Adjusting the Joba Plan

Bounce back players helping to power Yanks
RAB Live Chat

One day later and already the Yankees are changing the plans.

Tyler Kepner first broke the news early this morning that the Yankees were considering changing their weekend pitching plans. A few hours later, George A. King III reported in The Post that Joba would start on Sunday and then get a few extra days off this week.

According to King — and remember, this is an unconfirmed report from everyone’s favorite tabloid — the Yankees were concerned that by throwing Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre in back-to-back games, they would be left short-handed in the pen and with only Alfredo Aceves as a long-relief option. Mitre will get the ball on Saturday; Joba will pitch Sunday; and then Joba probably won’t start again until the Texas series at the end of the month. The Yanks may very well give him eight or nine days between starts.

Some fans will be up in the arms over this news, but I have no problem with it. The Yanks don’t short-hand themselves right now, and by stretching out Joba’s rest, they can better line up their rotation. In the end, it’s all about the innings, and a column by Joel Sherman drives home that point today. He writes:

Let’s consider this from a different perspective. In 2007, Chamberlain was progressing wonderfully as a starter in his first pro season. Without interference, he would have thrown 120 minor league innings, positioning him for roughly 160 innings between the minors and majors last year and roughly 200 this year. But the big club needed a reliever, and Chamberlain was instrumental in getting the 2007 Yankees to the playoffs.

That ignited a debate about his true role while retarding his normal progression, because he was never returning to the minors. But the Yankees have a prescribed innings total for each prospect and this is the time of year throughout their system that they are giving extra day’ rest or limiting innings as, for example, they have just done with Ivan Nova at Triple-A. Few notice because it is happening in minor league towns. But Chamberlain is still going through his build-up phase in New York.

Of course it is tough to give Chamberlain more rest or fewer innings in a playoff race. But, I believe it would be negligent to flush all precaution. It is a tough tightrope, but a necessary one to walk.

Sherman makes a similar point in a blog post as well. He says that the Yanks’ “Win-Now” attitude in 2007 cost Joba innings this year. It is, supposedly, a lesson in balancing patience and planning for the future with the demands and allure of a World Series title.

There is only one problem with Sherman’s charge: It’s not quite accurate. A look back at Joba’s innings tells a slightly different story. In 2005, at the age of 19, he threw 118.2 innings, and the next season, he threw a hair under 90 innings. At that point, the Yankees would have wanted him to throw around 120 in 2007, and between three Minor League stops, a stint in the Bronx bullpen and 3.2 postseason innings, he reached 116 innings.

As the Yankees have done with Andrew Brackman this year, so they did with Joba in 2007. Whether it was going to be in Scranton or the Bronx, Joba would have moved to the bullpen at around the time he did. In the end, he still reached his 2007 innings.

With 2007 in the books, the Yanks’ goal for 2008 was to bring Joba up to around 150 innings. When he went down with a shoulder injury in August, however, those plans were scraped. Joba returned to the bullpen in September, and the Yanks, for reasons unexplained, never had him start again. He finished 2008 with just 100.1 innings, and here we are in 2009 with the Yanks shooting for around 160 innings for Joba.

Despite this history, Sherman’s point still stands: The Yankees are wise to keep a close eye on Joba. Next year, he should be at a cap of 180 innings, and that will be enough to end this constant obsession-slash-controversy over Joba. He is and remains a starting pitcher.

Bounce back players helping to power Yanks
RAB Live Chat
  • Sam

    I like it. I was worried about Gaudin/Mitre going back to back. I’d put the over/under of innings we would have gotten out of both of them at 9.

  • Makavelli

    How many days rest is it going to be if he pitches Sunday?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      It’s unclear, but probably 8-10. They could just skip his spot in the rotation and bring him back on regular rest x 2 the following week.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

        So he’ll miss Boston?

        I hope CC, A.J. and Andy are going.

      • Makavelli

        I posted Joba’s numbers on 6+ days rest before and they’re nothing to get excited about. While his ERA is ironically down, every other meaningful stat is way up…and it isn’t pretty…

  • Kiersten

    There is a horrendous article in AM New York today about how the Yankees are babying Joba. Can’t find it online, but wow, it was one of the worst articles I have ever read. Of course, it’s AMNY and that’s to be expected.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Was it that stupid Wallace Matthews piece that was also in Newsday? They’re owned by the same companies.

      • jsbrendog

        yup

        mui garbage

      • JohnnyC

        Wallace Matthews? Nuff said. Sheesh.

      • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

        Sherman’s article is a direct response to the Matthews article. He mentions the same old timers.

    • jsbrendog

      written by wallace matthews a newsday writer. not worth the free i paid for it.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        Except for Heather Haddon’s coverage of transit issues, that’s generally how I feel about amNY on a daily basis.

        • jsbrendog

          i enjoy metro much better but the train stop by my house i get on every morning only has amny and by the time ig et to penn im like whatever, nto gonna read another free paper. esp since i walk to work and dont waste my money on the subway. and hate ppl that walk and read…..ok im done…

          • STEPHEN A SMITH

            QUITE FRANKLY I HAVE FOUND THAT AMNY IS NOT ALWAYS EASY TO READ FOR INSTANCE SOME OF THEIR ARTICLES ARE DIFFICULT TO READ.

            • Tom Zig

              Writing in all caps is difficult to read.

              • Pasqua

                I think it’s a bit.

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

                Yet it’s strangely hilarious.

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

                  I like that he captured his tone and that the name is also in CAPS.

              • STEPHEN A SMITH

                IT MIGHT BE DIFFICULT TO READ BUT QUITE FRANKLY SOMETIMES YOU CANNOT WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK YOU SIMPLY HAVE TO DO WHAT YOU THINK IS BEST. TAKE KOBE BRYANT. KOBE BRYANT IS THE GREATEST BASKETBALL PLAYER WHO EVER LIVED. YET HE COULD NOT WIN WITHOUT SHAQ UNTIL HE WON WITHOUT SHAQ THIS YEAR. AND THAT IS DEDICATION. THAT IS COMMITMENT. THAT IS THE HEART OF A CHAMPION.

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

                BUT EVERYTHING HE SAYS IS IMPORTANT. HIS IS THE MOST DYNAMIC NAME IN SPORTS, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT, QUITE FRANKLY, IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. KWAME BROWN!?!?!?

                (::munch munch munch:: … Cheez Doodle crumbs fall onto shirt.)

                (I’m not the fake SAS, just lending a hand.)

                • http://stephena.com/ STEPHEN A SMITH

                  WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE LEVEL OF PERSEVERANCE THAT FOR INSTANCE A KOBE BRYANT HAD WHEN SHAQUILLE O’NEAL LEFT IT OFTEN MAKES YOU THINK OF ROSA PARKS BEING TOLD TO RIDE IN THE BACK OF THE BUS. IN A FIGURATIVE SENSE. AND THAT IS THE LEVEL OF TRIUMPH THAT KOBE BRYANT BRINGS TO THE WORKPLACE.

                  QUITE FRANKLY IN THIS DAY AND AGE IT IS RARE. IT IS RARE.

                • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

                  I LIKE YELLING TOO!

                • Nady Nation

                  Not gonna lie, I laughed at this.

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

                  “… IT OFTEN MAKES YOU THINK OF ROSA PARKS BEING TOLD TO RIDE IN THE BACK OF THE BUS. IN A FIGURATIVE SENSE.”

                  Awesome. Just, awesome. (golf clap)

                • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

                  i’m laughing through the words ‘i fu#$ing hate that guy’ and my wife is asking why i’m laughing if i hate him.

                  how do i explain steven a smith without also explaining skip bayless? argh.

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

                  Just show her the last SAS Heckling Society of Gentlemen video. You can find it on youtube. The SAS sock-puppet rendition of Alanis Morrisette’s “You Oughta Know” kinda put that one over the edge, for me.

            • Kiersten

              BECAUSE THEIR SENTENCES ARE NOT ALWAYS WRITTEN IN ENGLISH. I FEEL MY IQ DROP WITH EACH ARTICLE I READ.

      • Kiersten

        I just pick it up to do the puzzles on the way to work.

  • Doug

    “He says that the Yanks’ “Win-Now” attitude in 2007 cost Joba innings this year. It is, supposedly, a lesson in balancing patience and planning for the future with the demands and allure of a World Series title.”

    picture yourself in 2011 and in the above, change 2007 to 2009 and Joba to Hughes.

    • the artist formerly known as (sic)

      OK. I am doing that…

      Done. Now what?

      • jsbrendog

        commence cashman bashing and cliched teh suxoriest comments.

      • Doug

        all i am saying (obviously) is that hughes’ innings in 2011 will be less than what they could’ve/should’ve been if we didn’t feel “forced” to keep him in the pen this year in our pursuit of the title.

  • Manimal

    If they do need bullpen help, couldnt they just call up Marte for sunday?

    • Chris

      Don’t they have to call up Marte by Sunday?

  • Tom Zig

    I actually haven’t seen many B-jobbers recently…

    • zs190

      Only because Hughes has been so awesome in the 8th. Even B-Jobbers can’t envision Joba being much better.

      There’s plenty of bones that you can pick with Joba as a starter this season, he’s been inconsistent, he generally doesn’t go deep into games, his command has been lousy.

  • Jeffrey

    Can we please swap Gaudin for Mitre? I don’t understand their fascination with Mitre. He might be more effective out of the bullpen right now. If he could strike out the side for 1 inning like he did in his last start I’d welcome that out of the pen.

  • JGS

    Mitre’s WHIP is higher than Brackman’s

    • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster)

      That is really scary.

    • Tony

      UGH, he’s a 5th starter!!! What do you expect!?!?!?!?!?!

      /Mitre’ers

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

        /Quixote’d

  • http://twitter.com/Hopjake Jake H

    I wouldn’t mind if they pushed Joba to 160 innings. It would be less then a 40 % jump. I would also like to look at how many pitches Joba has thrown. I think that has something to do with it also. 6 innings and 110 pitches is different then 6 innings with 95 pitches thrown.

    • C Bleak

      I think it evens out with his 4 innings 100 pitch appearences. He’s had a couple of those.

    • Jeffrey

      Joba averages 17.08 pitches/IP, not sure what the rest of the league’s numbers are but wasn’t the Wang of old always around 14/IP? Joba also averages 3.88 pitches/batter faced. Also averages 94.5 pitches per game, most in a game this year was 108. The fact that he is a strikeout pitcher suggests to me that Joba has to work a little harder than guys who don’t strikeout batters all the time. He also has the highest WHIP on the team aside from Mitre.

      • Doug

        of the 36 AL pitchers with 120+ innings, joba is 33rd in P/IP. let’s just say, he’s not economical

        • Jeffrey

          It looks like to me the only economical pitcher on the team is Sabathia. Here is the break down for the rotation.

          Starter Pit/IP Pit/BF Pit/GS
          Sabathia 15.95 3.83 106
          Burnett 17.19 3.89 106
          Chamberin 17.08 3.88 94
          Pettitte 17.19 3.91 103
          Mitre 19.19 3.86 86

  • JobaJr

    Believe me, I have no problem at all with this. I’m going to two games of the Texas series, hopefully I’ll see him.

    • Pasqua

      You have to go to the games just to see your dad? That’s so sad.

      • Jeffrey

        IETC What is Joba’s son’s name?

        • Marcos

          Karter

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        at least he knows who his dad is…

        (…looking at you kobe…)

        OMG WHO SAID THAT??!!

        totally unfounded horrible joke that is completely baseless and in poor taste.

  • Jeffrey

    This would still mean Joba probably pitches one of the games in Boston.

    • zs190

      I thought the plan was to line up Andy, CC, and AJ for Boston, I would be fine with that, I’m not sure who I would prefer to have, you can argue for either really.

      • Jeffrey

        The way Pettitte has been pitching lately were in good shape as long as no one named Mitre starts in the series.

  • EvoLuTioN

    who says joba can get out of 5 innings?

  • mryankee

    Did Snell say the Yankees should not have the lineup they have and complained about payroll. This guy was cut from the freakin Pirates and he just pitched a round of BP to the Yankees. What a wimp best deal not made wa to get this loser. I would rather see Mitre pitch even thoug he make me sick as well.

    • the artist formerly known as (sic)

      link?

      • mryankee

        To paraphrase “The Yankees should not be allowed to have that kind of lineup, but I guess when you have tha payroll” he also said something about al lineups being harder than nl lineupes. My response would be you suck in both leagues.

    • Kiersten

      I think he was saying it more as a compliment to the Yankees. Kind of like that quote about how Mariano should be in a different league because he’s too good for this one.

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

        This.

        mryankee – I think you kinda missed the point of what Snell was saying. He was praising the Yankees, not taking a shot at them.

        • mryankee

          Matter of interpretation I guess, I saw it as a whiny excuse because he sucks. Best move not made by Cashman-unfortunatley that chump mitre is pitching saturday

  • Don

    Barring anything unforeseen, here is how I see the rotation playing out through the Tampa doubleheader on 9/7.

    Aug 16 at Seattle – Joba
    Aug 17 at Oakland – Burnett
    Aug 18 at Oakland – Sabathia
    Aug 19 at Oakland – Gaudin (starting debut vs. former club)
    Aug 21 at Boston – Pettitte
    Aug 22 at Boston – Burnett
    Aug 23 at Boston – Sabathia
    Aug 25 vs Texas – Gaudin (banking on him outpitching Mitre)
    Aug 26 vs Texas – Joba (10 days between starts,could flip w. Gaudin)
    Aug 27 vs Texas – Pettitte
    Aug 28 vs Chi White Sox – Burnett
    Aug 29 vs Chi White Sox – Sabathia
    Aug 31 at Baltimore – Gaudin
    Sep 1 at Baltimore – Pettitte
    Sep 2 at Baltimore – Burnett
    Sep 3 at Toronto – Sabathia
    Sep 4 at Toronto – Joba
    Sep 5 at Toronto – Gaudin
    Sep 6 at Toronto – Pettitte
    Sep 7 DH vs Tampa – Game 1 – Mitre, Game 2 – Burnett

  • Ed

    In 2005, at the age of 19, he threw 118.2 innings, and the next season, he threw a hair under 90 innings

    One error in this – in 2006, Joba played Winter Ball. He threw (I believe) 37 innings there. That brings him to about 125 innings in 2006, leaving his 2007 cap around 150-160.

    An alternate plan could have been to have him start in the minors until the end of August / early September, then call him up to the majors to pitch in relief. He would’ve easily gotten another 20-30 innings in that way, which combined with September relief work could’ve gotten him to at least 140 IP.

  • mryankee

    Saw the Sox game yesteray afternoon-Verlander is kind of insane-anyone want to guess what iy would take to get him from Detroit and who would you rather have Verlander or Felix-I am thinking maybe he is the exception to the idea that you cant throw 100mph all game

    • jsbrendog

      has. nothing. to. do. with. joba.

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      Detroit isn’t moving Verlander. You’d have to blow them away with something like Cano/Chamberlain/Hughes, and that would just be the beginning of the conversation. He’s young, he’s good, he’s cost-controlled, and the Tigers don’t have the deepest organizational pitching depth in the business.

      That said, I’d probably rather have Felix. I worry about his workload, since he has a lot of innings on that arm, but he’s still young enough that he keeps getting better.

      But this is off-topic.

      I don’t really care how the Yankees execute the Joba plan; as long as they execute it. I think the Yankees are smart enough not to let Joba Chamberlain turn into the next Carmona, Prior, or Wood, so I trust that however the organization decides to keep Joba’s innings down, his innings will remain down.

      • Jeffrey

        The Yankees better get it right the way they handle Joba. He is a fan favorite, and has been since he joined the team. If they screw up they will hear it.

  • Frank

    This just makes it look like they don’t know what they’re doing. Almost like the “plan” wasn’t very planned out at all. Amateur Hour. Joba is a kid and is saying all the right things. Eventually some is going to ask him a question in such a way that he’ll either have to be critical or issue a telling “no comment”, similar to what A.J. did regarding the wild pitch fiasco with Posada the other day. All in all it is being handled in such a way that you’d swear that the front office across town was in charge.

    • jsbrendog

      “All in all it is being handled in such a way that you’d swear that the front office across town was in charge.”

      -agreement

      +disagreement

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

      Well, considering you never knew the plan, I don’t see how you can determine that it “wasn’t very planned out at all.”

      • Frank

        I don’t need to know the plan to recognize the confusion. This is August. And the race is in full swing. When you’re changing things on the fly, within days of your original schedule – it’s not flexiblity, it’s scrambling. I’m not an orthopedist nor a kniesiologist – but I would ask the question, what’s worse – an overage of “suggested” innings or an uneven implementation?

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

          I’d counter with saying that the best generals always leave their opponents wondering what will happen next. What do the Yankees have to gain by revealing anything to anyone? For all you know this could be a tactic. Will Joba start against M’s? O’s? Sox? Everything’s in flux, publicly, but for all we know it’s just a deceptive tactic by the front office.

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

          Also, I’m not an orthopedist or kinesiologist either, but I’d think that the Yankees, who have a vested interest in the long-term health of their player, would have asked that question to someone qualified to answer.

        • Fuzzy Bumpers

          (Formerly known as Makavelli)

          I think “innings” is a stupid way to look at things. Pitches is a much more accurate determiner…

          We’ve talked about this before though. What if you throw a bunch of 7 pitch innings? That gets treated the same as a 30 pitch inning in which you struggled??

          Doesn’t really make any sense. I don’t know why they don’t just go by pitches…more accurate and makes much more sense.

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

            I wouldn’t say it’s stupid by any means. A pitcher has to get up and warm up for every inning pitched. What kind of toll does that have on him? (I really don’t know, I’m just posing the question.)

            Further:

            You have two pitchers, both of whom throw an average of 17 pitches per inning. One allows more baserunners than the other. How does pitching with runners on, with the additional pressure of minding the runners plus the obvious additional stress of pitching out of the stretch, affect his workload?

            Innings, number of pitches, number of baserunners: these are all things we need to consider in determining pitcher workload.

  • thebusiness

    “In 2005, at the age of 19, he threw 118.2 innings, and the next season, he threw a hair under 90 innings. At that point, the Yankees would have wanted him to throw around 120 in 2007,”

    No, they would have wanted him to throw no more than 30 innings above his previous high, not the previous season.

    150

  • Pingback: Game 118: Fister? Hardly even know her | River Avenue Blues