The last piece of his development is pitch efficiency, but that’s pretty much always something that comes with maturity and a greater knowledge of the hitters.

          • Rich

            I’m not sure that AJ has learned how to stay healthy, because that would be the product of multiple factors, approach being just one of them, but the mere fact that he is saying that Halladay taught him how to dial down his FB while still retaining dominant stuff, taken together with CC having said that he has learned similar lessons, would seem to provide Joba excellent role models about how he can be maximally effective.

            I don’t recall Joba consisently throwing at less than max effort, but that’s encouraging because it will help him pace himself as he expands his IP.

            • andrew

              Time will only tell with AJ, but if he actually has learned to be very good at 92-93, we’d defintelly be better off with that then having him be dominant 50% of the time and not pitching the other half.

  • Expired Milk

    It wasn’t panic. Just I felt its silly how much cuddling they are doing to Joba. I haven’t seen any organization treat a player like that ever.

    • http://statspeak.net dan

      Felix Hernandez.

      • Expired Milk

        Felix was allowed to double his innings in his second year so no.

    • Thomas A. Anderson

      Between Andy Pettite in 1990 and Phil Hughes in 2004, the Yankees drafted over 400 pitchers.

      You know how many of them pitched even 1/3rd of an inning in the for the Yankees in that 14 year stretch?

      ZERO.

      When you get a talent like Joba Chamberlain, and you have seen what a decade-plus of poor drafting will do to an organization’s depth chart, you will do everything in your power to give him every chance to succeed.

      Ask Cub fans if they wish Prior and Wood were handled with kid gloves when they were Joba’s age.

      • andrew

        Thomas: 1 Expired Milk: 0

      • anonymous

        Good comment.

      • Bonos

        The comment sounds good, unfortunately it is not true. Choate and Randy Keisler come to mind without going through the Baseball Cube.

      • Giuseppe Franco

        Yeah, you would be wrong about that.

        Here are the names of pitchers drafted by the Yankees from 90 – 03 who did manage to throw at least one-third of an inning for the pinstripes:

        Mike Buddie, Ed Yarnall, Jay Tessmer, Ryan Bradley, Randy Choate, Randy Keisler, Brett Jodie, Brandon Claussen, Sean Henn, Brad Halsey, Chase Wright, Phil Coke, Tyler Clippard, Jeff Karstens, and T.J. Beam.

        Granted, we’re talking about a very long impressive record of failure in this department for roughly 14 years.

        But to say that no pitcher drafted managed to throw one-third of an inning for his club would be a very inaccurate claim.

        • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

          Yeah, his overall point (that the Yanks have had zero luck with pitchers) still stands, but the innings number he used to back it up is wrong.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

          Dude, Alex Graman! Jason Anderson too.

          They also drafted Prior and Heilman but didn’t sign them, and they went on to have big league success, albeit of varying degrees. Phil Humber, Dan Bard and David Purcey became first rounders after the Yanks didn’t sign them out of high school.

          The best pitcher the Yanks drafted in that time was Eric Milton, who’s been in the league for ten years and has had a very good career in the grand scheme of things. Although I suspect the Yanks have zero regrets about making that trade.

          It’s not easy to develop good pitchers, people act like the Yanks are screwing up something easy.

      • Thomas A. Anderson

        I remembered reading that stat somewhere a couple of weeks ago and a few blogs/articles that actually backed me up. But I was wrong, so that’s my bad.

        Overall point still stands somewhat in that I completely understand why the Yankees are so paranoid with Chamberlain.

        It’s really the same reason Yankee prospects get overhyped by fans and the media so much. Because so few of them have been any good for so long. People are just desperate to have some under-30 players actually work out for once, ya know, like almost all the other teams?

        Lesson learned, I should have a buried my head in BP Prospectus to make sure that one was right. I mean, how could I remember the immortal Randy Choate?

  • Giuseppe Franco

    BTW, did you guys know that the Yanks drafted both Charlie Ward and Daunte Culpepper during the 90s?

    I must say, I was unaware of that. George must have really wanted his own Bo Jackson or Deon Sanders to market.

    • Chris

      They also drafted Bo Jackson I believe (but didn’t sign him).

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “George must have really wanted his own Bo Jackson or Deon Sanders to market.”

      The Yankees did draft Deion Sanders.

      • RollingWave

        Both Sanders and Jackson were good stories but between the 3 they had aroun 3 good season out of 17 combined

      • Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        Not only did they draft him, but I watched him hit an inside-the-parker at the stadium in a Yankee uniform.

        BTW-Bo Jackson hit 3 HRs that same night. Memorable night for a really, really bad Yankee team (1990).

  • Pete c.

    Deion had a moment or two in some big games too if I’m not mistaken.

  • mko

    Did you all forget how Joba (or was it Wang? Or both?) were hammered during last year’s spring training? It doesn’t matter, they’re not pitching the same as they would in a game that counted.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Who are you addressing? Nobody has said anything close to resembling doubt of Joba based on yesterday’s Spring Training outing.

      • mko

        Well, the opening blog post was written in a “calm down” mode – I don’t see a need to calm down since nobody should have “calmed up” ;)

        So I guess I’m not specifically addressing the people here, but everyone (on the Interweb) who reads anything into spring training results.

    • FL Yank

      It was Hughes if memory serves.

      • Mike Pop

        Hughes was unhittable in Spring Training last year.

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