Joba goes long, powers Yanks to series win

Bleich struggles as Tampa falls
More than just an error-free record

While the origins of the Joba Debate date back to 2007, Jorge Posada struck what some considered a major blow last September, during his edition of the YES Network’s CenterStage:

“I think if you start him and he pitches 200 innings in one year, you’re going to lose him. He’s going to get hurt. I don’t see him as a starter.”

This got a lot of people going. After all, we’re just spectators. Jorge actually catches Joba. Well, kind of. At that point Jorge had seen Joba far more frequently as a reliever than as a starter, so he might have fallen victim to the confirmation bias.

Then, six months later, after Jorge had seen Joba pitch through Spring Training, he changed his tune:

“He’s our fifth starter and I’m happy with that. He was so good out of the pen (in 2007) and I hadn’t seen him as a starter. He’s been showing me and he’s proving me wrong.”

Last night went a long way in reinforcing that line of thought. Joba pitched masterfully, going eight strong innings and picking up the W in a 5-2 Yankees victory. He did it far more efficiently than in his last few starts, tossing 66 of his 106 pitches for strikes (62 percent) and just 13.25 pitches per inning.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, we have an instant look at Joba’s pitch repertoire, courtesy of Brooks Baseball. Joba’s average fastball was almost 94 mph, and he topped out at 97.6. That’s the gas we’ve seen from Joba in the past. Perhaps after his last start, in which he averaged just 90.36 mph on the fastball and topped out at 93.3, he just decided to let it fly. In any case, it worked remarkably well. Also of note: Joba threw 21 sliders, 18 of which were strikes. He also tossed 14 curveballs, another good sign for the young starter.

One of the stronger criticisms of Joba is that he doesn’t pitch deep enough into games. His eight strong innings tonight shows that he can indeed give the team length. This isn’t to say that he’ll do this every time; not even CC will pitch eight innings every time. The Yankees have to be pleased to know that Joba can do it. He’s far from a finished product, and to demonstrate the ability to pitch through the eighth inning is a big check mark in his development.

Last night was a lot of things for Joba, but it was not a check in the starter column. Nor was the start in Texas a tick for the reliever argument. The fans may perceive it that way, but the Yankees have made it clear that the plan is to develop him as a starter. Tonight just illustrated the upside of that decision. It was marvelous, of course, but it doesn’t advance the argument in either direction. It just shows that hey, this is what the Yanks are talking about.

(That’s not to say it can’t be used as an argument. It’s just that this outing doesn’t, as Nick Swisher cheerily remarked after the game, move the Jobameter towards starter. No one game does. Otherwise, we could cherry-pick all the favorable outings we wanted to make the argument.)

On the offensive side, the Yanks struggled a bit with runners in scoring position, picking up just three hits in 16 at bats. They did, however, draw 11 walks, which ended up powering their offense in the seventh. After squandering a bases-loaded, no-outs situation in the sixth, they again sat back in the eighth as the Indians walked the bases loaded with one out. This time, Nick Swisher wouldn’t let the opportunity slip away. He slammed one off the top of the high left field wall, a home run in plenty of parks, for a two-run double. The Indians then decided to walk Mark Teixeira to re-load the bases for Alex Rodriguez. Fools. With nowhere to put A-Rod they had to throw him strikes, and he made them pay with a two-RBI single.

Those were the only runs the Yankees would need. With Joba rolling and Mo ready to close things out, the Indians didn’t stand a chance after the seventh. The win capped a 5-2 road trip, including three of four from the Indians. The Yanks are now 6-3 in their last nine games, and in two of those games they lost in the final inning. It looks like, just as in 2005, a big win streak has reenergized the team.

While the news today was grave on Jose Molina and Xavier Nady, the Yanks got some good news from Nick Swisher, who doubled twice in the game. If Nady’s going to miss additional time, Swisher’s presence in right field will become important. He won’t be as good as he showed in April, but to have a career-averages Swisher would be big for this already imposing lineup.

The Yanks take their winning ways back to the Stadium for what is essentially a 13-game homestand with a three-game trip to Fenway sandwiched in there. A.J. Burnett, who went home to get some rest in advance of his start, will face off against a goomba Vicente Padilla. The Yanks should get quite a warm reception for this homecoming.

Oh, and here’s last night’s Web Gems. You’ll see Joba’s belly flop in the top spot.

Bleich struggles as Tampa falls
More than just an error-free record
  • John

    From YES’s website:
    With rumors of a return to the bullpen swirling, Joba Chamberlain turned in a masterful performance in a 5-2
    win over Indians, allowing just four hits and two runs in the longest outing of his career.

    When did these rumors come? I remember Cashman emphatically stating that he will remain in the rotation like 2-3 days ago. Did the MSN just create them themselves? Probably

    Here’s another headline: Joba Once Again Secures Spot in Rotation

    • John


      • anonymous


    • Benjamin Kabak

      Self-generated rumors. It’s the mainstream media trying to turn its wishes into fact. As the Yankee brass made abundantly clear this past weekend, Joba was going nowhere.

    • Mike HC

      Um … I could have sworn RAB, the “official blog of,” just had a post suggesting/pondering moving Hughes or Joba to the pen as a long relief guy. Was this post just ignored/forgotten? I would consider that outside rumors, as rumors are essentially unconfirmed, out of thin air conjecture, unless RAB is now a “self-generated” blog of the YES network. Love the work you guys do, sorry I don’t just blindly defend everything you guys write, but don’t pretend that post didn’t happen.

      • Joseph Pawlikowski

        You’re totally misrepresenting that post. It 1) was a total thought experiment, 2) had nothing to do with Hughes, other than wondering if he’d fit in the described role, 3) WAS NOT A RUMOR. It was just an idea. Idea, no basis in what the Yankees might actually do, not a rumor. Not in the slightest.

        • Mike HC

          yea, I may have been stretching it a little bit there calling it a rumor.

  • UWS

    Gammons just said on BBTN that he’s now convinced Joba should be a starter. Better late than never, Pete!

    • John

      Great! At least he swallowed his pride and admitted it. Too bad Francesa won’t. This is odd considering he also said that we’re the best in the AL as of now earlier.

      • Usty

        Good ol’ Gammons. Now he’s trying the reverse-jinx? Haha.

  • Nikhil R.


    • John


    • Derby

      GET ME PORCELLO’S STATS FOR HIS LAST 5 STARTS!!!!! I can guarantee what Francesca is going to say something like “even a blind squirrel will find an acorn, IT’S ONLY ONE GAME, HE’S STILL GONNA BE IN THE BULLPEN BY AUGUST, WATCH”

      • Derby

        supposed to be *that* not what lol

      • NHYankee62

        The ironic thing is that before tonight; Joba’s best start was 7 strong innings in which he out-pitched Fatcessa’s boyfriend Porcello in Detroit.

        • Dave

          If only Joba could change his name to Chamberlaino or Chamberlaini. Fatso would be drooling over him.

  • Chip

    That was by far the greatest start I’ve ever seen out of a set-up man. You think they could convert him into the starting rotation?

    • donttradecano


  • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    “A.J. Burnett, who went home to get some rest in advance of his start, will face off against a goomba Vicente Padilla.”

    Hey, what did I just say about ethnic slurs?

    • Jersey

      True. Winged…whatever-they-are have feelings too.

    • handtius

      He better be well rested, I’m going to the game and I haven’t been to a game where they’ve lost in a long while. Bring it on!

    • Will (the other one)

      I know Kung Fu.

      • Baseballnation


      • Coach6423

        For the last time, no you don’t…

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    I got into a Joba is a starter argument at dinner.

    I won.

    • Will (the other one)

      Becca, you really shouldn’t be eating with “those” kinds of people.

  • Manimal

    Clay Buccholz is better. TeH No-HitTaaH!

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      TEH LAPTOPS!!!

  • Willy

    Francesca should be happy, he finally got to see Joba in the 8th inning. Maybe that’s what he’s been saying all along, and we’ve just been confused. lol.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      I really want someone to call up Francesca tomorrow and then say this before hanging up: “So you got your wish, Mike. Joba pitched one hell of an 8th inning last night.”

      • Chip

        Everyone who reads this should flood the lines tomorrow morning and rub this shit in his face

      • NHYankee62

        I think you should be the one to do it Benjamin.

        Fatcessa is clearly a moron, but your blog keeps hanging on every word he says. If it means that much to ya, give him call and put that fat clown in his place. :)

  • Manimal

    What will it take Francesa to accept Joba as a starter? Hall of Fame plaque claiming he is the best starter ever? 25 Cy Young awards? 700 wins?

    • whozat

      He won’t. Ever.

      Even if Joba establishes himself as a very, very good starter, Francesa will talk about what “could have been”

    • handtius

      i think 650 will do it.

    • http://deleted Tseng

      Who cares about winning 5 or 10 Cy youngs? Joba could set a record for most “Rolaids Relief Man of the Year” awards!

      That >> some cy young award junk.


    • Benjamin Kabak

      At this point, he won’t. He gets more attention and more listeners by maintaining a hard line on his position. Hell, look at how many comments on RAB have been Francesca-focused over the last 24 hours.

      • Bo

        You do mention Francessa daily.

  • NHYankee62

    I’m not so sure the original post stating that no one good or bad start wins the Joba debate is completely accurate.

    The reason is that it’s all about potential at this point. Being only 23, you’re going to have some inconsistencies. That’s why you have to stay patient and decide where a pitcher will be most effective. When Joba shows that he can give you 8 dominant innings, that’s a main indicator of his true potential.
    Obviously we don’t expect this everytime. He’s going to have a few bad starts where he throws too many pitches and doesn’t get past 4 or 5. That will continue to be a work in progress at this stage.

    However, you only want to demote him to the pen when he shows that he just flat out cannot cut it as a starter. If he was consistently getting bombed or only had one or two pitches. The bullpen is a place for failed starters.

    Joba’s doing pretty well as a starter, especially when compared to many other great pitchers at the same stage in their careers. Tonight provided a glimpse of what Joba CAN be for years to come. That alone proves that he doesn’t belong anywhere near the pen.

    • Bob Stone


    • John

      Everyone here at RAB has been saying that all along…it’s just that Francesa and most of the media don’t get it.

      • NHYankee62

        Whenever you have the opposing view from that of the mainstream media; that means’ you’re in the right. :)

        • lenNY’s Yankees

          Does that “NH” mean you are from New Hampshire? If you are, that makes two Yankees fans in New Hampshire. And you put it beautifully when proving your point about Joba. “The bullpen is a place for failed starters.” So true.

          • NHYankee62

            Thanks, I just submitted my resume to replace Fatcessa.

            Sure does. It’s not too bad up here if you can stand all the Sox fans.

            Do you have the Extra Innings Package?

            Pretty nice how everytime the Yankees play Boston we’re forced to watch NESN.

            • lenNY’s Yankees

              No, I do not have Extra Inning – the NESN coverage is so unhealthy for us. I am at Quinnipiac University for the beginning and end of the season, so that helps the problem a little.

              • NHYankee62

                I will say that the Nesn coverage is better than ESPN.

                Look at it this way. At least you’ll get to enjoy watching the YES postgame coverage after the Yankees win it all this fall.

        • John

          haha you’re right

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      However, you only want to demote him to the pen when he shows that he just flat out cannot cut it as a starter. If he was consistently getting bombed or only had one or two pitches. The bullpen is a place for failed starters.

      The Kerry Wood as a starter concept wasn’t abandoned until he was 30 years old.

  • Marcus C

    Joba did well as the 8th Inning Guy tonight. I like him in this role.

    • Bo

      And we’ll hear this joke 4,000 times??

  • Matty Ice

    Seeing CC and Andy reacting to the Joba play was priceless.

    As an unrelated aside, I’m looking to buy Jim Beam seats for the game on Wed. night….can anyone give me more info about it? (ie, is the food/drink free?)

    • V

      Food/drink is NOT free, but it IS good (and there are bathrooms in the Jim Beam area that’s only for people in those seats).

      • kunaldo

        and the seats are cushiony…try the angus burger…i really liked it

  • Phil in LA

    It’s not a debate. It’s an IQ Test.

    • NHYankee62

      Very well said.

  • Mike HC

    When you say “a goomba,” I assume you mean “a weak enemy in almost all Mario Games. Have tendencies to die when pressure is applied to the head. (Urban Dictionary #3)

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      Click the link. You’ll see.

      • Mike HC

        hahaha … love it!!! Aight, now I definitely have to get on board with that post I was, maybe, misrepresenting, ha.

  • touchtoneterriost

    The point isn’t if Joba can be a good starter.It’s if he can be a dominate starter like he was a dominate reliever and which is more important on this team?

    We all know Joba can be a good starter but unlike Verlander and other Phenom-Prospect Staters I guess we have too wait two years for Joba to dominate as a starter cause he hasn’t shown anything great as a starter.Until then there’s no true answer which role he can be more dominate in.

    And why is it a demotion to the pen.Mariano was the best pitcher in the late 90’s not Cone,not Pettitte,not EL Duque and not even Ted Lilly.

    • Joseph Pawlikowski

      “Mariano was the best pitcher in the late 90’s not Cone,not Pettitte,not EL Duque and not even Ted Lilly.”

      That is not correct. Without Cone, without Pettitte, without El Duque, without Wells/Clemens, who gets the ball to Mo? Starting pitching is more important than a relief pitching.

    • Jackson

      I’m fairly confident that nothing in this statement is correct.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Yup. Every word of it, batshit insane.

        This is why we have to fight the “terriosts” over there: so we don’t have to fight the “terriosts” here at home.

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      Until then there’s no true answer which role he can be more dominate in.

      I’d say the 120 Ks in 110.2 IP for Joba show that he can dominate in the starter’s role.

    • JP

      What you don’t understand is that even an average starting pitcher who throws 180-200 innings at league average effectiveness is more valuable to a team than a set up man who pitches 80 innings with a 1.50 ERA.

      Joba will be better than an average starting pitcher. Everyone will have their own definition of dominant, but no pitcher is dominant every start, not for a whole season certainly. It took Halladay years to develop. Verlander was great as a rookie but is struggling now.

      You have to be patient if you’re wanting to see Joba’s (or Phil’s) greatest, dominant potential realized. But you should understand that they are adding value – lots of it – even at their present, inconsistent level.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        No, there’s a lot more that he doesn’t understand. A LOT more.

    • Todd

      While I am really disghusted by the B-Jobbers and the whole debate, this is actually the very first argument I have heard about Joba being in the bullpen that makes a little bit of sense. It still doesn’t sway my opinion on the manner though.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        No, it still doesn’t make any sense.

        A merely “good” Joba the starting pitcher >>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Joba, the greatest and most dominant and most awesomest reliever of all time.

        8 innings of 2 run starting pitching >>>>>>>>>>> 2 innings of scoreless relief pitching

  • bg90027

    I agree with everyone here that until he proves unable to handle it, Joba should be developed as a starter. Yet, I think everyone here is too quick to dismiss the idea that Joba is competing to keep his spot in the rotation.

    Yes, Joba is and should be a starter. You could stay the same for Hughes and Wang as well. However, there are 6 starters for 5 spots in the rotation. As long as that is the case, I can’t really blame Swisher or the press for suggesting that there is a Joba starter/reliever meter. CC is obviously the ace baring injury. You have to believe that Burnett would have to pitch much worse than he’s pitched to lose his spot. And they would be really screwing Pettite to remove him from the rotation after signing him to an incentive-laden contract unless he lost the spot based on performance so he’s as unlikely to go to the bullpen anytime soon as CC is. So that leaves Hughes, Joba and Wang for two spots.

    I think Wang needs a few more strong multi inning relief appearances to really consider removing anyone from the rotation. If and when Wang is ready, it makes the most sense to demote Hughes and have Hughes pitch regularly as a starter in AAA until an injury opens a spot or Joba nears his innings limit. However, if Hughes has a great start or two, Wang shows he’s completely back and Bruney suffers a setback, do you really think Cashman and Girardi wouldn’t be tempted at all to shift Joba to the bullpen? More starts like today make that less likely. But on at least some level I think Joba is still in an open competition for one of the last two spots in the rotation. I’m not calling for Joba to be shifted back to the bullpen but it wouldn’t shock me if it happened.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      do you really think Cashman and Girardi wouldn’t be tempted at all to shift Joba to the bullpen?

      Did you read what Cashman said about that? “Wake up and smell the coffee.” Which is a euphemism for “You’re a fucking idiot if you think we are moving Joba to the bullpen.”

  • jonathan

    I think what really impressed me about Jobas recent start is that his curveball….when its on….is a real freaking hammer of a curve. Its not a power curve like AJs but its in line with hughes in that its loopy and just falls off the table with insane late break. If he hangs it, its gone…but he can get alot of swings and misses if he keeps that thing rolling.

    • JP

      The point is he can throw a good curve, and a good slider, and a good fastball. You don’t put guys like that in the bullpen, until they prove to you they can’t throw strikes reliably. Then, you reduce them to 2 pitches and put them in the bullpen. It looks less and less likely each day that Joba will ever be a full time relief pitcher.

  • John

    I am about to say something I never thought I would say….I can’t wait to listen to Francesa’s show tomorrow to hear what he has to say about Joba’s latest outing. Is he a bust since he can’t throw with both arms like that Pat Venditte guy?? I bet the clown goes and talks about tennis all day or something ridiculous like that to avoid being called out for his lack of anything remotely resembling an informed opinion.

    • Dave

      No, talking about tennis all day was the other idiot.

  • crawdaddy

    If Wang, Hughes and Joba continue to pitch well then I think the Yankees will find a way to keep all three pitchers in the majors by moving Hughes to the bullpen in mid to late June as their long man while Wang moves into the rotation. In September, I can see him getting some starts while Joba moves to the bullpen to limit his innings. I firmly believe that Hughes has nothing else to learn in the minors and that it’s in the best interest of the Yankees to keep Hughes facing ML hitters while increasing his innings this season to 150-160 and the same amount of innings for Joba.

    • JP

      Barring some dramatic reversal in the trends of Wang, Hughes, and Joba, there ain’t no way any of them is going to the minors. There are innings limits on both Hughes and Joba, and I think Girardi will just use the three pitchers to fill two slots, and will use Hughes and Joba in relief roles toward the end of the season when they are near their limits. The team seems content to let Wang pitch in the bullpen for a while, and my guess is they are just biding their time and holding him as their ace in the hole in the event of an injury, or if there is no injury, when the innings limits appear for the young guys.

  • Tampa Yankee

    Had a work dinner so only caught the 7-9 but it was sure nice to see Joba hitting 95-97 in the 7th. I don’t know if was just me but Joba looked different out there. When I turned it on, DeRosa was up in the 7th with Choo on second and Joba after every pitch was pumped up and Posada couldn’t get the ball back to him soon enough so he could throw his next pitch (a bulldog mentality?).

    Anyways, anyone else see “The Lead” on EPSN’s the bottomline the past couple days? After the Sunday game it reads something like “Pavano dominates Yanks, Indians win on Peralta’s walkoff” and after last night it was “Joba deals with midges, Yanks win 3 of 4 from Indians”… really? This, to me at least, just goes to show the complete anti-Yankee bias that place has which sucks because there really isn’t a place for me to hear or see most Yankee games in Tampa.

    • jonathan

      Off topic, but another guy that really amazed me in his recent start was David Price…that guy works so fast its crazy. Its not just when hes pumped up either, he reminded me of Jon Leiber or Mark Beurhle with how fast he worked….and was firing bbs at 97-98. He got the ball and was already in motion going toward home, hes gonna be a monster….thats what happen when you get the 1st overall pick 14 years in a row.

      • Tampa Yankee

        The Rays announcers mentioned something interesting in his wind-up in that instead of stepping back with his right foot to start his wind-up, he steps forward and rotates his body into his leg kick. Never seen that before.

        I am really looking forward to many Joba vs. Price match-ups in the future.

      • Jackson

        I went to an Orioles game on Friday, the score was 7-2 and the game lasted barely over 2 hours. Brad Bergesen might work faster than any pitcher I’ve ever seen.

  • JeffG

    Personally I was surprised that anyone would have argued him out of the rotation after his showing in Fenway last year when he out dueled Beckett. Anyone that watches his games knows the potential is there. He is building and getting better towards a promise of being one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. Anyone with half a brain knows that type of talent heads a rotation.

  • Joseph Pawlikowski

    This thread demonstrates why Mike Francessa has a job.

    • mustang

      Thank you and Esiason ( and probably the rest of WFAN) are jumping right on the train they know a ratings jumper when they see it.

      This is major league trolling.

    • NHYankee62

      You and your fellow blog writers mentioning his talking points everyday can’t hurt either.

      Look, we all know that guy is a fucking moron, my suggestion is to stop talking about him. Stop listening to his show. Stop giving him the ratings.

  • YankeeScribe

    I can’t believe these guys get paid to be sports writers:

    “Despite Joba Chamberlain’s fine outing Monday night, it seems inevitable that Brian Cashman eventually will have to give in and put him back in the bullpen. Until then, the Red Sox may continue to flaunt their superiority in that area, as they did in going 5-0 against the Yankees in April and May.”

    Read more:

    • Benjamin Kabak

      You read it. You linked to it. I saw your comment and clicked on the link to read it. That means Harper is attracting eyes to the Daily News pages by writing something stupid. More traffic for the Daily News = More money. That’s why he has a job.

      People writing inflammatory stuff or ranting about Joba is good for business even if it’s an untenable position to hold.

      • V

        But guess what?

        When your business model is writing insanely stupid crap, your business is bound to evaporate.

        There’s a reason print news is on its way out.

        • Jersey

          Print news is on its way out, not stupid crap.

          • Joseph Pawlikowski

            Stupid crap will never be on the way out.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Eminem keeps dropping albums, doesn’t he?

              OOOOOOOOOOOOH, BURN!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Joseph Pawlikowski

          Someone tried to suggest this (that print news is on its way out because it prints stupid crap) in much more abrasive terms. It’s just not right.

          Print lost:

          – Advertising revenue because it was no longer the only game in town. The Internet created a larger display advertising market, destroying the scarcity which made newspapers a cash cow. When your business model is based on scarcity and then that scarcity turns into abundance, your business is bound to evaporate.

          – Classifieds revenue to craigslist. Rather than buying a paper to see ads from just one outlet, people can get tons more ads without discrimination of publication.

          – Convenience. People paid for a newspaper subscription because it came right to your door every morning. The Internet is even more convenient than that.

          – Attention. Thoughtful readers can now read thoughtful writers instead of the tripe they print in newspapers.

          As you can see, printing stupid crap is just one tiny part of their overall loss.

          • NHYankee62

            But you can’t deny when a majority of newspapers decide to swing completely over to one side of the political spectrum and don’t even hint at being objective is also a big reason why the print media has gone into the tank.

            Don’t worry though, I’m sure we’ll be bailing out newspapers soon enough!

    • Benjamin Kabak

      The other thing about Harper’s writing such a column that way is that, in a way, he’s bound to be right. Cashman will inevitably hae to put Joba into the pen later this year because Joba Chamberlain has an innings limit as a starter. This isn’t a secret, and yet, when it happens, Harper and Francesca will pat themselves on the back and say “I told you so. The Yankees are finally making the right move.”

      What Cashman won’t do is say to everyone, “You know what, John Harper? I’m so sick of hearing you write every other day about how Joba should be in the bullpen even after a dominant eight-inning performance that I am going to cave to pressure. I’m going to put him in the bullpen just to get some peace of mind.”

      That is not going to happen even if John Harper types until his blue in the fingers.

  • Jake H

    Joba looked great and really only made 1 mistake. I’m sure guys out there will say look his velocity was up in the 1st so he should go to the pen.

  • mustang

    I couldn’t be happier with Joba last night and the Yankees overall play things look like they are coming together. But after Texas the Yankees go on a serious run from 6/5 to 6/14 with 4 vs TB, 3 vs Bos and 3 vs the Mets. I still have that bad taste in my mouth from Boston and i would love to see certain Daily News sport writers eat their words.

    Spit with TB
    Sweep the Sox
    2 out of 3 from the Mets.

    7-3 sounds real good to me.

  • ChrisS

    It was nice of Kay to mention that, “lost in all this, we have to remember that Joba is only 23 year old. He and Phil Hughes are not finished products.”

    The kid can be hitting 200 IP and 250K with a 3.5 ERA for the next 8 years or he can pitch the 8th.

    I’ll take the former.

    Good game, though.

    Why does Melky’s power disappear after April?

    • MattG

      Maybe his pharmacy only has free shipping in April?

  • LiveFromNewYork

    The really sad thing about all this is that Joba came up without even pitching in AAA and helped out the team by pitching lights out from the bullpen. He’s been a starter his whole career and he did the team a favor (I realize he was doing what he was told to do but it worked in the team’s favor) and gave the fanbase something to be excited about when he came in. We all fell in love with him coming out of the bullpen in a way we hadn’t loved someone since Enter Sandman first came into our consciousness.

    That favor and his talent out of the bullpen put him in a position to have knuckleheads like Fatcessa arguing about his future.

    The kid did us all a favor that most starters don’t get to do. He wants to be a starter, he’s been developed as a starter, he’s GOOD as a starter. Why is this even a question? Let’s thank him for his bullpen service and move on. People are always complaining about “distractions” for the Yankees. Arod is bad because he’s a distraction. This is an unneeded distraction, that’s an unneeded distraction. This ridiculous B-jobber argument is a supreme distraction and Joba doesn’t need it and the Yankees don’t need it. It’s stupid. Move the hell on!

    The fact that Fatcessa is not even man enough to reconsider his idiotic position makes me respect him less and I didn’t think that was really possible.

    • Matt ACTY/BBD

      The fact that Fatcessa is not even man enough to reconsider his idiotic position makes me respect him less and I didn’t think that was really possible.

      The funny thing is that I’ve heard him say he thinks Joba can be a very good starter, but he still thinks that he’d be more valuable as a closer.

      • mustang

        I think a lot of what Mike says is to bring up the ratings like Ben points out above the joba debate is “good for business”.

  • Pasqua

    This morning on his radio show, Boomer Esiason (a Joba-to-the-pen supporter) sounded like a petulant child, claiming that Joba was successful last night against a “weak hitting” club and that he “needs to seem him do that 4-5 times in a row.” He actually added that he wants to see 4 consecutive starts of 9 K, 2 BB and 3 HITS to convince him that he should be a starter.

    Well, of course, Boomer! Because we all know that you’re not a good starting pitcher until you become consistently unhittable. I mean, Santana, Halladay and Sabathia NEVER have a bad day. In fact, collectively, those guys haven’t given up a run since 1973. Right?

    This is absolute lunacy, and the main reason why this debate won’t die. The b-jobbers will simply keep raising the bar to unrealistic heights as Joba improves. If Esiason (who tends to be level-headed) is whining like a baby because Joba looked great last night, imagine what Francessa is going to come up with today.

    • Benjamin Kabak

      So basically, what you’re saying is that sports talk radio is the dumbest thing ever. If Joba puts together 4 straight starts of 9 K, 2 BB and 3 H, he would become the first starting pitcher in the history of the game to do that.

      The good thing about the Internet is that we can actually check Esiason and others on the dumb things they say. As you can see here, streaks of that ilk are rather rare. Only three pitchers have ever put together three straight appearances of 9 K, 3 H, 2 BB (or more K and fewer H/BB). Pedro Martinez has, amazingly, done it three times for three separate teams. Steve Carlton has done it once, and Johan Santana has done it once.

      In conclusion, Boomer Esiason can shove it.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Saying that Joba needs to prove to you that he belongs in the rotation by putting together 4 straight starts of 9 K, 2 BB and 3 H is like saying you think LeBron can best serve the Cavaliers by coming off the bench and playing in a reserve role so that he’s fresh for the 4th quarter, but you’d be willing to change your position if he was in the starting 5 and he scored, oh, say, 70 points a game for 4 straight games. If, and only if, he does that, then yeah, he can be a starter and not a bench player.

        • donttradecano

          If Lebron came of the bench Michael Pietrius wouldnt outscore the Cleveland bench by himself.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside


            I have no earthly idea where the hell you are going with that inane non-significant statement, but it’s true.

      • donttradecano

        And all 3 of those guys are hall of famers.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Is it sad the Johan lost 2 of those starts and the time Pedro did it w/ NYM he only won 1 of them?

  • Nady Nation

    It’s gonna be really interesting to see what the Yanks do with Joba once he hits the innings limit, which I’ll assume conservatively is around 150. Based on that assumption, if Joba averages 6 innings per start, he has around 15-16 starts left, and will reach his limit probably by mid-late August. Do they let him start all the way until his innings limit and then shut him down for the season? Do they cut him off as a starter in early August so he can pitch in the bullpen the rest of the year? As much as it may be the right move for the future to shut him down, it’s hard for me to see the front office disabling one of our best pitchers while the team is in the heat of a pennant race, or in first place.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      I’ve thought the same thing. They might need to rest him in July and let Hughes pitch his spot. I don’t know. It’s interesting.

      And Joba out of the pen doing well is a bit of a nightmare scenario. He can and will electrify and b-jobbers will be screaming. It will be hard to enjoy his success.

    • JP

      I wondered that, too. Is it healthy to have a pitcher be idle for months, waiting for the next season? Do they throw bullpen sessions even when they have been shut down?

      I was guessing that they’d pull him out of the rotation in late July and use him in relief for the rest of the season.

      Ideally, I’d like to see them shuffle Hughes, Wang, and Chamberlain between 2 rotation slots. This would probably allow Hughes and Joba to remain starters all season. Wang would have dramatically reduced innings from his capability, but considering it’s sort of a rehab year for him, that’s ok.

      I still am not 100% sure Wang will return to his 19 game winner form, but if he does, obviously all 3 pitchers will be in the rotation next season.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I still think the best and soundest plan is to just keep him in the rotation every five days, starting, until he hits his limit and then shut him down for the season.

        I don’t want to keep fucking with Joba’s arm yo-yoing him in and out of the rotation and bullpen or skipping his starts and leaving him rusty and out of rhythm.

        Start him until he’s done and then shut him down for the year.

        • Bo

          How can you let him “rest”? They will be in a pennant race. You don’t sit down one of your best pitchers in July. You do it smart. You take him out of a blowout after 5. You skip him here and there when you can. But you don’t shut him down.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Doing all of that still won’t get him to October. Joba is going to have to get shut down before the season ends.

        • MattG

          No way, man. What about the post season? What about the pennant race? You treat him like any other pitcher: give him rest, and bring him back. “Yo-yoing” his arm? What does that mean? Pitching is pitching, provided he is given enough rest and preparation time. Fortunately, the Yankees have enough innings in their first 11 pitchers that they can carry a 12th that’ll only pitch 8 innings in a month, if they want to. But they have to keep him active and ready for the pennant push, and especially the post-season.

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            No, they don’t.

            We want to have Joba pitching in October. We don’t HAVE TO have Joba pitching in October.

            Wants and needs don’t always line up.

            • MattG

              You’re saying you do not want Joba on the post-season roster?

            • MattG

              Wait, let me phrase–you’re saying that the Yankees don’t need Joba on the post-season roster, and you would be okay if he didn’t pitch again after, say August 15th?

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                I’m saying I do want Joba on the postseason roster, but I’m willing to accept the undesirable yet understandable choice of not having him on the postseason roster because the organization feels he should be shut down to protect his arm for 2010.

                There’s a reason we signed three starting pitchers this winter: Because we planned to have a postseason rotation of CC-AJ-Wang-Pettitte, anticipating that Young Mssrs. Chamberlain, Hughes, and Kennedy likely wouldn’t be able to pitch all year long due to innings caps.

                I want Joba on the postseason roster. I don’t think having Joba on the postseason roster is the wisest choice for his long-term development.

                Doing the smart thing >>>>>> doing what you want

        • tim randle

          so you dont want to hand him the ball at all in the playoffs???

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            I do want to. But, while I’ll be saddened if it’s not possible to put him on the playoff roster, I’ll understand.

            The next 10 years of Joba’s career outweigh the single October of 2009.

  • mustang

    “Jeter became the fourth player in major league history to total 2,600 hits, 200 home runs and 1,000 RBIs in his first 15 seasons.”

    Even with a lack of range i still love the Captain baby.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    And Joba-to-the-pen arguments are for lazy people. They can’t figure out what to do when Mo retires and can’t wait for Melancon to develop.

    These are probably the same jerks who boo at the Stadium. There is no reason EVER to boo a Yankee. People who can’t stomach losses or less than optimal play enough to sit through one game without booing are emotionally handicapped and need to be in therapy more than they need to be at a baseball game.

    Same with b-jobbers. Get on over yourselves and put a little thought and creativity into the Yankees bullpen/replace Mo issues instead of derailing a brilliant starting pitcher.

    They don’t want their fuzzy little heads to do any kind of work.

    Hey Fatcess, a little creative thought might burn some calories. You never know. Try it.

    • kunaldo


    • tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      None of that was batshit insane. All of it sounds correct.


  • OmgZombies

    Trying to combat Diet Cokes stupidity is like fighting a man armed with two dildos.

  • Yankee1977

    There is a definitely a double standard when it comes to Hughes and Joba. Joba has proved that he belongs in the league since he was introduced to the majors. What has Hughes done? Honestly, It seems there is a double standard. Hughes has shown he can pitch in the bullpen? he has a couple good starts and when Wang gets back everyone wants to put Joba to the pen? Giving Hughes the spot in the rotation automatically over Joba? I don’t get it. Why does everyone want to give Hughes every chance to be in the Rotation more than Joba? Hughes last start, he only lasted 5 Innings but i don’t hear anyone crying that Hughes can’t hack it as a starter and should be moved to the pen? People make excuses for Hughes. You hear things like He is only 22 years old and should not be moved back in forth from the rotation and to the pen etc… But people forget that Joba is a baby himself. He is only 9 months older than Hughes. Shouldn’t Joba get the same argument as well? Don’t get me wrong but Phil Hughes should never take Joba’s spot in the rotation. I’m pulling for Hughes but for the mean time i think he should be either moved back to the minors and get his innings or moved to the pen and gain valuable major league experience. There will certainly be a spot in the rotation next year for him. Fransesca is a Joke and he will never admit joba should be a starter because of his EGO. What does Joba have to do? Throw a perfect game?

    • donttradecano

      you bring up a valid point. Hughes did throw exceptionally well out of the pen in the 2008 playoffs, but as the diet coke logo himself would say…..


      • AlexNYC

        2007 My friend.

  • Bo

    Going to be interesting to see what happens especially if Wang shows hes healthy. I can’t see them sending Hughes down if he’s giving quality start after quality start. You will still see Joba in the pen once he nears 130 innings.

    • Tank the Frank

      I was going to post about this, but I’ll instead respond to this post as it offers me a chance to make the same points.

      I think you’re wrong in that analysis. The Yankees have this “problem” a – “good problem” as RAB correctly puts it – with 6 viable ML ready starting pitchers. The only solution people seem to come to regarding this situation and Joba’s innings limitations is to put Joba in the bullpen at some point during the season.

      However, seeing Hughes and Wang both pitch well at the same point in the season, wouldn’t it be prudent to (I dare say it) option Joba to the minors to better control his innings and pitch counts? I’m not sure I know the exact numbers, but I would venture to say Hughes’ innings cap is higher than Joba’s. If Hughes continues to pitch well, why not option Joba to the minors for a start or two? If Wang or Hughes happen to regress, he can be called back up without missing a beat.

      Putting Joba in the bullpen is not an option. The Yankees simply don’t see him as a reliever…at any point. Period. And it would be foolish to put him there for a number of reasons. The only solution then would be to either begin skipping some starts by Joba… or… option either Hughes or Joba to the minors. Since Joba has a tighter leash… it wouldn’t be that crazy to send him down for a start or two, would it?

      Of course, this is way down the road. You obviously don’t send Joba down after his start last night. But if you have options on him… use them.

      • MattG

        Putting Joba in the bullpen is not an option. The Yankees simply don’t see him as a reliever…at any point. Period. And it would be foolish to put him there for a number of reasons.

        The same could be said for Wang or Hughes. In all three cases, its not true. You keep your best pitchers on the team, and you pitch them as often as they can pitch without unnecessary, added injury risk, and you do not worry about labels like “starter,” “reliever,” or even “closer.”

        • Chip

          Wrong, you put your best five starters in the rotation, send the young kid down to work on his control

          • MattG

            This is a wonderful example of regimented thinking.

            Phil Hughes, the Yankees’ sixth starter, bb/k ratio in the minor leagues:

            2009: 3/19
            2008: 11/37
            career: 80/337 (2.2 BB/9)

            By all means, let’s have him work on his control, because that is simply unacceptable.

            What’s that? Joba should go down then?

            career: 27/135 (2.8 BB/9)

            Work on their control, indeed.

      • Chip

        So let me get this straight. You want to option the best of the three starting pitchers to the minors? How does that make any sense at all. You option the worst of the three down there to work on their stuff. Hughes isn’t the major league pitcher that Wang and Joba is right now. You let Hughes go down and come back up when they shut down Joba

        • Tank the Frank

          Yeah… you have to read my entire post. I pose a question about whether it would be possible to send him to the minors to CONTROL HIS INNINGS/PITCH COUNT not his “control” as in command. I also mentioned sending Hughes down if he shows signs of regressing. But I only brought up the point about sending Joba down instead because it seems he is on a tighter leash and lower innings limit than Hughes. Hence, it MIGHT make sense to send him down to the minors, perhaps to control his innings to the point where you have him for the whole season as a starter. Scranton has an overload of relievers looking for work.

  • MattG

    I have to say that this whole Joba fist pumping stuff has to stop. How dare he show up Asdrubal in that spot. What’d little A.C. do to him? I mean, aren’t you supposed to make phenomenal face-planting belly-flop double plays as a professional ballplayer? It wasn’t even the ninth inning. It wasn’t even the third out of that inning. Joba must just sit around all day trying to figure out how he can show up his opponent best. If he exerted half that energy into his fastball, he might be breaking 100. He better never play for the National League, or they’ll be pulling yarn out of his ear with a scalpel.

    The message sponsored by the BBCAA (BaseBall Crumegeon Association of America)

  • Johanne

    I just hope that the hot streak of the Yankees is the precursor to another world series.