Looking beyond Joba for some fourth options

The Gotham City Yankees
Fan Confidence Poll: September 21st, 2009

During the post-game interviews after the Yanks’ disappointing loss to Seattle on Sunday afternoon, Joba Chamberlain offered up his own assessment of his sub-par start. It wasn’t quite what the rabid New York media and judgmental Yankee fans wanted to hear, and it reminded many of some brash statements Ian Kennedy made during early 2008.

“My delivery was great,” he said. “I threw some great changeups. My slider velocity was great. My fastball velocity was more consistent.”

Nothing that Joba said there was a lie. As Steve S. as The Yankee Universe wrote nearly two weeks ago, Joba’s fastball velocity is right where it should be based on his scouting reports, and Sunday’s start was no exception. Joba flashed a decent fastball and a biting slider. What he did not do was control his pitches or take any responsibility for his bad spate of starts.

As reporters continued to pepper him with questions about his confidence and his health, Joba continued to sound calm, restrained and focus. “It’s going to take a lot more than this to get my confidence level down, I’ll tell you that much,” he said. “You can kick me as much as you want but I’m going to come back fighting every time. That’s how I live this live and that’s how I play this game of baseball.”

Joe Girardi, meanwhile, during his post-game interviews, seemed more guarded in his assessment of Joba’s start. Noting that Chamberlain had no control on Sunday, he talked about how Joba’s final two tune-ups — or auditions — are going to weight on the Yanks’ October choices. “His next start is important,” Girardi said. “It’s real important and we have to get him throwing the baseball the way he can.”

When asked if Joba had a lock on a post-season start, Girardi all but guaranteed it. “He’s one of the guys who have gotten us to that point, and we’ll continue to go with Joba,” he said, “for now.” With that final “for now,” Girardi was clearing hedging his bets.

With just 12 games remaining this year, the Yankees are running out of time to play with their pitching rotation. They need to get A.J. Burnett his starts for consistency’s sake. They want get CC Sabathia a shot as his 20th win. Andy Pettitte has to demonstrate that his shoulder is healthy. Joba Chamberlain has to get himself sorted out.

But what if the Yankees decided to give the fourth starter spot in October to someone else? Joba Chamberlain has never thrown this many innings, and the physical toll of this season could be responsible for this inconsistencies more than media attention or the Yanks’ plans are. Furthermore, the Yanks have won in October with Kenny Rogers and Denny Neagle in that spot. They don’t need an ace there.

The most obvious candidate is Chad Gaudin. Currently, the Yanks’ fifth starter, Gaudin will make two more starts as well this year. As a Yankee, Gaudin has thrown 29.1 innings with an ERA of 3.68. He has allowed 30 hits while walking 16 and striking out 24. His WHIP is a bit higher than we would prefer, but the Yankees are 4-0 in his starts. He gets the job done.

After Gaudin comes Alfredo Aceves. The Mexican Gangster has been a long-relief specialist for the Yankees. Shadowing Joba for much of the last few weeks, he hasn’t thrown since Sept. 14. He figures to be on alert should Andy Pettitte’s shoulder give out against the Angels tonight. He has generally stellar numbers and could make a start in a pinch.

The darkhorse candidate is Ian Kennedy. Prior to coming down with an aneurysm, Kennedy was 1-0 in four AAA starts in April. Over 22.2 innings, he had allowed just four earned runs (1.59 ERA) on 18 hits and 7 walks with 25 strike outs. He would have been given a shot this summer had he not been injured. After his injury, he came back and threw five scoreless innings over two Minor League playoff starts. If Kennedy gets a shot to pitch in the Bronx and does well, he could very well emerge as an October option. He’s due to pitch in the Arizona Fall League as the ALDS starts, and the Yanks could use his innings in a potential ALCS series instead.

Also on the team are Phil Hughes, Sergio Mitre and Josh Towers. Neither Mitre nor Towers is the answer, and while we salivate at the prospects of Phil Hughes starting, the Yankees need him in the pen. He can’t be stretched out right now, and his value in October will rest with his 8th inning appearances.

In the end, the Yankees’ fourth starter position for the playoffs is Joba’s to lose, and he might just lose it. It’s hard to see the Yanks calling on him from the pen in the ALDS. He may end up off the roster in the first round and marginalized in the ALCS if the Yanks get there. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for Joba or the Yankees.

The Gotham City Yankees
Fan Confidence Poll: September 21st, 2009
  • llc

    It’s called accountability. No one wants to hear about a couple good changeups after you give up 7 runs in 3 innings.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Saying “I threw the ball really well” and “I’m still confident in myself going forward” does not equal “not being accountable”.

      He didn’t say “It totally wasn’t my fault” or “The offense didn’t score me enough runs”. All he said was “I threw the ball well” and “I’m confident in myself”.

      There’s a difference between throwing the ball well and actually performing your job well. There’s a lot of other factors involved in that.

      • Makavelli

        All he said was “I threw the ball well” and “I’m confident in myself”.

        If that’s throwing the ball well…I’d hate to see him throw it unsatisfactory…

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Here’s a transcript of the Joba Chamberlain-Kim Jones postgame interview from YES. Tell me if Joba sounds like he’s not taking accountability for the loss and if he’s just some cocky schmuck who thinks he did a great job, everything is peachy, and the loss is all to blame on someone else.

          Jones: Are you disappointed today?
          Joba: Oh, yeah, I mean, I let my teammates down; uh, it’s pretty much embarrassing, you know, in what I did, you know, not being able to pick my team up; we’re trying to get out of here with a series win, so, you know, that’s the frustrating part–letting my teammates down.
          Jones: What wasn’t working?
          Joba: Uh, actually, it was all working, um, surprisingly; um, you know, all the sequences; just a couple of pitches–he, uh, that ball came back up the middle to, uh, to Griffey, and he put a good swing in, you know, just, um, that was, um, that was one I wanted back.
          Jones: You say it was all working, but you give up seven runs; how does that work in your mind?
          Joba: Just certain pi–i mean, just certain pitches, I mean, you take away two pitches, you know, and that may be one run or two runs, so… you know, but the long and short of it is, you know, going out and trying to help this team win and, you know, letting them down is frustrating.
          Jones: Joe talked before the game about wanting to see you out there so you could factor into a win, which would be five innings, of course; do you look at this as a step back? You were only able to go the three.
          Joba: Um, no, you take a positive out of everything; um, you know, it’s gonna take a lot more than this to, uh, get me down and to, uh, you know, to beat myself up; I know I’ve still got work to do and we’ve got a a long ways to go so you’ve gotta just get back out there and, you know, look at what you did this day and try to take from it and build on your next one and, uh, just do the things you need to do to be successful.
          Jones: Two starts left; what do you have to do to be ready for October?
          Joba: Uh, just, you know, just better sequences, um just–maybe reading a little–swings better, but, you know, like I said, delivery’s a lot better, so we just gotta continue to make those pitches.
          Unidentified Reporter: Joba, you said you want to take a positive out of everything; what’s the positive you take from today?
          Joba: Um, my delivery was great; um, I threw some great changeups, um, you know, my slider velocity was great, my fastball velocity was more consistent, and, you know, like I said, just those couple pitches, so, uh, it’s a great… not saying great, you know, in my delivery form, you know, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.
          Reporter: In the last month and a half ago you haven’t pitched like you’re capable of; is that something that you’re concerned about yourself?
          Joba: No, uh, it’s going to take a lot more than this to get my confidence level down, I’ll tell you that much, you know, you can kick me as much as you want but I’m going to come back fighting every time, so, you know, that’s what I’m gonna do, that’s the way I live this life, that’s the way I play this game of baseball, so, it’s gonna take a lot more than this and I’d be letting my teammates down if I didn’t.
          Reporter: No, not really asking about your confidence, but more, how you’re pitching.
          Joba: No, I’m fine, man. Yeah. I’m fine.

          • toad


            I agree with your reading. Lots of stuff taken out of context in the reports.

    • Bosox4life

      Struggling Pitcher Update:
      Joba vs Beckett … who’s a better bet to win a game in ALCS ?

  • yankees=warriors

    So far, Hughes has been the only one of the 3 to know how to deal with the media intelligently…

  • BigBlueAL

    I almost want Joba to be left off the playoff roster completely to show him he aint guaranteed anything for this year and next year.

    Of course I know that probably is stupid and overreacting but right now the frustration level with Joba is so high that I no longer expect him to pitch well and am surprised when he doesnt get lit up anymore. His 4.73 ERA and 1.54 WHIP doesnt help much either.

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

      I don’t think it’s stupid. He’d be off my playoff roster right now, and I’d give a Game 4 start to Gaudin. Luckily the Yanks still have two more starts to evaluate each guy.

      • toad

        It’s stupid if the point is “to teach him a lesson.” Not stupid if it’s because there are better choices.

  • wilcymoore

    Wait a minute … how can Ian Kennedy make the post-season roster? Wouldn’t the Yankees have to have called him up by Sept. 1?

    • Jeffrey

      Invent an injury, except Kennedy isn’t a very solid candidate. He is still coming back and I didn’t think he pitched more than 3 innings in an outing in the minors recently.

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

        He’s the darkhorse. Very unlikely.

        The Yankees would have to work him starting immediately. They could probably get him to 6 innings by the time Game 4 of the ALCS rolls around, but I wouldn’t expect it by any means. We just can’t ignore his presence though.

        • JGS

          don’t think he will be there in the playoffs, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a start in Tampa once the Yankees know who and where they will be playing in the first round

        • mustang

          “We just can’t ignore his presence though”

          Yes you can you just wouldn’t.

  • Jeffrey

    I’ve never been a fan of the current Joba rules. I’ve always been of the opinion that Joba should have started this season slowly or even a month late to control his innings. Leaving hindsight out of it in regards to Wang this should be a good lesson for them in planning for next year with Phil Hughes. They can’t break a guy down and then expect him to go through a quasi-spring training in August and September and be built up again.

    I’d like to see Joba start in the playoffs, but he has to prove he can go at least 5 innings, preferably 6 without giving up more than 4 runs. We know he is capable of quality starts, but whether he can produce at this point of the season is a crap shoot.

    • steve (different one)

      outside of a few brief stretches, he’s been pretty inconsistent frall season, so i don’t really buy the “rules” excuse.

      getting to 160 innings was #1 goal for Joba this year. starting him a month late is a HUGE risk to meeting that goal. you are basically banking that he doesn’t miss a start the entire season. if he tweaks something and has to miss a few weeks, he’s screwed for next season.

      • steve (different one)

        “all season”

      • http://z.about.com/d/tvcomedies/1/0/F/-/-/-/judge310_72.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        “getting to 160 innings was #1 goal for Joba this year. starting him a month late is a HUGE risk to meeting that goal. you are basically banking that he doesn’t miss a start the entire season. if he tweaks something and has to miss a few weeks, he’s screwed for next season.”

        That’s a totally reasonable argument, but the flip side of it is that on a team like the Yankees with annual postseason aspirations and, more importantly, reasonable annual postseason expectations, if you start an innings-capped young starter later in the year you’re upping the probability that the young starter in question will be available to pitch innings late in the season and into the playoffs.

        So, you’re right, you’re lowering the probability that the young starter in question will reach his innings-goal for the season, but at the same time you’re upping the probability that he’ll be pitching into the postseason and you won’t have to, potentially, weaken your team, perhaps significantly, at the absolute most important time of the season. And that’s a trade-off I think I’d make.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Exactly. We’re the Yankees. No, playing in October is not promised, but we make plans to be playing in October every season. We need to start treating the season like it’s 7 months long when we develop our innings goals and restrictions for young starting pitchers.

  • http://tomorrowsnewsyesterday.wordpress.com/ JMK

    Francesa looks like a wax figure in a museum of stupid.

    • Omar

      This was a great line.

  • BigBlueAL

    I cant believe IPK was even mentioned as a candidate. He has thrown 27 innings this year, non with the Yankees, and do we not remember how he pitched with the Yankees last year?? His 2008 season makes Joba’s 2009 season look Cy Young worthy.

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

      How he pitched last year should have no bearing on how the Yanks view him now or what they plan to do with it. Because he missed most of the season with an injury and has thrown only 27 innings, he probably isn’t a realistic option. But he’s with the club right now and is on the active roster. We can’t just ignore that.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        “How he pitched last year should have no bearing on how the Yanks view him now or what they plan to do with it.”

        Right, because it was a different era a year ago.

        • Mike bk

          mocking that comment is like saying that we should stick Bruney in the 8th inning right now because a year ago he was dominate as the 8th inning guy. ben is right that it is about the results you are producing now.

          • Spaceman.Spiff

            Hughes was no star last year, let’s remember that.

            • BigBlueAL

              Yes but he has pitched lights out this year. IPK has pitched a grand total of 27 innings this year, all in the minors. A meaningless spot start next week and he does decent then pitches some in the Arizona Fall League and all of a sudden he is ready to start Game 4 of the ALCS??????

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

                No offense, BBA, but you’re kind of missing the point while obsessing about Kennedy. All I’m saying is that he’s on the active roster and with the Yankees and could be a potential starter. I highly doubt he would start, but if we — River Ave. Blues — are going to do a rigorous examination of other potential pitchers, we can’t ignore him. That’s all. I’d confidently say that he won’t pitch in the playoffs, but the possibility, ever remote, exists.

                • BigBlueAL

                  Yeah I know, but the problem is that I imagine there are people who probably would rather have him start than Joba.

                  As bad as Joba has been lately and as critical as Ive been of him I still would obviously much rather have Joba start a playoff game than IPK.

                  Sorry about the obsessing about IPK Ben, it will stop right now!!! :-)

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Helpful hint, BBAL: If you change the phrase “I can’t believe that (Thing X) was even mentioned as a (Concept Y)” to the phrase “I don’t think (Thing X) is a good choice for (Concept Y)”, it takes the edge WAAAAY off your posts.

                  You, and Ben, and I all probably agree that Kennedy probably shouldn’t and likely won’t be the 4th starter in the ALCS. But when you open up your comment with two guns blazing along the “ZOMG WHAT KIND OF IDIOT WOULD EVEN CONSIDER THIS?!?!?!?” kind of language, it forces people into a defensive crouch.

                  Just my two cents.

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

          Let me flip around your faulty logic.

          Because Joba was lights out as a starting pitcher last year, we shouldn’t even be having this conversation. See what I did there?

          If Kennedy gets Major Leagues, gets hitters out and looks like his stuff is where it needs to be, he can pitch in the playoffs. If not, then he sits. What he did 17 months ago does not matter. This point is probably moot anyway.

          • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

            Considering I was trying to make a joke…yes, it is a moot point.

    • Nick

      First of all before IPK gets mentioned you have to look at the people the yankees would probably put in front of him

      IPK maybe here he might even be lower than that

      in order for him to have any chance he would have to make at least 1 if not 2 spot starts sometime in the next 2 weeks and really impress…

      personally if Joba doesn’t get it together in his next start I think we should work him out of the pen and let Gaudin take the #4 spot…how well has Joba pitched when we’ve given him 10 days of rest he loses focus and it just isn’t pretty. Lets say he starts like Oct 2nd or 3rd he’ll have almost a 2 week layoff between starts…instead i’d rather see the yankees transition him to the pen and let him throw some innings out of the pen for the last week to week and a half

    • mustang

      “I cant believe IPK was even mentioned as a candidate”

      You, me, and the rest of the baseball universe.

  • Hello

    Why not start CC on 3 days rest in 4 game of the ALCS and forget about the whole 4th starter until the World Series

    • BigBlueAL

      You could because of the off-day between games 4 and 5 of the ALCS. CC would pitch Game 4 on 3 days rest but would be on normal rest for Game 7. Normal rest also for the Game 2 starter for Game 5 and Game 3 starter for Game 6.

      • Hello

        ZZ has proven he can pitch on 3 days rest so why not. I have much more confidence in him on 3 days rest than Jobber or Gaudin or whoever else. No one else seems to be bringing this up though which I thought was surprising.

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

          Because it’s micro-situational. If the Yanks are up in the ALCS and they’re up 3-0 or 2-1, you don’t need to use CC. If they’re down 3-0 or even 1-2, you probably use CC on short rest. Generally, teams head into the second round with plans to use four starters and adjust accordingly.

          Admittedly, I forgot about the stupid extra day of rest the new ALCS schedule features. I guess the Yanks could just go CC, Pettitte, A.J., CC, Pettitte, A.J., CC. That last start for CC would be on regular rest. But that’s also contingent upon the Yanks wrapping up the ALDS in three games and not needing CC again in that series. Basically, you have to plan for a fourth starter.

          • BigBlueAL

            BTW, has there ever been a good reason for that new off-day between Games 4 and 5 of both the LCS’s???? Cause I certainly cant think of one.

            • Ed

              It’s for TV ratings. Reduces the number of days with two LCS games.

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

      If Game 4 is a must win situation, like win or go home, then I don’t think there’s any question that will happen.

    • Mike bk

      strategies like this always depend on the current status of the series and also assumes that the yanks wouldnt need to use CC late in the 1st series and he would be able to throw game 1 of the ALCS to begin with.

  • Drew

    “You can kick me as much as you want but I’m going to come back fighting every time. That’s how I live this live and that’s how I play this game of baseball.”

    Wow, that’s very troubling… ugh

    Mo after a tough game:

    “You forget about today and prepare for tomorrow.”

    As for his fastball, was it not more consistent? Jeez some people expect ball players to just tell them what they want to hear.

    This just in, we don’t know what Joba, Alex, Jeter, Jorge or any baseball player is truly thinking.

    Another thing, maybe when he looks at the tape tomorrow or tonight he’ll see something that wasn’t right. The fact that he doesn’t answer Kim Jones & Co.’s stupid questions with staunch truth shoud be expected.

    I mean, when someone asks you; “You just gave up 23 runs in 5 innings, how do you feel?” What the hell are you supposed to say?

    • Salty Buggah

      “DFA me now. I stink badly. I need to retire from baseball. I cant throw well at all, ever again. I’m 37 years old so I obviously cant improve. Put me in the damn bullpen, where I’ll succeed even without my stuff and control. You guys are right and obviously know how to pitch so I need to listen to you more often. I just suck. Badly”

      That’s what he should say.

    • Tom Zig

      What would it solve if the player said “Oh I just fucking sucked today, Curveball? Hung like a horse. Slider? Slid right onto the sweet spot. Fastball? Yep right down the middle, straight as an arrow”

      Absolutely nothing

      • http://imgur.com/NMNVd.jpg Joba Powers (all I needs is a jheri curl mullet)

        Because the “I’m unbelievably delusional” look raises questions like a motherfucker.

        Rightfully so.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          But he’s not unbelievably delusional.

          Listen to the whole interview, not just a lifted quote or two.

          Joba is contrite and upset with himself for a bad performance but still feels confident in himself going forward because he knows he made good pitches and had good mechanics. There is not a straight line between having good stuff and getting good results.

  • Salty Buggah

    I knew A-rod’s bad chemistry would come back to haunt young guys like Joba.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      If only we were the 2002 San Fransisco Giants…

  • Free Mike Vick

    this expection that some people have for joba is just flat out stupid….you can no blend what he did as a reliever to what he did as a starter. Its not fair to Joba

    it was unrealistic too think Joba would throw 100mph as a starter and K everyone and throw 14 straight scoreless innings at a time in his first full season as a starting pitcher on the major league level.

    • Doug

      an era of 4.50 and just keeping the yanks in ballgames would be nice

  • BigBlueAL

    Considering now that the Tigers dont even have a #2 starter with Edwin Jackson imploding lately let alone a #3 or 4 starter (forget Porcello, he is on a tight leash and wont go past 6 innings max) I think it is safe to say the Yankees should definitely go with the longer series and not worry about a 4th starter in the ALDS.

    Pettitte and Burnett 3 times against whoever pitcher the Tigers start not named Verlander is now a huge advantage for the Yankees. Of course here is hoping and assuming they would only have to pitch once each….

    • Drew

      Plus, regardless of our 4th starter:

      Us>>>>>>Everyone else

      • Omar

        The 4th starter can be a cause of concern. Say the Yankees get the Red Sox or the Angels in the playoffs…two pretty good teams who have played the Yankees well this season. It’s not unlikely that the Yankees go into the 4th game of the ALCS 2-1 or 1-2, meaning that 4th starter is critical. You all know I’m not very high on Chamberlain, and I know that all of you aren’t very excited at the prospects of Chamberlain starting a meaningful game in October. I like the idea of Chad Gaudin backed up by Aceves and Hughes. Going into this season I never thought that this would be a problem, but then again Chein Ming Wang made me seriously think about the question “How hard can brick walls be hit?” for the first time since August 28th 1996, Chamberlain took a step back, and Hughes moved to the bullpen. Hopefully the offense won’t do what they’ve done in October the past few times they’ve been there and this will all be moot.

        • Drew

          That doesn’t change my point.

          Us>>>Them (Them being any other baseball team)

          Would we rather Joba go into the postseason after 4 quality starts? Yes.

          Does Joba quell my confidence in the New York Yankees postseason chances? No.

          • bob small

            GJ you’re a homer.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              You’re a towel.

          • Omar

            The insanity it takes to think Chamberlain’s recent string of outings doesn’t hurt the Yankees’ playoff chances borders on RSN-level cognitive dissonance. Chamberlain’s last five starts:

            3IP 7 RA
            4IP 2 RA
            3IP 2 RA
            3IP 3 RA
            3IP 2 RA

            You’d have to go back to July to when Chamberlain last threw together a string on consecutive strong outings. I know the Yankees are trying to scale him back, so he doesn’t have time to get settled, but he’s been fucking dreadful since August. In the past two months he’s pitched 36 innings allowed six home runs, walked twenty one batters yet only struck out twenty seven. That’s fucking abysmal, at this point if he’s the Yankees best option at 4th starter there’s reason for concern. The guy has a ****5.66****!!!! tRA this year, that’s beyond words bad.

            He’s pretty much been the rotation’s Melky Cabrera, awesome April through July but beyond godawfully terrible from August 1st on. The potential to be good is there, and the good streaks are awesome…but the English language is incapable of describing how bad he can be. The rest of the line up can support Melky, but I’m not sure the rest of the staff can support Chamberlain…especially when you only have seven games to play and need to win four, and Chamberlain’s presence on the mound drastically reduces the chances of winning against a good team.

            His suck is more than words.

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

              No doubt he’s been bad, but for accuracy’s sake, it’s 4 IP 1 RA.

              • Omar

                My mistake.

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

    (Thanks for the link, Ben)

    Of the candidates you listed, Joba may still be the best option. Gaudin has pitched well lately, but he is who he is. Aceves will be needed in the bullpen, they tried starting him earlier this year and wound up weakening two areas in their pitching staff. IPK is too much of an unknown at the major league level to get a playoff start.

    Also, we should remember that whoever he faces will be our opponent’s 4th starter. Given the current makeup of our post season opponents, that means Washburn-Tigers/Bucholtz-Red Sox/ Kazmir/Saunders-Angels (though I don’t think the Yanks will go with 4 starers in the ALDS). You figure to be able to score runs against those opponents, so maybe you just get into a Game 4 slugfest.

    It will be Joba, and we’re just going to have to hold our collective breath to see which Joba shows up, as we will with AJ. I have a feeling that one of these two will bring their A-Game when the pressure’s on. We’ve seen AJ do that earlier this year vs the Mets and Sox, and we know Joba is capable as well.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Of the candidates you listed, Joba may still be the best option. Gaudin has pitched well lately, but he is who he is. Aceves will be needed in the bullpen, they tried starting him earlier this year and wound up weakening two areas in their pitching staff. IPK is too much of an unknown at the major league level to get a playoff start.


      Large sample size >>>>>>>>>>>>> small sample size

      Was Joba craptastic yesterday? Yes. Based on his history and potential and Gaudin’s history and potential, is he still the best option to win a playoff game? Yes.

      • Omar

        More importantly, was Joba craptastic this season? Yes. You like to mention Chamberlain’s history, yet conveniently forget that part of his history is riddled with injury, conditioning concerns, stuff worse than Ian Kennedy, and performance issues.

  • mryankee

    I picture a conversation between Joba and Posada based on the movie Major League 2 or Jose Molina.
    Catcher: Do you think your arm can stand the strain of throwing this guya a fastball?

    Joba: I’ll throw it you just make sure you catch it.

    Catcher: I will if it ever gets to me.

    Next pitch the white sox guy-or Ken Griffey JR-Moon shot

  • Chris

    Why is everyone so riled up about Joba’s comments? I heard his interview with Kim Jones, and he basically said he stunk. Then she asked what wasn’t working, and that was when he came back (with a sort of mystified tone) to say that it seemed like all of his pitches were working well, he just made some bad pitches. That doesn’t seem like that bad a statement.

    • Jersey

      Thanks for the context. If this is in fact the case, it certainly puts the comments in a very different light.

    • Makavelli

      Well it’s obvious he made some bad pitches…he got tagged for 7 earned runs. But this isn’t anything new. It’s not like this is “out of the ordinary” for Joba in his past several starts…

      Joba Chamberlain has given up 22 runs (21 earned) on 32 hits in a whopping 20 innings in his past 6 starts. He’s walked 9 while striking out 15. This line isn’t good for anybody at all. I could probably come close to those numbers…

      So the question is…should I pitch the 4th game in a playoff series?

      Also, the team as a whole has been losing every which way lately. Terrible starting pitching, no offense, if there’s good pitching…there’s little offense and Mariano will give up the game strangely on a walk off…

      It looks as though it’s getting bad at just the wrong time. Hopefully they can pull it together. The Red Sox are 9-1 in their last 10 while the Yankees are going the opposite direction…they’re 5-5 in their last 10…with only 12 games left. It’s no way to ride into the post season…

  • Makavelli

    While I love Joba’s “intensity” at times…other times he just reminds me of a cocky Red Sox player ala Papelbon…thinking he’s the best thing going…and nothing is ever his fault.

    While leaving him off of the post-season roster may be the best option to teach him a lesson…if he’s effective he’s outstanding…but at the moment…he’s as bad as you can get.

    His control has been an issue all year. Earlier, his walks were concerning but he would still have Dice-Kesque results. Lately, fewer are walking in favor of clobbering his pitches for extra base hits instead.

    He’s no good right now. While Girardi was right…he has helped us get to where we are right now…that does little to nothing in regards to where we go from here. If he’s utterly hopeless in his next start…I say you shut him down and try to come up with a better plan for next year.

    The best part of this “joba rules” thing…is knowing that it’s not really a great idea to continue in the future…

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      The best part of this “joba rules” thing…is knowing that it’s not really a great idea to continue in the future…

      And why is that? The innings/pitch limits are not intended to guarantee results from a starting pitcher. There is literally nothing that can do that. The point of the “rules” is to keep the young pitcher healthy. Chamberlain has stayed healthy all year and if he stays healthy all of next year, the rules will have been a success.

      • Makavelli

        My point was…maybe we shouldn’t rush pitchers up as quickly anymore…and look elsewhere for help…keeping the pitcher in the minors to work out kinks, practice new pitches maybe, get some innings under his belt so things like this aren’t an issue maybe…

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Yeah, you’re right, Chamberlain should’ve gotten more than 88.1 IP in the minors (I’m going to keep bringing this number up because a lot of people don’t realize how low it is). However, the innings/pitch limit is designed to give him the lightest workload possible and to build up his arm strength. If nothing else (working out kinks at the major league level, learning on the job, etc.), he’s doing that and avoiding injury and that’s the most important thing for any young pitcher.

          • Makavelli

            Agreed. I just wish he was at least half-way decent right now so we could use him. But at the moment, he’s as bad as anybody can be. And now that we’ve lost 4 games in the division in the past 2 weeks…we should probably consider shutting him down all together…

            He’s a serious liability right now, unfortunately.

  • CB

    As Steve S. as The Yankee Universe wrote nearly two weeks ago, Joba’s fastball velocity is right where it should be based on his scouting reports,

    Those of course were his scouting reports coming out of college. Not his more immediate scouting reports from the minor leagues.

    Joba was still raw in college as he hadn’t pitched very much at a high level in high school. After he was drafted Nardi Contreras worked with him on his mechanics and Joba picked up 3-5 mph on his fastball. And it was after that where he tore through Hawaii and then the minors in 2007.

    Joba major problem this year has been his poor control and command. But his velocity is not “where it should be” unless you believe that the velocity gains he made from improving his mechanics were never destined to last.

    But if they weren’t destined to last then he doesn’t necessarily have the ceiling people thought he did either.

    And it’s particularly concerning that his drop in velocity compared to the minors/last year as a starter has been accompanied by a drop in his command. There very well might be the same root cause leading to both. The improved mechanics that increased his velocity may also have improved his command. He may have lost those mechanics. Alternatively, the decrease in his velocity may be compelling him to try to be too fine and losing the strike zone in turn.

    • Larry F

      What happened to the 98/99 mph fastball? Never hear that now. Joba is a head-case. Put him in the bullpen-2 innings max and let him throw high octane stuff. His mechanics are less than optimal. He is a high release-all arm pitcher. No drop and drive which i think would help his longevity. I worry about that upcoming arm/shoulder injury-just a matter of time. Who makes these Joba rules anyway? Groom him to take over for Mariano in a few years-we could never have won without Mo. New Joba rules-have Mo teach him his cutter!!!

  • Nady Nation

    I think an interesting aspect of the Joba situation is whether he’ll be able to last deep enough into the games in his final two starts to build his pitch count back up, so if he needed to start a playoff game, he’d be able to without any restrictions. He’s still hovering around 70 pitches a start right now.

    • Jersey

      On the other hand, he could throw 100 pitches the next couple games and give up 5 ER in 5 IP. Of course, if he does in fact get bounced early in his next two starts, that’s probably a good sign that he shouldn’t start in the postseason regardless of his pitch count.

  • Makavelli

    LAA and BOS are completely capable of keeping us from that 7-5 record we need over the next 12 games. Especially since we’re 5-5 in our last 10 against the Blue Jays, Mariners, and Baltimore Orioles…

    Meanwhile the Red Sox are stampeding to the end the way we should be. And they get to face KC, Toronto, and the Indians to finish it off. At home, no less.

    Confidence level is slowly sinking…it’s not over with…but the way we’re playing and the lack of a playoff rotation…it’s not as great as it was a month ago.

    • old broad

      I’m with you; confidence and optimism are one side of the coin, but what about realism?

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

        Realism says that the latest version of the Postseason Odds Report still gives the Yanks the division 95.99 percent of the time. Extreme pessimism is focusing on that 4.01 percent and dwelling on it. The possibility exists for the Yanks to lose the division but win the Wild Card until they clinch. It remains exceedingly unlikely.

        • Doug

          but ben, isn’t it realistic to also say that they’re not playing particularly well and they have a few question marks heading into the postseason?

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

            Realism: Exploring the team’s problems heading into the postseason. An earlier version of this post ended with the line: “As the Yankees head into October, question marks abound, and as the next 12 games unfold, the answers will become clear.” It didn’t work as a closer when I went back to edit.

            Pessimism: Dwelling on the small chance that the Yankees might not win the division but will be in the playoffs anyway.

            There’s a big difference, and the realism that Old Broad and Makavelli are talking about above is not the same realism you are bringing to the table.

            • Doug

              fair enough

            • Makavelli

              Agreed. The team is making the post season regardless. I have total confidence in that. They just aren’t looking that great compared to other teams right now.

              The good news is if we do crawl into the playoffs…Detroit is doing the same (perhaps much worse)…facing them right now would be ideal.

            • old broad

              Okay, first of all, I’m not dwelling on anything. I’m trying to have some optimism, while at the same time praying we pull this off. I know we’ll likely make it to the playoffs, but with Joba up in the air, then what? I’m tired of getting knocked out in the first round.

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

                What does Joba Chamberlain have to do with the first round of the playoffs? He isn’t going to start a first round game, and there’s a decent chance he won’t even be on the ALDS roster.

              • Doug

                well, it’s a good thing then that he likely wouldn’t pitch in the 1st round anyway

        • Makavelli

          Even so, the team doesn’t pack their bags and go home after that 95.99% does or doesn’t happen. Regardless, they still don’t have a playoff rotation…and they’re 5-5 against the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, and the Seattle Mariners…ALL of which…have been out of the playoffs since May. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are 9-1…against Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and the Angels…

          My confidence includes the post season…it doesn’t end with 95.99% odds to win the division. Besides, we had a 58-1 odds against in the 2004 ALCS and are now well aware of what happened.

          Weird freaky shit always happens between the Yankees and Red Sox. It’s rarely ever normal…but perhaps it should be called normal because the weird shit is at least consistent.

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

            Even if the Yanks can’t fulfill that 95 % figure, they’re still in the playoffs. No big deal.

            • Makavelli

              Agreed. I’d just like to play the equally as anemic Detroit Tigers in the first round right now I guess…or I was hoping to do so anyway.

  • Jersey

    September Records:

    Team A: 19-9
    Team B: 13-17
    Team C: 19-8
    Team D: 19-8
    Team E: 12-6

    Which won of these was a World Series winner?

    • Jersey

      Which “one” of these

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Team B? (’98 Yanks?)

      • Jersey

        It is Team B, but not the ’98 team. 2000. I’d also add the ’99 team went jut 15-13 in September.

        It’s perfectly fine to be worried about Joba in the postseason, as I am, but that’s just one component of a diesel ballclub. Lots of teams that finished well get bounced from the playoffs in a flash, and plenty of teams that have finished poorly have done well in October (see: 2006 Cards). I hope that thought helps temper some worry for folks.

        Also: ’09 Yanks are still 12-7 on the month.

      • Aaron – Long Island

        I think team B was the 2000 Yanks

        • Aaron – Long Island

          Timing fail

  • Simon B.

    Okay, I hate it when Pete Abe does this kind of stuff. It’s times like these I’m glad he’s going to the Sox beat.

    Joba has a terrible start, and Abe makes it sound like Joba thinks he was fine. Joba was talking about his DELIVERY; he was not talking about his start, but Abe puts that quote first as if it were directly responding to how bad of a start it was so to make Joba seem delusionally cocky.

    If you listened to the postgame show, Joba was not happy about his start in the least. He said he let his teammates down.

    I hate it how the media tries to drum up belligerent fans whenever a guy goes through a bad stretch.

    • sangreal

      His start was bad because his pitches were bad. He says he let his teammates down, but then goes on to say he was throwing great and just got beaten by good hitting. That wasn’t the case.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        His start was bad because his pitches were bad.

        Joba threw 69 pitches. If, say, 60 of them were good and 9 of them were bad, would Joba be incorrect if he said “No” if someone asked him “Were your pitches bad?”

        then goes on to say he was throwing great and just got beaten by good hitting. That wasn’t the case.

        Yeah, it was. Again, listen to the WHOLE interview.


  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    And again, just in case anyone forgot:

    Yankees, September 2009: 12-7
    Red Sox, September 2009: 13-5

    Are we playing like crap and the Sox are rolling? Really? We’ve won one fewer game and they’ve lost two fewer. People keep saying this “we’re not playing good right now and the Sox are”. The results don’t agree with that narrative that much. We’re only 1.5 games back of the Sox in September, and we’ve been pissing games away by having starters throw 3 innings and then get pulled, or pitching Sergio Mitre, or resting regulars. The Sox are going balls to the wall and they’re only 1.5 games better than us; we’ve been in cruise control since mid-August. Remember that.

    • Makavelli

      On September 10th, we were 9 games up in the division and coasting. Since then, we have lost 4 games in the division.

      Since September 10th, the Yankees have won 4 games and lost 5. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have won 9 games and lost 1.

      And what’s even worse, is that this record is against seemingly irrelevant teams…while the Red Sox 9-1 record has been against heavier opponents.

      Regardless of the entire September record…LATELY…for the 2nd HALF of September, we have been playing pretty terrible. The overall September numbers just makes it look even worse actually…knowing that we were that much better during the first half of the month…

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

        Small sample size + Extreme Pessimism = Making numbers “prove” that the Yankees suck.

        Are you actually rooting for them to blow it just so you can be right? Are you blind to the fact that the Yanks are still five games up and still have the best record in Major League Baseball? I’d hate to go through life with your attitude toward this. The sky is always falling.

      • mtrico

        I fully expect the series against Boston to be very meanigful for purposes of who wins the division. If the Yankees get swept by Anaheim, I would say it is highly likely that Boston takes the AL East.

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

          So basically, what you’re saying is that if the Yankees continue to not win, they will lose. Yup. That sounds about right. I don’t expect the Yankees to continue to not win though.

          • mtrico

            Realistically, how many games do you think this team wins in Anaheim? If history tells us anything, it is likely to be 1 of 3 or worse. Also, while the Yankees have a 4 game lead over Boston for the division, it is actually 3 because unless the Yankees sweep Boston (which would give the Yanks the division anyway), Boston will own the tiebreaker.

  • mustang

    I knew before even reading the thread that Hughes was going to get thrown in again but I can’t even believe IPK was even noted. WOW!
    Are you guys serious?
    RAB has just taken the “Big Three” bias to a different level.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Did you read the post? It doesn’t seem like you read the post.

      • mustang

        I read the post tommy and I’m sorry but IPK is NOT darkhorse candidate for post season spot.
        Its a waste of space to even type that. They are going to give a spot to a kid who has proven very little on the MLB level if he pitches well in the last two weeks of meaningless games.

        • mustang

          And we are base this on 27 minor league innings this year?

          Oh let me not forget those five scoreless innings over two Minor League playoff starts.
          Damn who needs CC.

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

            See this comment and give the Kennedy bashing a rest. He’s not going to start in the postseason; no one thinks he will; but to ignore him wouldn’t be journalistically rigorous of us. This is not a challenging point to grasp.

            • mustang

              First its not IPK bashing its looking at it from a realistic point of view. I would bet if you poll a bunch of sports writes most of them (if not all) would not mentioned IPK as a candidate for anything this year.
              The challenging point to grasp is the obsession you guys have IPK and what exactly has he done on the MLB level to earn this. And its funny when anyone addresses this then they are somehow being obsessive.

  • mtrico

    If Pettitte is not healthy for the playoffs, this team is in a world of trouble. I am anxious to see how he pitches tonight.

  • ds

    What makes Girardi think Joba can do it? He is not “one of the guys who got us here”. He has been merely a body not doing a good job.
    The kids got a problem and not just in his pitching. He can’t even cop to the bad job he has been doing. Sounds like he is either clueless or in denial.
    Has he really been better than Gaudin and Mitre this past 2 months? Sounds like wishful thinking to me.
    Why put the Yankees in a hole every time he starts? Who cares if he settles down after an inning or two when the damage has already been done? Why wear out the bullpen just to get him in for a few innings? IT doesn’t sound worth it to me.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      What the hell do you expect Girardi to say?

      “I think this guy is terrible and I will never let him pitch again” ??

  • UrbanCrab

    Chamberlain needs to be thrown in the garbage heap. He is of no value to us whatsoever. Absolutely no consistency. AJ Burnett’s inconsistent streaks are bad enough. We’re trying win the whole enchilada, so why stick with the barely-ables? I say go with a four man rotation of CC, AJ, Pettitte, and a Hughes/Aceves combo for the rest of the way.

  • Pingback: Accountability Media Fail, pt. 2 « iYankees

  • mtrico

    It’s kind of sad when you put Mitre’s stats for August and September side by side with Joba’s from the same period, and you reaize that Mitre’s are actually better. Joba has 2 starts to show the Yankees that he deserves to get the ball in the post season. I am not holding my breath. Gaudin has the same opportunity, and unfortunately, for now, I think he has the edge.

  • mtrico

    It’s kind of sad when you put Mitre’s stats for August and September side by side with Joba’s from the same period, and you reaize that Mitre’s are actually better. Joba has 2 starts to show the Yankees that he deserves to get the ball in the post season. I am not holding my breath. Gaudin has the same opportunity, and unfortunately, for now, I think he has the edge.

  • Steve

    Asked but not answered in this thread – how is Kennedy eligible for the post-season roster when he wasn’t on the 25 man roster on September 1? What’s the rule?

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

      If you’re on the DL on September 1, you’re eligible. If there is a player on the DL at that time, the team can replace him with any player in the organization. So those are two ways Kennedy can be on the postseason roster.

  • miketotheg

    Hey Fellas, Job’s head is screwed up and he’s going to suck for the rest of the season. Deal with it.

    sorry to yell.

    raise a glass, take a moment to reflect. I will.