Time For A Reality Check

Fan Confidence Poll: July 6th, 2009
Game 82: Beginning the second half

Bad JobaEven though the Yanks walked away with a win yesterday, neophyte righthander Joba Chamberlain labored through yet another start, struggling with his command and failing to put hitters away with two strikes. After the game Joba said he thought he did pretty well and there wasn’t much he could do, but the most damning quote was: “At the end of the day, the sun comes up and I still have a job.” That’s beyond delusional, because at this point in his career Joba isn’t guaranteed anything. All he needs to do is look across the clubhouse at Phil Hughes for an example of that. Joe Girardi commented that they’ve been working with Joba on improving his tempo and plan to continue doing so, but we’ve seen absolutely zero improvement in five starts now.

Yet because Joba is the darling that he is, fans blamed grumpy old veteran Jorge Posada for his struggles, pumping out excuses about his inability to call a good game and work with pitchers. Meanwhile, the pitching staff went from allowing 5.27 runs per game to 4.15 runs per game after Posada returned from the DL on May 29th. So whatever problem Posada has working with pitchers, it appears to be confined to Joba. Either that, or the rest of the staff is just better at overcoming those problems. The most likely explanation: Joba is the problem.

In hindsight, calling Joba up and moving him to the bullpen in 2007 was the worst possible thing the organization could have done. Oh sure, the Yankees wouldn’t have made the playoffs that year without Joba’s stellar relief work, but as is often the case with the Yanks, they mortgaged part of the future for the present. Joba was thrust into the spotlight far too soon; he had New York eating out of the palm of his hand thanks to his triple digit fastball and explosive fist pumps before he was ready for it. First there were the “We want Jah-Ba! clap clap clapclapclap” chants, then there were the Joba Rules shirts, then there were Phiten and Modell’s commercials. But it was all too soon.

Don’t get me wrong, Joba was more than ready physically. His stuff was unbelievable and the results were astonishing. But mentally, Joba was still just an immature 21-yr old kid unprepared for the spotlight. He came into camp in 2007 and promptly missed the first month of the season after catching a spike during PFP and pulling a hammy. After just seven dominant starts with High-A Tampa, he was bumped up to Double-A Trenton. Six starts later, Joba was in Triple-A readying himself to come out the bullpen. He didn’t have enough time to even catch his breath all season, let alone learn how to get by on days when he didn’t have his best stuff or deal with failure. He was rushed and everyone is experiencing the consequences now.

However, it’s not to late to correct that. It’s time to ship Joba to Triple-A. Call up Sergio Mitre, move Phil Hughes or Al Aceves into the rotation, do whatever has to be done to soak up those innings, but right now it’s best for Joba to pitch in an environment that’s geared more toward development than production. Make him carry around his own bags and twiddle his thumbs on the bus. Make him watch 35-year-old Jason Johnson pitch with a torn labrum just because it might be the last chance he gets to chase his dream. Have him sit and watch good friend Ian Kennedy rehab from an aneurysm that could have potentially ended his career. Give him a dose of reality, and let him realize just how fortunate he is.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I love Joba as much as the next guy, and I look forward to watching him anchor the Yankees’ rotation for the next decade, but at this point a demotion is what’s best for him. Have him start every five days and work on his command, his tempo, his everything. Let him face experienced hitters in Triple-A and learn how to attack them. Simply put, it’s time for Joba to make up for the development time he missed out on by being rushed to the big leagues back in 2007. For once, the Yankees should put long terms plans ahead of short term gains.

Note: This goes beyond Joba as well. Young players are being rushed to the big leagues more than ever these days, even though almost all of them need more innings/at-bats in the minors to hone their craft. It’s not just about production and physical gifts, the mental part of the game also needs to be developed. Remember that the next time you want Jesus Montero moved to the outfield or some young kid promoted after he hits a few homers or strikes a bunch of guys out.

Photo Credit: Kathy Willens, AP

Fan Confidence Poll: July 6th, 2009
Game 82: Beginning the second half
  • John Duci

    I always wanted Joba to be a starter, but now I just dont know. Im very dissapointed on how he has pitched as a starter besides a few starts. Joba threw 100mph out of the pen and was virtually unhittable. Put him where he belongs and have him become the closer of the future.

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

      He just blew a four run lead in grand fashion yesterday. Do you really think he’s suited for short relief work in high leverage spots right now?

      • Sam P.

        Not trying to be mean here – but why don’t we just stop responding to posters who advocate for putting Joba back in the pen so he’ll magically hit 98, 99, 100 mph like he did in 2007? I hope those people would eventually just stop posting since we’d all just stop arguing with logic and reason.

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          You’re right Sam. It’s not worth my reduced work efficiency to argue this. If I’m not going to work as efficiently, I might as well be discussing something of some intelligence, like the RAB Drinking Game Rules…

          • Sam P.

            I’ll drink to that … Ha!

            BTW, I always ask the “Joba to TEH PEN!1!!” question to any new Yankee fan I meet – just to see how they react. That would be a fun drinking game – drink if they want him in the pen!

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      His velocity has been down as a starter from last year, and he has no command. That is not the same pitcher that you remember throwing bullets out of the pen.

      • pete

        he’s also not the same pitcher who was dailing it up to 99, striking guys out, and hitting spots out of the rotation last year

    • Yankeesfan1

      I know many on here believe that he should be a starter, they shows us graphs and charts and that’s all great. I have been watching baseball for over 50 years. I know what I see. Joba was virtually untouchable coming out of the pen. His starts have been mostly lackluster. In spite of all the data we have been given, I am not convinced that he belongs in the rotation. His remarks though were off the charts. Here is a guy who has everything going for him, despite a DWI. Yet all he can muster is ” The sun will rise, I still have a job”. I guess he hasn’t been paying attention to what happened to Hughes and Kennedy last season. Cmon Joba, you’re better than that! Just my own opinion.

  • Accent Shallow

    And despite the struggles, he’s still the team’s third most effective starter.

    Clearly, a few more starts like this and he’s just asking for a demotion, but why now? Why not shut him down until the All-Star break?

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      The race for the playoffs with the Rays and Sox is gonna be tight. Every game is going to matter. They can’t keep experimenting with Joba in the majors, and risk loosing games to either of those two teams. For the sake of the present and future you send him down now (not to mention the psychological impact would be much stronger now).

      • Accent Shallow

        But they already were “experimenting” with Wang. And with Wang out of the rotation, we’re either going to see Josh Towers/Sergio Mitre, or Hughes/Aceves transitioned to the rotation. If Joba’s demoted, we see two of those four pitchers, rather than one. While I’m as big a fan of Hughes and Aceves as anyone here, I’m not sure that neither of them would struggle in the rotation if they were both members of it.

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          I agree that it is a challenge to do this now. And the experimenting with Wang is almost the reason why they can’t afford to do the same with Joba. They needed to get Wang straightened out (especially with Joba’s innings limit looming), and they panic recalled him from his rehab. They were stuck.

          I think you work Hughes into the rotation for Wang. And you start Mitre until August. Then you reevaluate the progress Joba is making, and the condition of Wang. If Mitre fails, then you look at Towers. I’d argue keeping Aceves the long man, because he’s been so successful in that role that he can help keep the Yankees in games started by Hughes/Mitre when they have lower pitch counts.

          Maybe this is rash. Maybe you give Joba one more start to see if he can pull all of the crap he’s working on together. It just seems to be too much for a young pitcher who was clearly rushed and needs to make some adjustments.

        • Ed

          If Joba is going to pitch like he did yesterday, are Towers/Mitre/Hughes/Aceves really going to be worse? It’s certainly possible that they’d be April Wang level bad, but unlikely.

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

      I can see giving him until the break (which is just one more start though), but it’s pretty obvious that he’s not taking to instruction. Something’s got to give.

      • Giuseppe Franco

        But they aren’t going to move Hughes back to the rotation and Sergio Mitre is no viable option in the rotation to replace Joba.

        Wang getting hurt and Aceves possibly taking his place really has the organization’s hands tied.

        This team is now three starting pitchers short – Wang, Hughes, and Kennedy.

        If they had viable options, I could see them push the envelope with Joba. But I don’t see that happening with such a shortage of viable options right now.

  • AndrewYF

    You just want Joba in the minors so your DotF posts are more interesting!

    • Reggie C.

      I dont know about you , but i’m an ardent follower of Igawa’s Ghost. Cant get enough of that guy.

    • Accent Shallow

      I support this conspiracy theory.

  • Mattingly’s Love Child

    I was camping this weekend, so I didn’t have internet, and my phone took a dip in the Atlantic Ocean, so I was in a complete bubble. But when I saw how Joba pitched yesterday when I got home last night, I said almost the exact same things to myself.

    Everyone talks about how the Yankees want to win now while developing for the future. People want Joba to the pen to help win now. But really, the best thing for both would be for Joba to get developmental time in AAA.

    Let’s fire up the BANGWAGON and get goin!

    • Accent Shallow

      Again, he’s been the team’s third most effective starter. Maybe he’s more likely to pitch to his FIP going forward (4.75), rather than his ERA (4.04), but I’m not sure even that would warrant a demotion. There’s clearly something wrong with him, but wasn’t Eiland hired as pitching coach based upon his rapport with Hughes/Joba/IPK? Wouldn’t he be the man to fix mechanical issues/mental problems?

      This isn’t to suggest that Joba couldn’t benefit from some time in AAA, but if a) the pitching coach was hired based partially on his rapport with Joba b) Joba’s been pretty effective even with his struggles and c) the team is already going to have one replacement starter in the rotation, I’m not sure that the time for a demotion is now. Why not shut him down until the All-Star break and go from there?

      • Mattingly’s Love Child

        Alright, I’ll grant you that now may not be the best time to send him down. As for the Eiland rapport, thus far I have been pretty unimpressed with his work with the pitchers. I am not there everyday, I don’t see what he does or hear what he says, but the results of the young pitchers have been pretty typical of all young pitchers, inconsistent.

        I’m not sure what shutting him down until the All-Star break accomplishes, because then you’re short the roster spot. So either you need to DL him, send him down, or have him continue to experiment at the major league level. I’d rather send him down and have him still get the work in and not sacrifice the roster spot in the majors. He needs work, just I don’t see the Yankees being able to continue to hope they’ll get a start like the Cleveland or Boston one, when most are not of that quality.

      • Ed

        Eiland is a pitching coach, not a psychologist. There’s only so much he can do.

        If you send someone down to the minors, they have to stay for at least 10 days. If you send him down now, part of that 10 days is the 4 day All Star break, which means he basically gets a free start in the minors and about half the 10 day period accounted for when he would’ve been sitting around doing nothing anyway.

  • captain crunch

    I also think he needs time in AAA. I think his ego is a bit inflated right now. He needs a reality check.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Mike, I’d never peg you for a knee-jerk reaction, but…

    I’m not saying there isn’t an issue, because there is, but we’re already down one starter in the rotation. It doesn’t need to be two.

    • YankeesFanInMI

      100% agreement here. He’s still our 5th starter right now, regardless of future expectations. In that sense, he’s overall been effective.

    • Brian

      Gotta agree. However, if Joba needs to build up arm strength and he’s just getting by right now with average stuff, are we doing him harm long-term?

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

      He’s allowed 24 runs and 58 baserunners in his last seven starts (39.1 IP). Mitre, Aceves, Hughes, or hell, even Tomko can do that.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        Yes they can.

        It doesn’t mean they should.

        • Hova

          If it helps fix whatever problems Joba is going through, then yes, Mitre, Aceves, Hughes or Tomko should be given the opportunity to do the same.

      • Kiersten

        Hi, lurker here, finally deciding to open my mouth (hands?). Anyway –

        While it’s not pretty, Joba is averaging 3.43 runs per game over those last 7 starts, and I’m assuming that includes yesterday’s debacle (even if it doesn’t, still pretty good for a “#5” starter). Yeah he usually only goes 4-5 innings, yeah he walks the ballpark and loads the bases, but the bottom line is that he doesn’t give up that many runs. With the way the bullpen has been lately and with what the offense is capable of, if a starter holds a team to 3 runs over 5 innings, you’ve got to think the Yanks are going to get the win most of the time, and that’s exactly what’s happened. Do you honestly believe that Brett Tomko can go out there every 5 days and hold the opposition to 3 runs or fewer over 5 innings? Cause the Tomko I watched earlier this season certainly cannot.

        And I find it interesting how you say Aceves and Mitre can do that when they have yet to start. Bold statement there.

  • John Duci

    I really do believe that if we move Joba to the pen he would get his high 90’s fastball back in just a few outings and thus be dominant again.

    • Mattingly’s Love Child

      If he can’t throw strikes as a starter, how is he going to throw strikes as a reliever?

      Farnsuck is a perfect example of being able to throw it through a brick wall, but if you don’t have command/control, hitters will still beat you.

      • John Duci

        He had amazing control as a reliever.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          He had amazing control as a starter in college and coming through the system. People forget that before August 2007 he had never really pitched in relief.

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          John have you ever played baseball before?

          I ask because if you have you would know that the harder one throws the more difficult it is to have control. Generally when pitchers struggle with their control they try to dial back their velocity a little bit for the sake of throwing more strikes.

          Therefore if Joba is struggling to throw strikes at 91-93, he is not going to find it easier to throw strikes at 95-97 (assuming he can even throw that hard, he was throwing 93-96 as a starter last year until the injury, so there is most likely something greater wrong here than just starter to reliever).

          • pete

            why does everybody seem to assume it’s harder to throw accurately when you’re throwing harder? Personally, i believe there is still some lingering discomfort in his shoulder that is causing him to throw slower because last year he was 94-95 with good control as a starter and could dial it up to 98 fairly often. And at that speed, joba’s control will, i believe be fine again. It’s the slowing it down that makes it harder to have good command. I’ve pitched my whole life and have always noticed this. Really rearing back and throwing your absolute hardest reduces your control too, but for joba, 97-98 will be the hardest he can throw comfortably for the most part, and 94-95 is, i believe, the bottom of that “comfort zone”. Any slower than that and the chance of his arm slot changing a bit and/or unexpected and therefore unpredictable movement occurring increases greatly. There is only one armslot that allows you to throw your hardest, and if you’ve spent a good 15 years trying to throw harder, that slot is where you are going to be most practiced and comfortable. Slowing your fastball down more than 2-3 mph actually messes up your command more than trying to notch another 2mph to gas it by somebody. Some pitchers have been able to do this effectively (maddux comes to mind), but they are so few and far between, and even more so with natural power pitchers whose arms are used to throwing that way.

    • cult of basebaal

      Really, why?

      There’s zero evidence *for* that supposition and stark, clear evidence *against* it.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I have heard that whenever Whitey Ford pitched a bad game, he would be so upset that he would drink himself into a druken stupor.

    How dare Joba not take this terrible start more seriously! It is more than just a game, it’s life itself. I would expect at least the thought of hari kiri to cross his mind. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect him to follow through with the threat and disembowaling himself, but the offer would be nice.

    Whenever young players say something so blatently flippant, the terrorists win.

  • Zach

    I dont agree Joba is immature mentally. Growing up, he went through more then most of us will go through our entire lives.

    Mom a drug addict and basically not in his life (regardless of what she claims), father in a wheelchair, and thats just his personal life. His athletic life is far different then the OJ Mayo’s or Reggie Bush’s over the world. He wasnt some star athlete that was handed things as he went along. Battle weight issues obviously, had to go to a branch of Unv of Nebraska and had a 5.23 era, transferred to main campus and helped the team to the CWS

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime


    • Cano wears the GIDP crown.

      Drunk Driving. -100

      • Zach

        Any person in America can get a DUI. 40-50 year olds get them, that means they’re immature mentally?
        I’m sorry if you’re perfect, not everyone can be, but a majority of people have had ‘one too many’ and drove home when they shouldnt have been

        • Mattingly’s Love Child

          Not to start an argument, but yes they’re immature mentally because they aren’t considering the possible damage that they could do to other people. They are selfishly only thinking about themselves and their need to get home or get to wherever they are going. We all have our childish moments. But driving under the influence is damn serious. The mature, logical part of us tells us to either take a cab or get a ride, or wait another hour or two. Those people who don’t listen to that part of their brain have chosen to act immature.

          • Mattingly’s Love Child

            But I’m not sure that Joba is any less mature than most 23 year olds. I’m definitely not arguing that. I don’t know him, and this quote and the DUI don’t equal immature. But the DUI just demonstrates an immature ation.

            • Zach

              DUI is an immature action, but and if I yell at someone that is an angry action.
              Everyone gets mad/angry, everyone has immature moments, everyone makes mistakes, its part of life.

              • Mattingly’s Love Child

                Yes, but not everyone gets DUIs. It’s a serious lapse in maturity and judgement that can cost lives.

              • Drew

                I don’t even think it’s fair to say immature, I think it’s stupid. Not all stupid/irresponsible actions denote an immature person. Many of us, well, me anyway, know people, friends, that have made that same mistake, they are not immature, they just fucked up.

                • Mattingly’s Love Child

                  I don’t think we’re going to agree on this.

                  I have several friends who have busted for driving drunk, one went to jail for killing a baby. He’s never going to be able to forgive himself for it. My wife has a family friend who is 25 and going to jail for his 3rd DUI….

                  I’m not saying everyone who drives drunk is immature, but it is just a sign that the person may be. It is something to keep tabs on.

                • Zach

                  Better explaination then I could do. Immature is a 23 year old acting like a 12 year old. 23 year old getting dui is stupid/ fucked up mistake like you said

                • CrazyCharlie

                  Zach normally you make a ton of sense to me when I read your stuff. But you are arguing that it’s just an acceptable thing that kids can drunk drive. Sometimes one doesn’t realize how harmful something like that can be.

                  Would it be chalked up boys being boys if your mother was killed by a kid making a mistake? How about the child who loses a mother or father, and thus has a life filled with therapy and other issues.

                  Drunk driving is never looked at in America the way it should be. A mistake is getting drunk and puking on your friends couch. A crime is getting behind a vehicle while drunk and not being able to avoid possibly using it to kill someone

                • Drew

                  no one said it’s acceptable. We also shouldn’t compare a murderer to a guy who blows .081 on a breathalyzer, that’s two beers.

                • Zach

                  Charlie, where did I say what Joba did was ok or acceptable? Dont believe I did and if you took it that my well sorry. I said MLB should have suspended him, my point was that one DUI does not make Joba ‘immature.’

                  It’s not even about ‘boys being boys,’ men, and women, get DUIs at all ages and it doesnt signify immaturity, just stupidity.

          • Zach

            Yes because when people are drunk they always act rationally.

            Tony LaRussa got a DUI in 2007, is he an immature manager that should be sent to AAA to get a reality check?

            • Mattingly’s Love Child

              You misunderstand what I’m saying. I’m not saying send Joba down because he said something stupid to the media and he got a DUI. All I’m saying is don’t dismiss driving drunk as a simple mistake, like taking a right on red when it’s prohibitted.

              Driving drunk is an immature action. Did LaRussa act immature? You’re damn right he did. LaRussa is so arrogant and childlike that he is a poor comparison (at least I hope Joba is nothing like him). There is nothing wrong with keeping an eye on his maturity level though.

              • Zach

                No I understand DUI isnt a simple mistake, its a huge mistake and im not trying to down play it. But ever watch the local news after a holiday weekend and they show numbers from DUI checkpoint?
                Personally, I’m not going to hold it over his head for his career (although I do think MLB should suspend players for DUI/arrests like NFL does- ie. Brett Myers, wife beater). If it happens a second time, well then thats a different story, but 23 and getting a DUI, sadly its not a shocker or anything.

                • Mattingly’s Love Child

                  I’m not saying you hold the DUI over Joba’s head. But you use it as a warning sign, give him a little more monitoring for the next couple of years to make sure it was a one time thing. That’s all I’m saying. It is not justification to decide he’s immature and needs to be demoted. But it could be a sign that he’s not ready for all that he has on his plate.

                  And agree 100% MLB should suspend players for DUI/arrests. But that will have to wait for the next CBA.

                • Zach

                  Ok I can agree with that.

            • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21


    • Drew

      Agree 100%.
      IMO, Jober is actually mature beyond his years.
      He’s made mistakes, who hasn’t? He flashes exuberance on the diamond, some people take it as over-exuberance and hold it against him. He makes a harmless joke about Yogi who even at his old age, still probably takes jabs at the guys on the team because he is still young at heart. Considering he lives his life under the magnifying scope that is the NY Media, I think Joba has done a good job at monitoring his actions with one large slip up.

  • John Duci

    Joba needs the 96-98mph fastball to put away hitters. He gets to alot of 2 strike counts and cant put the hitter away with the 91-93 mph fastball.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I think he can. The problem is that he gets 2-strike counts and then runs the count full every freaking time.

      • John Duci

        The count wouldnt be full all the time if on 1-2 or 2-2 joba could strike the hitter out with a 98 mph fastball up in the zone.

    • Accent Shallow

      Except his strikeout pitch has always been the slider, and a lot of the sliders that hitters were missing in ’07 and ’08 are now being fouled off or hit on the ground. Would a faster fastball help that? Who knows.

      • Joe R

        It would because when your fastball is 95+ and your slider is 85-88 its a big enough difference where you need to start the bat a little bit earlier to hit the fastball and it keeps you in front of the slider and you miss. When he’s only throwing 90-93 it gives them that little extra time to either lay off or foul off the slider. I think the faster fastball (assuming he can throw it for strikes) would help tremendously.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

    I want to say that maybe he got incredibly lucky, that him feeling good after the start is a good thing for the future…

    But considering he basically did what he’s done all year — get ahead in the count and then promptly fall behind — I don’t have much faith.

  • zs190

    Mike, I think you are on to something here, but honestly this is what they SHOULD do but there is absolutely no way this is what they WILL do. We’ve definitely seen extraordinary amount of players getting rushed to the majors because of dominating performances in the minors.

    Usually ESPN commentary is pretty crappy but I was watching the Rangers/Rays game last night and they were talking about Ron Washington’s view on Chris Davis was he had too much success in minors and never took his lumps, didn’t know how to deal with struggles, and as a result he can’t shake off his struggles right now. Same thing happened with Francouer too. And in a way, Ian Kennedy as well.

    I really hope Joba figures it out without having to do this because we are in a really tight race right now(That’s why I think there is no chance at all they do this) and can’t afford to lose any ground.

    • zs190

      Of course I just checked news and see that Chris Davis got sent down. It would take a couple more bad outings for this to happen to Joba probably, I don’t know whether I want that to happen or not.

      • Zach

        disappoinetd, wanted to see him get 250 Ks

  • Mac

    The future is now – Jeter 35, A-Rod 34 with a hip issue, Damon and Matsui productive offensively in their last year (good timing), Jorge 37, Mo 39, Cano having an odd year…

    Leave Hughes in the pen, he’s stellar, as for Joba, who knows – is he hiding and injury, has he lost something, is he out of shape, partying?

    TO say that his progress was hampered in 07 by making him a reliever is conjecture – the reality is he was a huge diffence in getting to the post season. Joba had injury issues before, there’s no evidence that using him as a starter or a reliever was the cause of his current ineffectiveness – maybe he was going to get hurt either way – no one knows.

    I’d rather see the Yanks give Mitre a shot and try to get a back end starter by the deadline. TO have either Hughes or Joba throw minor league innings should be a last resort – this team needs them to contribute.

    If the Yanks are serious about Hughes and Joba as starters, go into 2010 with that exact edict – they start either in the bigs or AAA. Get A-Jax into CF, Pena and Cerivelli on the roster and rebuild then – not now, with the SOx starting to lose some luster.

    Both Hughes and Joba have plenty of time to become starters (and it could take a few seasons to really find out what their ceiling is and that’s fine) – BUT, do it next year in earnest – this year let Hughes continue his dominance out of the pen and possibly see how Joba pitches an inning at a time there as well.

    • ChrisS

      The future has always been now. That’s how the Yankees were built in the 80s and that’s how they’ve been built in the 00s.

      The “Gotta Win Now” philosophy is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard put forth by a fan.

  • Reggie C.

    Time down in AAA would at the very least bump Joba’s innings count a bit. Not that i’d think it’d be too taxing putting away AAA hitters for Joba , but he’d get on a roll, and I too wonder if he needs that mental boost.

    I could see a demotion of Joba and re-arrangement of the Yankee ‘pen to cover the temporary loss as a prelude to a trade for a Huston Street. With Wang on the outs till what i guess is the first week of August, and Joba’s inconsistencies, it’d be a positive move to strengthen this team for the 2nd half with targeted July moves.

  • Zach

    The Yankees sent Phil Hughes down to AAA this year after being our protected #4 starter last year, had a sub 2.00 era down there, came up back and pitched to a 5.45 era and averaged less than 5 IP/S.
    But then they move him to the bullpen and he gets success getting out ML hitters and now we all want him back in the rotation.

    • Mac

      It seems to me alot of people want Hughes to stay where he is (right now)- most importantly Girardi and Cashman.

      Some here are stating that Hughes’s fb isn’t better out of the pen, I don’t think that’s correct – to me, I can finally see what the hype was about – he looks really confident and has big time stuff.

      • Zach

        my point was just that did Hughes starting in AAA help him when he got called up as a starter this year? Tough to say yea when his era was 5.45

        • Ed

          Don’t forget that his ERA was that high because of one terrible game that’s clearly out of place in the rest of his appearances.

          At the beginning of last season, basically every start was bad.

  • keith

    I don’t see what AAA would do for Joba. He could just throw his slider/curve as soon as he got 2 strikes on AAA hitters and strike out 15/9. I think a huge part of the problem is that he expects hitters to chase his slider as they did in 2007. Looks like the league has adjusted. 07-09 O-Swing% 35.1%, 26.3% 23.4%. O-Contact% 40%, 46.8%, 60%.

    Shitting on people in AAA is not going to do much for him. Needs to learn to get MLB hitters out.

    • Brian

      ooh gross, Keith. Is that where the term “explosive fastball” comes from?

      • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

        No. It’s where the term “dropping deuces” comes from.

  • Drew

    Only the nutso fans blamed JoPo. If it were up to them, Cisco/JoMo would catch AJ, CC, Jober, Wang and Hughes.

    As for Jober, what more can we say than it was a bad, horrible start. For the first time in a while he didn’t give us a shot at the W. Even when he doesn’t give us length, he still usually will keep us in it, yesterday is an aberration.

    As for what Joba said afterward, this isn’t IPK in a playoff push, it’s a bad start by a good starter. Whether we like it or not, the sun in fact will come up and Joba does in fact have a job.

    • Tank Foster

      I don’t blame Posada’s game calling. I’m sure there are many ways to attack hitters and I’m sure Posada call’s a game fine. What I don’t like about Posada is what Joe P. or Mike A. pointed out–that he has an abrasive personality and seems to get into on-field disputes over pitch calling with some pitchers. Maybe some pitchers need this; like Moshe said a week or so ago I am not confident saying that I know better than a major leaguer about something in the sports psychology realm. But I do know that it can only help you if your catcher is behind you and gives you confidence in the pitch you want to throw.

      • Drew

        The only on field dispute I remember is a very demonstrative Jorge when catching Veras.

  • Mike HC

    I see it as more of an “I don’t throw as fast anymore” problem. He used to throw his fastball by just about everyone. If he missed his location, it was ok, because he was throwing 95-100 on every fastball. Now, his fastball is 90-95. Joba may have gotten too much too soon, but I don’t think that has to do with his pitching problems. I don’t think “pace” is the reason either.

  • Zach

    I love how we analyze every word from Joba.
    Bring up some quotes from Tex before ARod returned, I hope they say “I suck.” And after another GIDP by Jeter, hope he said ‘I Suck’

    If Joba was in tears after the game or depressed we’d be killing him for being emotionally weak and how its just a game- suck it, get over it, get back to work, etc

  • Bill

    While Joba has struggled this year, I certainly don’t think sending him down is the answer especially with Wang injured. Joba has struggled, but has still been good enough to give the team a chance to win in his outings.

    His attitude lately though has really pissed me off though. I mean he takes little blame and tips the cap WAY too much especially when he was walking the ballpark. Plus the I’ll have a job tomorrow part signals that maybe its time to put the scare into him. Do something to motivate this guy. Here’s a guy that lives for the big situations give him something to fight for and I think we’ll see him come out dealing.

    • Drew

      He has a son that depends on him, do you really think he needs a “scare” put into him? He knows how lucky he is, he just won’t get too high or too low over a bad start. We are 11-5 when he starts this year, I don’t think he needs any more motivation, he just needs to pitch more efficiently which is all part of the learning curve and should come over time.

  • Charlie

    I kinda like this idea, but then what does our rotation consist of? CC AJ Petitte ______ ______?

    • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

      Cliff Lee

      Ridiculous trade rumors starting in 3…2…

      • Zach

        Cliff Lee for Matsui and Ransom!!1!

        • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21


          • Zach

            needed to get the party started somehow

  • Charlie

    And for those people saying AAA would do nothing for him, demotions are often pretty effective. Just this year, see Ricky Nolasco, Jose Contreras, etc.

    • Zach

      “are often pretty effective”

      you cant say that then name 2 names

      • Charlie

        sorry, that’s all i got off the top of my head, there’s more though.

        • Drew

          How many MLB starters would sign up for a 4 era heading into the AS break?

          • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

            Every single one with an ERA over 4.

            • Drew

              heh, touche.

        • andrew

          Dontrelle? Brett Myers?

          • Zach

            Dontrelle is doing great huh?

  • gc

    I think it’s the fans and MEDIA (who feed the fans frenzy) who need a reality check more when it comes to Joba. People overreact to every single thing the guys does, good or bad. Sending him to Scranton will somehow change that? Like he’ll come out the other side giving the standard boring “say nothing” Jeter interviews just because he suddenly remembered what it was like to carry his own fucking bags?? I don’t think so.

    What I’d love for everyone to do is to STOP trying to get into the heads of professional athletes (or worse getting into the collective heads of an entire team!). All Joba has done has do everything the team has asked him to do to the best of his ability. They were desperate for a reliever, they gave the ball to him, and he pitched well. They made a commitment for him to be a starter, they have given the ball to him, and he has pitched like a very talented but inexperienced 23 year old, and pitched generally well with some growing pains along the way. To be expected.

    It’s the fans and the media who put this guy on the pedestal, and now they seem to take great fascination in watching him struggle (or even JOY in tearing him down). Or at least shining the spotlight so brightly on him for so long that he may wind up self-destructing. Who wouldn’t, at that young age, make a misstatement or two, or show glimpses of frustration every now and then when the spotlight on him has been this unbelievably relentless. Then, if he does ultimately fade away, the press will write their self-righteous articles and the fans will lament on what a “bust” he was, or how the Yankees really blew it with him.

    So here’s the reality check. The guy is 23 years old. He’s going to pitch well sometimes. He’s going to get shelled sometimes. He’s going to say dumb things sometimes. He’s going to do everything they ask him to do, and he’s going to give his best effort. The media will hound him and the manager after every start, good or bad, and ask the same stupid questions knowing full well that the organization’s stance has remained the same, a commitment for him to be a starter. The fans will cheer him when he pitches well, and boo him when he doesn’t. And Mike Francesa will secretly wish for his demise as a starter just so he can say “I told you so.”

    Same as it ever was…same as it ever was…same as it ever was…

    • Drew

      … “What have they [Yankees MNGT/FO] done to this kid?”

      Some people just expect a kid to come out of the box and win a Cy by pitching to a 3 ERA in the AL East.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      gc, i need to buy you a shot. Well said.

    • pete

      yesss. I do think its possible, but certainly not a guaruntee, that AAA could help, but not because he needs a reality check. Rather, it would give him an opportunity to work on his changeup for one, and two he wouldn’t feel the need to be so fine (which could be what’s causing him to throw so much slower and at such a slow pace – just watch the redsox start where he had 12 Ks for verification; started off trying to paint w/ 90-91, got lit up, then said fuck this i’m striking everybody out). The point is, young fireballers are SUPPOSED to come up and try to strike everyone out, run up their pitch counts, and leave in the 5th or 6th inning, eventually getting better at pitching to contact. They are NOT supposed to come up and be told by everybody that they have to take a lot off the fastball and try to pitch to contact. Think about it this way; would people be complaining if he was striking out 9-10 guys every outing but only pitching 5-6 innings? no because that’s what he did last year and he was, by just about every account, phenomenal last year out of the rotation. I think it might be dave eiland saying hey, slow down, just try to get groundballs that’s really fucking him up, and posada’s just saying hurry up and strike the motherfucker out because at this point in his career that SHOULD be his mentality. CC didn’t become the innings eater he is today until years down the road. Beckett too. I just think that the constant advice should slow down and he should just pitch like a 23 year old power pitcher with dominant stuff and good control who throws a lot of pitches because he strikes so many guys out.

    • Riddering

      All of this Joba talk reminds me of the Yankee organization telling Steinbrenner not to watch Jeter for the first three months at SS.

      Maybe today it should be: fans, don’t watch Joba’s first full year as a starter.

      Anyway, what a great comment. It’s so reasonable! Thank you for that.

  • steve s

    The Yanks need to first figure out if something is physically wrong with Joba. His health history isn’t stellar and part of his immaturity may include not wanting to disclose an injury and his overall talent may be enough to mask it well.

    • Mike HC

      Yea, it is tough to assume a guy is injured, but what other reason is there for the velocity drop. The Yanks have been so careful with Joba’s arm in order to avoid surgery, maybe the arm is not functioning at 100%, but just hanging on. Maybe Joba just needs to air it all it out, and if he blows out his arm, to just get surgery and get healthy. I don’t have a clue, but something is up here.

  • http://thebronxzoo.wordpress.com iYankees

    Well said, Mike. Excellent post.

  • Little Bill

    This is typical overreaction from Yankees fans. The guy has one bad start and we’re ready to write him off as a starter. That CC guy might as well go with him. He sucked against the Mariners. Joba is fine and he will prove it in his next start.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      The whole point is he’s been using Matsuzaka smoke and mirrors to get out of jams and it caught up with him, just like it always does with anyone.

      And no he hasn’t had just one bad start. This was just the worst out of several excruciatingly painful to watch performances.

      Fastball gone missing + command gone AWOL = recipe for not particularly good things.

  • stuart

    experimenting with Joba in the majors!!!

    he is still better then any other option they have.

    his postgame comments are a total joke, he is totally clueless..

    he needs to be told to throw whatever the catcher asks for period the end.

    he is delusional on what he is doing and thinks he is a nibbler..

    the most disappointing part of all this is he appears to be living in a different universe when it comes to his performance and results. his cliche postgame comments are pathetic.

    • andrew


  • RAB poster

    I TOTALLY, TOPTALLY disagree. Downsizing Joba’s ego is secondary to making the playoffs. Despite not being stellar I think Joba right now is better than most other options.

    And moving Joba to the pen was absolutely the right move. What would you be saying if we had won the WS? Too soon?

    • Ed

      Downsizing Joba’s ego is secondary to making the playoffs. Despite not being stellar I think Joba right now is better than most other options.

      That’s kinda missing the point though. The idea is what if sending him down to the minors now for a little bit brings back the Joba of last season? You know, the one who had Cy Young Award level numbers.

      I’d gladly lose a few games now if it means Joba starts dominating again.

      And moving Joba to the pen was absolutely the right move. What would you be saying if we had won the WS?

      Again, missing the point. The right thing to do for Joba’s development is completely unrelated to the right thing to do to win in 2007. One’s a long term thing, the other short term. There is no one answer.

      • RAB poster

        Winning a WS is the ultimate goal. If we do that, it’s more than worth repurcussions in the future. The goal of the game is to put the best team out there NOW, when you have a shot to win.

        And I don’t know why watching Joba dominate AAA pitching will help him in the majors.

        • Ed

          Winning a WS is the ultimate goal.


          If we do that, it’s more than worth repurcussions in the future.

          Wrong. A 37 year old Curt Schilling nearing the end of his career trying to pitch through a severe injury to win a World Series is a chance you take. Risking the career of a rookie with the stuff to be a top of the line ace is just a dumb move.

          The goal of the game is to put the best team out there NOW, when you have a shot to win.

          Maybe that’s what you do if you’re a team like the Rockies that rarely has a chance to win. Risking the career of a guy that you expect to be your ace for the next 10 years is a really dumb move for a team that expects to be in contention every year.

          • RAB poster

            I disagree. If you win a WS, it’s all worth it. All of it. You take the consequences.

            And Joba did not get injured until he started again so clearly they didn’t risk his career. There is apparently nothing physically worng with him.

  • RAB poster

    Toptally is totally.

  • Steve S

    When we wanted to save the big three we signed up for these growing pains. All of these guys are headcases, sending him back to down to AAA is a fifty fifty shot of ruining him. If he is as immature as you believe then this could snowball or it could snap him back into shape. Who wants to take that gamble? Especially considering the fact that the guy, at some stages of this season has demonstrated the ability to absolutely dominate. Ben was right before, the reduced velocity is a concern but I would have to believe that with the level of caution the Yankees have displayed with Joba and Phil, they wouldnt have him out there throwing if something was wrong. I do worry that they have over analyzed the whole thing and are messing with these kids heads with whatever development program they have in place. We have to acknowledge the fact that its been a long time since this organization properly developed a great starting pitcher. Guidry was probably the last one.

    I just think he needs to learn up here. These guys will get nothing from AAA, its a great catch 22. Just like Kennedy, they can go down to AAA and dominate without really working on their weaknesses. At least up here they are forced to deal with it. And guess what Phil Hughes has a spot in this rotation with Wang hurt but it looks like they are leaving him in the pen. I’m not ready to hand a spot to Sergio Mitre unless its absolutely necessary. I signed up for Joba and Phil so I want to see Joba and Phil, in the BRONX.

  • MattG

    Wow. Not a good post.

    Joba’s what, the 5th best starter in the whole organization? Even with the past month of starts included?

    The problem is not his makeup, maturity, upbringing, experience, or anything else you point to here. The problem is his missing fastball. He may not be hurt, but neither was Justin Verlander in 2008. When the fastball comes back, he’ll pitch better.

    If someone wanted to write a post about how a demotion would help Joba regain his fastball, that’d be something I would entertain. But a post about how he was handled improperly, he’s too immature, etc., is a bunch of bunk. He wouldn’t be pitching better if he was more mature–he would be pitching better if he was averaging 95+ on his fastball.

    • RAB poster

      You’re right.

    • Mike HC


  • Dela G

    Sorry mane, we are already down 1 starter, no need to make it 2

  • Stevis

    Joba has proven nothing other than the fact that he is an immatue kid.
    DUI plus this crap he’s spewing about having a job!!
    Is he kidding?
    Back to the pen and Bring on Phil Hughes who obviously has his heaD head screwed on the right way!!

  • Dexception32

    Really,we’re gonna base our intimate knowledge of Joba’s huge ego on some dumb quote after the game? Sit him down, make him watch Bull Durham and its lessons on speaking with reporters and send him out there every fifth day to continue to learn how to pitch. His demeanor and actions on the mound say he cares,he’s young and brash and it was that brashness that let him be the success he was, and will also lead him into putting his foot in his mouth occasionally…He’s not oblivious, he’s just not ready to call a team his Daddy. I’d much rather he kept his head up, rather than sulk.

    • whozat

      Why not? People did the same thing with Kennedy.

      • RAB poster

        It wasn’t fair then either.

        • Harry

          Kennedy sucked

  • MikeD

    While the “missing fastball” is an important question (mechanics, injury, approach, etc.?), he still throws 93 and ocassionally hits 95. In other words, he has more than enough fastball, especially with his other pitches. He’s too tentative, and if he needs to go to AAA to work on his mechanics and approach, then so be it. If he needs to go to the bullpen to work on same, then so be it. He can’t have too many games like yesterday and expect to remain in the rotation.

    I see no reason, however, to think he’ll revert back to the 2007 Joba simply by putting him back in the pen. He might find a couple more miles on his fastball, but he’s not going to find 5-7 mph. Right now, based on how he’s pitched and his comments after the game, he seems like what he is: A young and inexperienced pitcher.

    • RAB poster

      No, he throws 91, sometimes hits 93, and maybe once a game hits 95 or 96.

      Last year as a starter, before the shoulder boo boo, he was throwing 94 to 96 consistently as a starter. Huge difference.

      • MikeD

        That’s right, but that’s still a MLB fastball, so it’s not an excuse for him. He needs to work with what he has, and even with a reduced fastball, he has a very good selection of pitches to work with. The reduced velocity, however, is a reason why Joba does not belong in the pen anymore unless it’s to help him regain some of his confidence. That said, there’s no reason to believe he can throw 98, or even 95 with any consistency, so either he has to make it work on the MLB level with what he has, or he will need to continue his education down in AAA. I hope his issues are mechanical and can be worked out eventually.

        • RAB poster

          It’s not an excuse, it’s an issue.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I think he needs to stay up, have an animated conversation with Girardi and Eiland, find his fastball and learn to put people away in the majors.

  • http://theenlighteneddespot.com NC Saint

    I know there is a lot of good anecdotal evidence (I’m looking at you, Eric Duncan), but has anyone actually demonstrated a correlation between a prospect’s being advanced aggressively and his failing to live up to his projections? It’s easy to say that Joba’s struggles are related to being put in the spotlight too soon, but plenty of prospect flame out while moving through minor league systems at the usual pace. So what’s the evidence that this is a real phenomenon?

  • Tank Foster

    I’m 44 years old and can express myself pretty well and I don’t know how I’d do if there were 10 guys in my office every day with microphones asking me to critique my own work and comment on my mistakes every day. He sounds like he’s parroting the common sports psychologist stuff, where you try to keep things in perspective, don’t dwell on failures but stay focused on how to improve, etc.

    I don’t want to waste the precious few innings he has left in AAA. He’s been very bad at times, but also very good. If he starts throwing 97 again, you watch how all these “command” issues just go away. I think the reason people say he has no command is that he’s learned to pitch as a power guy, blowing hitters away. You don’t need quite the same command to make guys miss with a 98 mph pitch as you do with a 92. He’s like Beckett or a young Clemens, not Mussina or Aceves. You can’t develop a totally new pitching approach and style overnight, or even in a few months. He needs to find those lost MPHs.

  • mark the spark

    Well written. Everytime Joba struggles the argument begins that he should be in the bullpen, but the problems he is having would not be solved by going to the bullpen. He needs to attack hitters and attack the strike zone.

    Joba seems to think being a starter means throwing all 4 of his pitches to every hitter, trying to paint the black on every pitch, taking a little off the fastball to conserve energy, and shaking off catchers just because he can.

    I am a big fan of Joba’s and believe he can be a very good starting pitcher. But, perhaps a trip to the minors would be good for his development at this point.

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  • Jake H

    While Joba has gone through a lot it seems that he doesn’t seem that he has worked on anything. Doesn’t seem that he and Girardi are on the same page. Also it seems like there is no fire in the kid.

    • Drew

      No fire, so are you pro fist pump?
      How do you demonstrate fire on the mound, by throwing 100 mph?

      • Jake H

        I don’t mind the fist pump. But when he struggles he used to scream into his glove. Haven’t even seen that.

        • Drew

          Fair enough.

  • andrew

    be it known that derek jeter is the f-ing king.

    mlb 09 the show. bottom of the twelfth tied 1-1 against the cubs in the world series game 5, swisher and cano are on 2nd and third respectively. damon moved them up on a perfect sac bunt the previous at-bat. they decide to pitch to jeter and a 0-1 pitch jeter singles up the middle.

    game over, series over, yankees world series champions

    derek jeter #2 captain clutch.

  • Reggie C.

    The one issue I take with Mike’s post is his take on Joba’s innocuous but amorphous “still having a job” comment. If Joba had added “…to do” at the end of that statement , which is what Joba was getting at, then Mike would let it slide. Joba’s job is to help this team out in whatever role brass decides Joba is best suited for, just as Phil Hughes has demonstrated.

  • RAB poster

    It’s not as if Joba didn’t dominate as a starter with a 95 to 96 MPH fastball. Seven innings vs. the Sox where he outdueled Josh Beckett was probably the highlight of his career.

  • brian paul

    A great post Mike! One that truly nails the core of Joba’s problem.

  • Mark M.

    Why aren’t the Yankees questioning Joba’s lack of velocity? Does anyone think it’s plausible that the Yankees have made changes to Joba’s mechanics so he doesn’t re-injure that shoulder? Maybe they’re willing to sacrifice a few MPH for longevity.

    I just find it odd that Girardi hasn’t addressed it. Perhaps we’re making something out of nothing.

    • capn crunch

      girardi doesn’t even address injuries

    • MattG

      I would imagine that the lack of velocity is the #1 topic whenever they talk about Joba. No way they purposely altered his mechanics to sacrifice speed for longevity. If they were going to to that, they would’ve done it right after drafting him–but they probably wouldn’t have drafted him at all.

      I really think its in his legs. I think he’s tired. Weakness in his base would result in all the things we’ve seen so far: lower radar gun readings, poorer command, leaving pitches up, and breaking balls without bite. Moreso: He has the fastball occassionally, and a critical juncture when he is loose, but not fatigued, but it fades really fast. All of these factors make me think he doesn’t have his legs under him like he should.

      I don’t know if this is the sort of fatigue that needs rest, or if it is the sort of fatigue that he has to work through, building strength. He’ll be back, but it may not be this year.

    • MikeD

      The Yankees aer quite aware of the decrease in velocity, but talking about it in public serves no purpose. They may think it’s mechanical and can be corrected; they may think it’s physical and will eventually correct itself with time; they may think that, like many pitchers early in their careers, he’s lost a few miles and they will now have to help him develop with a low 90s fastball as a starter and not a mid-90s fastball. Whatever they’re thinking, though, they are not going to announce it to the world.

  • mryankee

    I think Joba is afarid to throw hard or he refuses to do it because AJ Burnett told him it helped him. I dont care what AJ say becasue AJ plays cath at 95mph and Joba for some reason has decided to become a finesse pitcher.My solution is simple the next game he starts if he throws one fastball at under 94mph yank him. Preferably at Yankee Stadium so the fans can let him know what they think. I am tired of all this coaxing and lovey dovey crap-the kid is pitching like some kind of freakin Jamie Moyer type-corners and change of speeds and if he cant get through the Jays what will happen against the sox in Fenway when we need a big performance. I think a publi humiliation would send a message to Joba to start throwing and stop being a damn coward out there.

    • DSFC

      Brilliant analysis. Saves money, too – no need to pay a pitching coach when you have a radar gun!

  • DSFC

    There is no way a team with Mitre or Towers or -shudder- both in the rotation makes the playoffs. So either Ace and Phil both start, or they have to trade for a pitcher if they wanted to do this. And if it is the former, what happens to the pen?

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  • currambayankees

    Are you guys for real? Joba is not the first nor will he be the last pitcher to struggle in his young career. A great example is Vrelander, who had a miserable sophomore season. It’s time to give it a rest and let Joba get into a groove as a starter. He’s going to have his ups and downs but I still believe that if he stays healthy he’s going to be a great one and yes does deserve his spot in the starting rotation. btw, lets not forget the fact that the 3rd basemen did help in Joba’s early exit. Also, he’s right the Sun will still rise.

  • Tony

    No one is getting sent to AAA with a 4.04 ERA

  • Oscar

    Joba’s home/road splits are pretty striking (smallish sample size, of course):

    Home: 42 IP, 5.36 ERA, 1.74 WHIP, 25 BB, 41 K
    Road: 42.2 IP, 2.74 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 16 BB, 33 K

    Doesn’t explain his lower velocity, but maybe TEH BANDBOX!1! is in his head a bit.

  • Dwnflfan

    What an over reaction to a bad start where, obviously, Joba didn’t have his best stuff and gave up a, HR only in New Yankee Stadium”, 3 run jack.

    Pray tell when is the tired, “These kids are being rushed to the majors these days!”, argument going to die. Bill James disproved it in the 90’s and I found a NY Times article from 2005 citing that the average age of MLB debutees was slightly higher, at the time, than it’s ever been and that there has been virtually no change since at least the 1800’s. Teams call up young players when they’re good enough to help the team and mature enough to handle it in their opinion. Sometimes they’re wrong but things are no different now than they ever have been.

  • A.D.

    He made some comments after taking the blame every other time, as others suggested maybe he’s tired of saying “I need to work on my pace”, etc. Young starters struggle, this site has been one of the biggest on mentioning that, he’s up and down this year, it happens, and in time he’ll sink or swim.

    Perhaps sending him down could help, maybe working with Nardi Contreras can fix something, maybe the reality check of being sent down, but getting bombed in the majors by a 4th place team is also a reality check.

  • pollo

    This is about the stupidest thing I’ve read from RAB – coming from someone who supports 99% of what you guys suggest

  • ACC

    His post-game interviews are becoming increasingly painful to watch. He doesn’t seem to have a sense of how poorly he’s been pitching and comes across as overly defensive when asked about his mediocre performances. It’s a combination of immaturity and sense of entitlement that’s becoming ever more dangerous for this potential ace. I don’t know what the solution is, and I think a demotion might be counter-productive (perhaps not, but I think it would be a dramatic move right now), but it’s clear something needs to be done about Joba’s attitude.

  • currambayankees

    I truely hope Joba has an awesome 2nd half to shut everyone up.

  • Conor Cashel

    this is quite the over reaction. i’m going to have to agree with pollo here. serioulsy, he will figure it out. he is a 23 year old stud with electric stuff. it makes no sense to send him down, because he is still pitching relatively effectively. he hasn’t given up more than 3 ER in his last 11 starts. sure, his control is an issue, but that can be solved with more work with eiland, not a demotion. it’s ridiculous to believe that him being sent down would help the yankees at all. chill out

  • Harry

    His issue isn’t attitude. It’s stuff n location. Maybe now u will realize he belongs in the pen

  • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

    While Mike (as usual) makes a lot of good points, his solution goes over the deep end. I could see doing this after a 1-10 streak, but not after a 10-1 streak.

    I’m as frustrated as everyone else watching him pitch, but there are measures that can be taken that lie between doing nothing and sending him to AAA.

  • thebusiness

    23 year old who had a 3.8 era and 1.4 whip in the AL East. Yeah send him to AAA.

    Not your best moment Mr. Axisa….

  • pc

    i think juba needs a taste of reality, either shape up or back to triple a and join kennedy for a wake up call on being a pro.

  • toad

    The problem with 0-2 counts seems to apply to the staff in general. A quick look at baseball-reference shows that in 2009 Yankee pitchers have thrown 0-2 strikes 50.9% of the time, compared with 51.1%(Balt), 53.1%(Bos), 56.7%(TB), and 58.7%(Tor).

    I’ve always found pitchers who start to nibble and waste pitches and so on on 0-2 to be annoying. It just seems like bad tactics. I wonder, though, if that’s something Eiland likes.

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