Joba Chamberlain will start the final game of the series for the Yankees this afternoon, but no one knows exactly how long he’ll go. As we learned on Friday, there is a new set of Joba Rules which will allow for Joba to take the ball every five days and keep his innings in check. This is a departure from the previous plan, which was to give him extended rest. The Yankees weren’t happy with the results they got so far, so rather than stay the course they’ve decided to alter the plan. They’ll achieve the same result, just using different means.
The plan is to keep him in a rhythm by handing him the ball every five days. The catch is that he won’t be going many innings in some of these outings. Entering play today Joba has thrown 130.2 innings, so he probably has around 30 to go for the season. He might not go that long today — the plan is to build him back up to six innings per start by the end of the season, in preparation for the playoffs, so they’ll have to skim some innings from starts in the interim.
Backing up Joba will be Al Aceves and David Robertson. Some of Aceves’s best performances this year have come in relief of Chamberlain, though he hasn’t been great in his last few outings. He did hold his own against Texas on Thursday after a four-day layoff, so perhaps he’s had time to recover. The Yanks could use a good two or three innings out of him today. If they can get four from Joba and three from Aceves and Robertson, they should be set up to toss Hughes and Mo to close it out.
That, of course, depends on the offense. They’ll get their chance against Freddy Garcia. You might remember that the Yanks expressed interest in the righty prior to the season, but he ended up signing with the Mets. That experiment didn’t last long, as the Mets jettisoned him before he could make a major league appearance. The White Sox later picked him up, and have given him two starts to date.
Those starts haven’t been all that great. He allowed five runs in 4.1 innings to the Royals his first time out, though that could have been shaking off the rust. Last time out he faced the Red Sox and allowed three runs over 6.1 innings. He used only 93 pitches in that span, so perhaps Freddy is coming around to be a serviceable pitcher for a second-tier team. Hopefully the Yanks get to him before he fully comes around.
There was a complaint about Melky starting in our Twitter feed. I have no problem with this. He’s the starter. He got a day off yesterday, and that’s fine. Good even, considering how he’s been slumping. Now he’s back in the lineup. We’ll see if he can start swinging the bat a bit better.
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Johnny Damon, LF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Hideki Matsui, DH
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Eric Hinske, RF
9. Melky Cabrera, CF
And on the mound, number sixty-two, Joba Chamberlain.