Question about Joba

When Halladay is on...
Game 136: Starting another streak

Ok, so I’m not particularly inspired to write much about the Yankees this morning, and there’s not any real news to share. So instead I’ll ask a question that I’ve had a tough time answering.

If Joba Chamberlain continues pitching like this over his next two or three starts, is there any chance the Yankees just shut him down? Say he throws three more starts and goes 4, 4, and 5 innings. That’ll put him right around 150 innings. If he’s still struggling, then it would be tough to trust him in a playoff game. So if you can’t trust him in a playoff game, and he’s at 50 more innings than last year, and 30 more innings than the all-time high he set in 2005 (or 2006, depending on how you look at it), why not just have him pack it in?

I hope this is just a mental exercise and that Joba does right what’s been wrong over his past four or five starts. But it’s starting to build up. He’s struggled with command at times, and then when he’s throwing strikes guys are hitting him. Things are not looking good right now, not by any stretch.

I’m leaning towards shut down in the above-mentioned situation. The idea is to balance the short- and long-term aspects of Joba’s development, and if he’s not pitching well then he’s not helping the team in the short term. If he’s not helping the team in the short term and he’s already at so many more innings and pitches thrown over last year, I think the best move is to have him pack it in. Thoughts?

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When Halladay is on...
Game 136: Starting another streak
  • t

    Wouldn’t it make sense to taper his innings down into a closer mentality towards the end of the season? CC/Burnett/Pettite. Do we really need a 4th starter? Just a thought, I don’t really trust him at this point.

    • Ed

      If Burnett was more consistent, I’d be ok with that option. But he’s a question mark. Pettitte has been vocal about extra rest helping a lot. And CC has a history of pitching well on short rest, but when done too often he hits a wall and falls apart (the reason for his bad postseason history).

  • Ed

    I’ve been pretty skeptical about how many innings he was on track to pitch, assuming he keeps going in October. Feels like too high of a jump. I think his struggles have been a sign of him being pushed to his limits. So I think it’s in his best interests to be shut down. I don’t see throwing an exhausted Joba into a high pressure playoff start as helping anyone.

    But, in terms of short term goals, what’s really the alternative? For the most part Gaudin and Mitre have been pitching just as ineffectively. It’s probably too late in the year to stretch Hughes out again, and I don’t think the Yankees want to after last year’s Joba issues. I don’t know if they really trust Aceves with a postseason start.

    And as I type this, I have a picture of Brackman staring at me to the right. I think he’s another guy throwing more innings than he has in him. He’s never thrown a significant amount of innings in a season in his life, and the year he hit his peak, he ended up having Tommy John. I think that’s the reason he fell apart halfway through the season.

  • GG

    While it seems possible he’s shutdown, and this plan has not worked well at all….We can’t have only three starters, I’m no expert, but I wouldn’t think thats a good idea, lets just hope he rights his ship, I mean what else can we do between now and then anyway???…..and great pic off to the side , 2001 world series I do believe

  • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

    Unfortunately, agreed. If he’s not pitching better, he won’t be an asset.

    Also, I hate to say it, but pulling him from the postseason roster might be a good way to light a fire under him for next year. Not that his struggles are all his fault–you have to figure some of it is this irregular usage–but the kid needs to know what he’s doing isn’t good enough.

    • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/04/10/alg_aj-burnett.jpg Mike Pop

      Why not have him in the bullpen though?

      • http://leegrantphotography.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/madmax.jpg gxpanos

        I hate yanking him around like that. And how do we know he would be the guy from ’07?

        The best way to put the Verducci Rule into practice would seem to be, intuitively, ti pitch a guy on regular rest until he hits his limit, then shut him down. Joba pitching so poorly is just more of a reason to do the right thing.

        • Drew

          I’d actually vote for shutting him down sooner rather than later (maybe 1 more start) and giving him a few more innings out of the pen to see how he does. Firstly, perhaps we see the Joba of ’07 and regains that competitive fire. Second, that will suppress his innings closer to the +30 innings rule of thumb including the playoffs. If he does succeed there as we have seen previously, start CC, Petitte, Burnett 1,2,3 and with the best record in baseball choose the longer stretches in between. A pen with Hughes, Joba, Mo cuts the game to 6 innings a realistic number for any one of those starters. Add to that a healthy Marte, a Robertson who has been slowly improving his control with an insane K/9, Aceves and whomever and you can dominate most games. Start Mitre #4 if he is feeling better, who after a rough start has been showing some promise and I feel pretty good overall.

          • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

            Mitre actually doesn’t line up too bad against any of the other 4th starters in the playoffs.

            Detroit would have Verlander, Edwin, and probably Porcello(he could be shut down too, right?) as their top three. So that leaves Robertson, Bonderman, or Galaragga.

            LA has Lackey, Kazmir, and Weaver or Saunders as top three probably. So their 4th would be Ervin/Saunders or Weaver, whoever wasn’t 3rd.

            Boston has Beckett, Lester, and Buchholz. Their 4th would be Wake, Dice-K, or Paul Byrd I guess.

            I think I got that right but don’t hold me to any of it. Obviously, I am not confident in Serg, but I am in the Yankees offense against those pitchers.

            • Ellis

              In my opinion, Mitre doesn’t line up well with any of those 4th starters. Mitre vs. Wakefield/Dice-K? Mitre vs. Ervin Santana? ::afraid::

            • Let’s Talk About TEX Baby

              I think the ship sailed on not starting Joba in the playoffs when the Yankees didn’t acquire a compitent starter before August 31st. Mitre and Gaudin are just not good enough to pitch in any playoff game regardless of the opponent. Pettitte probably can’t pitch on 3 days rest at his age, and doing it with CC or AJ in an emergency is one thing, but doing it time after time is just putting them at a diminished capacity and is not a formula for success.

  • ds

    I think its time to convert him to a 1 inning man. Why not bring up another starter like Towers and give him a chance to adjust before the playoffs.

    • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/04/10/alg_aj-burnett.jpg Mike Pop

      I’m sorry but I don’t want Josh Towers anywhere near the Yankees for the playoffs.

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

      I’d far rather Jason Hirsh. Who I think will be making starts soon enough.

    • Joe R

      Towers was called up today

  • Rockdog

    I like the shut down idea, although I might be inclined to give him some garbage innings in the playoffs, again just for the experience. Gotta wonder if he is just tired at this point.

  • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/04/10/alg_aj-burnett.jpg Mike Pop

    This is a little bit scary. I say, assuming there isn’t a big health risk. You switch him and Hughes. Have Hughes be the 4th starter in the playoffs.

    Let him take Joba’s starts now, and go those 2, 4, and then 5 or 6 innings to get him stretched out.

    Joba can take Hughes spot in the pen and dial it up and be just as good back there again. Only problem is, people will be clamoring that he stay in that role.

    • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/04/10/alg_aj-burnett.jpg Mike Pop

      Obviously, this will never happen.

    • Nick

      I agree with the idea of Hughes in the rotation, but don’t think Joba should be anywhere near the playoff roster. While his fastball may reappear, I doubt his command will, and that seems to be as big of a problem as the fastball.

      A playoff bullpen of Marte, Coke, Rivera, Aceves, Robertson, Bruney, and Melancon can get the job done.

      However, I don’t seem them making the switch.

      • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

        Ya, I wouldn’t have a huge problem leaving off the postseason roster. But, why not see what he can do out of the pen before then. There is a month left in the season, if he can come out of the pen and dominate like he did for an inning or more. That is only an asset.

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

          Then who is your fourth starter?

          • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

            Hughes, as stated above.

            I read your post below, and yeah sticking to the plan is probably the best decision. But, I do think Joba could be effective out of the bullpen. Health is my biggest concern about the switch. As I said, it will probably never happen. Probably because like you said, injury risk is a huge factor and how valuable Hughes has been out of the pen.

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

              Yeah… I think you’re being a little rash. I’m worried about Joba, too… I mean, it’d be crazy to not be concerned at this point… But the smartest thing to do at this point is probably not to make rash decisions and give up on Joba for the season and yank a major piece out of your bullpen while simultaneously putting the health of your two most important young pitchers at risk. There might not be a perfect answer right now, but doing all that stuff certainly isn’t the best answer.

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

      “Joba can take Hughes spot in the pen and dial it up and be just as good back there again.”

      I think you’d be mistaken to assume that he’ll suddenly find his lost velocity if he were to be sent out to the bullpen. An uptick is to be expected, but it’s not like he’ll suddenly turn into 2007 Joba out there.

      I’m inclined to choose between only two options: Joba stays in the rotation (and then is either the 4th starter or an extra reliever in the playoffs) or is shut down and sent home. The last thing I want to see, at this stage of the season, is both Joba and Hughes being put at risk and flip-flopped between the rotation and the bullpen. There are just entirely too many moving parts and risks in a plan like that for it to be a prudent move either for the Yankees’ effectiveness on the field or for the health/development of either of those pitchers. As much as I hated the original decision to put Hughes in the ‘pen, it’s September now and he’s been out there for months and he’s an effective, and important, cog in that bullpen. They’re not moving him back to the rotation at this point, nor should they.

      I tend to be a fan of sticking to plans, since plans are usually made with cooler heads and with a more objective eye than on-the-spot decisions made later on that might alter such plans. If the plan is for Joba to pitch these shorter outings and then build back up before the end of the season, I think I’d prefer if they go that route for now and see how it works before abandoning it and trying to figure out who the new 4th starter is. There’s some time left to see if this plan works and Joba improves so they should use that time to try to make it work, and in addition, there aren’t any attractive alternatives.

  • Charlie

    At this point, I don’t even know what they should do with him. I’m just gonna watch this thing run its course and hope for the best (as in, Joba pitches well, Yanks win it all).

    • Mike HC

      You and everybody else, including the people who come up with the “plan.” To put it bluntly, nobody knows shit. They have a plan, they should stick to it, and hope for the best

  • Accent Shallow

    I suppose we’re getting to the point of would vs. should: I’m not sure that the Yankees do this, because who’s the fourth starter? Gaudin? Mitre? Aceves? Someone from AAA? I think I’d rather have an inconsistent Joba over any of those options.

    Anyway, I’m not sure that the Yankees would shut him down, (barring major developments) because none of the other options are appealing.

    • Zack

      I agree. Even if Joba just gives you 5IP 4ER in the playoffs, he’s still a better option than Mitre/Gaudin/Aceves/Hirsh/etc.
      Lets just say something goes wrong and they’re down 1-2 in the playoffs, you’re giving the ball to one of those guys instead of Joba?
      That’s like saying if Swisher is 0-12 in the last week of the season we should start Hinske over him in the playoffs; even if Swisher went 0-3 every game in the series he’d still be a better option than Hinske.

    • Nick

      Is the 4th starter that important in the playoffs? While I’d much rather see Hughes promoted to that role, the yanks won the series with Kenny Rogers and Denny Neagle filling that void, so someone like Mitre et al. might not be too bad. Just have a quick hook, and bring in Aceves to fill the remaining innings till the 6th.

  • Mike HC

    Backed by very little evidence, I believe that Joba is and has been holding back. It seems like Joba and the Yanks just wanted to get him through the year healthy and have him hit his innings limit. Especially at this point in the season, there is no reason for Joba to overextend himself, both velocity and innings/pitches wise.

    I have a feeling playoff Joba will be throwing two or three mph faster on avg then he did in the regular season. That may have lasting negative effects if he steps it up for the playoffs, but pushing himself for two or three starts may not be such a bad thing. It is only human to want to be at your best for the playoffs, and I think we will see a different Joba. Just a hunch.

    • Zack

      You may have a point. But regarding health(physically and mentally) is it really beneficial to just give 80% while pitching?
      It’s the same philosphy when talking about preseason football games, if you’re out there trying not to get hurt- you’re going to get hurt.

      • Mike HC

        hahah, I think it is a bit different for obvious reasons. I think pitching 80% will keep you more healthy, but less effective, which is what I believed happened to Joba this year. I don’t mind that plan though. The main objective this year was to keep him healthy and build arm strength for future seasons. The year has been a success in my book so far. Building arm strength will help him pitch both more innings and harder in the future. We will see though and Joba may need serious surgery at some point no matter what the Yanks do with him. Nobody knows.

        • Zack

          It’s is different, but it’s the same principle. I have no problem with the inning limit to protect his arm, but telling him not to give 100%?? So that means he’s out there just going through the motions out there? Go out there and just pitch until they pull you and if an injury happens then an injury happens.

          • Mike HC

            NOt that I want to get into an argument about this, but it is not the same principle at all. Football players are at risk of injury if they are not giving it 100% because they can get hit at any moment. Their muscles can tear, tendons stretch because they have other guys assaulting him. During practice, or walk throughs, they don’t go all out because guys aren’t hitting them. The only way that principle holds for pitchers is if due to their not giving their all, the batter will hit the ball so hard right back in their face, or the ball will hit them. It has to do with physical contact, not because of muscle memory or anything like that.

            And yes, try throwing a baseball as hard as you can 100 times, vs taking just enough off to lose two or three mph. There is considerably less strain on your arm when not giving your all. And while not optimal, it helps avoid injury when your body is not used to throwing that hard for such an extended period of time. Over time, your body can adjust, but it takes time.

  • Mark B

    Just throw the fricking rules out the window and let him pitch. Seriously – quit worrying about the future as the future is now. The man is being paid to pitch – not be treated like some piece of my Grandmother’s chine that is used once a year.

    If we don’t win #27 this year we will look back at this embarassing and unintelligible mismanagement of Joba’s pitching as a main reason.

    • Zack

      I’m not even going to comment on the first part but..

      “If we don’t win #27 this year we will look back at this embarassing and unintelligible mismanagement of Joba’s pitching as a main reason.”

      The 4th starter is going to be the main reason why this team doesnt win the WS? Really?

      • Mike HC

        I think his point was more that if the Yanks just unleashed Joba full force all year, he would have pitched far better than a number four. His point is valid. Pitch the shit out of him this year. Maximize his effectivness and don’t worry about the future. He may get hurt in the future, but he also may get hurt in the future anyway. Who knows. I don’t agree with him, but he has a point.

        • Zack

          So because he MAY get hurt in the future, we should abuse him now?

        • whozat

          No he doesn’t.

          “Hey, let’s take a 23 year old kid coming off a shoulder injury and have him just air it out all season.”

          I can’t see ANYTHING that might go wrong with that. I mean, it’s not like Liriano, Carmona, and half the Blue Jays 2007 rotation all got blown out while we were all watching, was it?

          • Mike HC

            There is nothing to say that that would not have happened two or three years down the line anyway. Maybe all the Yanks are doing with Joba is delaying the inevitable, while not maximizing his potential while we do have him healthy.

            And I repeat, I don’t agree with him, but it is not such an open shut case in my opinion.

            • Zack

              There is no logic to that way of thinking.

              My girl might cheat on me in a year, so im going to cheat on her first.
              This guy walking into the store might rob me, so im going to attack him first.
              My new 50k car might break down in a year, so i’m doing to drive it into the ground in the meantime.

              • Mike HC

                “My girl might cheat on me in a year, so im going to cheat on her first.”

                Yea, if your girl has a history of cheating on boyfriends (Joba has an injury history which is the reason the Yanks was even able to draft him), it may be in your best interest to have sex with that 9 or 10 when you get the chance, and hope you get away with it. Because you may never get the chance again and you will regret not doing it when your girl predictably cheats on you.

                Same principle for the other ones. If they have a history or stealing, breaking down, it might be best to maximize its use while you still have the chance and not regret it later.

                • Zack

                  Is 2 injuries really considered an injury history? Shoulder tendinitis yes, it was so serious he wasnt even out for a month. And a tricep issue that was what 3 years ago?

                  Yeah lets just abuse him and burn him out before he turns 26, great plan

                • Mike HC

                  I agree with you. But I can also see the other side of the argument. Thats all I’m saying. You obviously can’t see the other side, which is fine

                • Zack

                  No I’m sorry, I cannot, under any circumstance, see the logic behind abusing a 23 year old arm.

                  And his original post clearly said he doesnt give a crap about the future, its all about 2009.

                • Mike HC

                  I think he was most worried about seeing Joba’s fate play out the same way as his Grandmother’s china. He couldn’t sit idly by and watch this travesty play out not only to the china, but to Joba too.

                • Zack

                  And I’m sure he had no problem with the two college coaches leaving their 2 relievers in the game for 200+ pitches each during the CWS right, because hey its all about today and today only

  • darthdavid

    Shut him down. See if he can work out the pen last week of the season.

    If he regains his old fastball, he could pitch out the pen with just that.

  • darthdavid

    IDK why the yankees think they can ignore the 30+ innings rule. They did so with IPK and Hughes and look what it got us! Both where injured the seasons after and are just getting their feet back under them!

    Also its not like joba is beasting this season. He is not breezing through innings or has a healthy track record. Dude is really having to scrap it together! I hope this turns out for the best.

    • whozat

      “They did so with IPK and Hughes and look what it got us! Both where injured the seasons after and are just getting their feet back under them!”

      This is just revisionist history.

      Hughes:
      2005: 85 IP, plus some AzFL
      2006: 146 IP
      2007: 109 IP, was doing great until the hammy injury in TX
      2008: 70 IP
      2009: 95 IP so far

      When did they ignore the rule? 2005-2006? You’re saying the _hamstring_ injury was caused by ignoring the workload issue?

      Kennedy pitched over 100 IP in college his last year, then threw several starts in the AzFL. Then he threw 170 innings the next year. Maybe 40 innings more year over year?

      • Ed

        Hughes innings totals are a little higher than what you gave.

        In 2006 he made one minor league playoff start and in 2008 he made multiple (I believe two, can’t find it easily). He also had some MLB playoff innings in 2007, and pitched 30 something innings in the Arizona Fall League in 2008.

        Anyway, your point is right. Just wanted to point out that his 2008 total is more like 115 innings when you add in everything. He’s pitched less this year than he did last year, but at a quick glance it looks like he’s already pitched a lot more.

    • A.D.

      Hamstring & rib cage injuries are generally not the worry of overworking young pitchers.

      • the artist formerly known as (sic)

        False. As Will Carroll says, fatigue manifests itself in many different ways.

        • Ed

          If Hughes had those injuries in August, I’d give you fatigue.

          But the hamstring was the beginning of May and the rib was April (I think).

  • chriskeo

    If they went without a 4th starter wouldn’t that mean that CC would have to pitch on 3 days rest twice in the playoffs, and an extra one for any game 7’s forced, this isnt 2008, he has never pitched on 3 days rest all year that I can recall, its a possibility.

  • A.D.

    Initial reaction would be that if he’s pitching like this, there’s no reason to put extra playoff innings on his arm where he’s just going to suck.

    The flip side, is this is probably a mechanical adjustment (such as we saw as the ASB) from dominating again, and while he hasn’t been good of late, Mitre & Gaudin don’t exactly inspire confidence as being 4th starters in the playoffs, unless one of them strings together some great starts down the stretch.

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

    Mitre’s been outpitching Joba for about a month.

    • Zack

      Right, does that mean you want Mitre over Joba pitching Game 4?

      • JM

        Isn’t there a 3-man rotation in the playoffs because of days off and what ive seen from previous postseason clubs?

        • Mike HC

          You can do it, but guys will most likely have to pitch on short rest consistently. Its a trade off

        • Zack

          I’ve heard different reports on that so not sure. But I think we’d still have to pitch them on short rest, something I’m not to big on with AJ and Andy.

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

            This is an important point people tend to miss when they say ‘well CC can pitch on short-rest.’ If you have a 3-man rotation in the playoffs, it’s not just CC that will likely be pitching on short-rest, it’s AJ and Andy, too.

            • Zack

              Agreed, if they keep CC fresh in Sept I have no problem with him going 3 days in a playoffs series- if necessary.
              But I want to keep AJ just on schedule, he’s been healthy all year, no reason to mess that up now. And Andy is 37, I dont care how good hes been lately, no reason to pitch a 37 year old on 3 days rest when you dont need to.

  • bonestock94

    Burnett needs to get his head out of his ass and Pettite just needs to continue.

  • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

    I know Joba Chamberlain does not inspire much confidence at the moment, but, how would you feel if he were up against Tim Wakefield or Clay Buchholz; or one of Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana and Scott Kazmir?

    Yes, Joba Chamberlain may be struggling, but compared to what the alternative options for a fourth starter are, and the potential opposing starting pitchers the Yankees will face in a Game Four situation, are you really, truly worried about Chamberlain’s chances to succeed?

    Let’s take a look at some numbers:

    In terms of regressed tRA, Joba Chamberlain has thus far posted a 5.09 mark, good for *34th in the AL, and this is how potential Game Four opponents compare (with FIP in parenthesis):

    Clay Buchholz, Boston: 4.97 (4.50)
    Tim Wakefield, Boston: 5.05 (4.10)
    Joe Saunders, Anaheim: 5.17 (5.42)
    Ervin Santana, Anaheim: 5.25 (4.92)
    Scott Kazmir, Anaheim (using numbers put up with Rays): 5.51 (4.52)

    Now, looking at those sterling opponents, does your outlook on Joba Chamberlain in the postseason change at all?

    * -The Yankees are the only American League playoff contender (including the Rangers, Rays and Twins) with four starters in the top-35 leaderboard for regressed tRA.

    • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

      By the way, this comment goes back to my question on why it seems that the majority of fans are more pessimistic in regards to players on the teams they root for in comparison to the players on other teams. Someone made the point that people only see the opposition of non-divisional rivals a handful of times a year (less for starting pitchers), so their outlook is skewed. However, I’d like to have more faith that people would not be influenced so strongly by such a sample size.

      • Zack

        I agree. Just look at our views towards Detriot. Verlander/Jackson pitched great agaisnt us, so now everyone here is crying why cant we have a 1-2 punch like that because they are always lights out. But then dont look and see Verlander has given up 5er 5 times this year, and Jackson has an ERA over 4 since the ASB. Like you said, we see 1-3 starts and that’s all we remember throughout the year.

        • Omar

          Verlander is still much…much better than Sabathia, and Jackson is quite a bit better than Burnett.

          • Zack

            Verlander is ‘much…much better’ than CC…except they have identicaly numbers this year*

            *Except Ks for the year, but post-ASB they have the same K/9

  • JM

    I understand the developing and such, and I would rather see him in the rotation than the pen, but if you’re going to limit his innings like this, you’re almost better off putting him in the pen because he will probably throw 3 innings per 5 days. Also, if you do put him in the bullpen, and he performs anywhere near 2007, then you can have a valuable reliever in the postseason (assuming he, in all likelihood, is not starting in the playoffs).

    • whozat

      Then who is? If they’d been slowly swapping them over the last month, I’d be fine with Hughes coming back into the rotation and Joba winding up in the pen. Of course, there is no guarantee that Joba’s FB command or velo would return in the pen, and if he still went to 3-2 on everyone and then threw a slider, he’d be sucking no matter what.

      Guy needs to be on a regimen this offseason to get in better shape, strengthen the shoulder, and come back in the spring throwing strikes.

  • A.D.

    Joba through July had an ERA of 3.58. Joba in Aug & Sept, ERA of 7.96.

    Could be thinking about the innings, could be mechanical, could be running out of gas. Whatever it is, is an odd month+ trend

  • paulb

    Amazing to see us Yankee fans make excuses for Joba. He hasn’t been the same pitcher since he hurt his shoulder last year!

    • JobaWockeeZ

      It’s his first year of starting…give the guy a break for Mo’s sake. Evev the all mighty future ace that will be better than Felix Hernandez, Zack Grienke, Tim Lincecum, Johan Santana and Doc Halladay combined AKA Clay Buchholz is struggling. David Price is struggling as well!

      Don’t expect that if a young pitcher does not pitch like Tim Linecum or King Felix he is a failure.

  • StephenH

    I want to build off a couple of comments. There’s no argument that Joba has been less than stellar recently. There are any possible (not mutually exclusive) reasons for this (and we don’t know what the “true” reason is).

    The key issue then, as posed by Joe, is whether Joba pitches in the postseason, and in what form. At this point, I can’t see it happen, at least if we are basing it on even mildly recent performance. There’s a good chance the Yankees can get away with a 3 man rotation in the playoffs, particularly if things go well for them (8-day schedule, maybe a sweep in the ALDS).

    So – let’s get to the suggestion …

    Tell Joba he’s got 2 starts left — period. It doesn’t matter what he does in these starts – two consecutive perfect games are still going to result in the end of his season. Let him air it out, pitch how he wants, and let him take these results into the off-season.

    Yes, this may have implications for the postseason, as the Yanks can’t run him out as the 4th starter, or 7th inning guy, or whatever. But given how he’s pitched for a while, I think the odds are that he will not be a contributing member of the post-season roster.

    • A.D.

      This doesn’t actually accomplish anything, maybe Joba pitches well and thus “feels good” about end of his season, but that’s not necessarily an indicator that he’s going to pitch any better in the future.

  • A.D.

    In terms of playoff pitching needing at 4th starter (this is from last years schedule), assume the Yanks have the best record, and thus can chose their schedule days since previous game in () and days between starts for a pitcher:

    ALDS:
    Game 1(-): CC (-)
    Game 2(2): Burnett (-)
    Game 3(2): Pettitte (-)
    Game 4(1): CC (5)
    Game 5(2): Burnett (5)

    The other schedule would have CC on short rest for game 4

    ALCS:
    Game 1(-): CC (-)
    Game 2(1): Burnett (-)
    Game 3(2): Pettitte (-)
    Game 4(1): CC (4)
    Game 5(2): Burnett (5)
    Game 6(2): Pettitte (5)
    Game 7(1): CC (5)

    only CC goes on short rest, once, in the middle of the series. The beginning could be adjusted to Pettitte, CC, Burnett depending on how many games for the ALDS, and then Pettitte would go on short rest for Game 4.

    WS:
    Game 1(-): CC(-)
    Game 2(1): Burnett (-)
    Game 3(2): Pettitte (-)
    Game 4(1): CC (4)
    Game 5(1): Burnett (4)
    Game 6(2): Pettite (4)
    Game 7(1): CC (4)

    WS is where the 3 man could be burned with everyone throwing on short rest, including CC twice.

    Presumably if the schedule lands like last year the Yanks could go with 3 starters until maybe the WS, where they could spot start someone in game 4 (probably depending on how the series is going)

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      mmm…you skipped a step there.

      redo that chart with games since counting in between series…i know i know we dont know when the other series ended, but still–you could be trotting cc out there with one or two days rest from series to series.

      we gotta have somebody, and we dont have to tell anybody who it is.

      if it comes to it–game seven and we’re all smoked out, every body pitches one inning and hope for the best :)

      (really, i like our options on that one, as long as the game only goes nine!!!)

      • A.D.

        I looked to note that after the ALCS, in which I assume the Yankees would shuffle the 3 starters so that game 1 starter would be on 5 days rest.

        There’s 2 days between ALCS & DS (assuming 5 games) and 3 between CS & WS (assuming 7 games), so obviously CC wouldn’t pitch game 7, and then game 1. But the chance you go full each time is low.

        So if you went 4 or 5 in the ALDS you probably see:
        Pettitte
        CC
        Burnett.

        In which case CC is ready to go game 1 of the WS, regardless of # of games pitched

        And if you don’t go 5 in the DS, but go 7 in the CS you probably see:
        Pettitte
        Burnett
        CC
        in the WS

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    …does this feel like a weird topic to anybody else?

    :(

  • andrew

    agreed agreed agreed. i want to shut him down because although veduccis rules can have a bit of leeway hes already what 50 innings over his high watermark? what do we do with a fourth starter in the playoffs? do we even need one? i dunno, but i still think we should shut him down. sigh the alternatives though are mitre and gaudin.

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

      he’s only at 134 innings this year, so 34 over last year. He threw ~120 innings in 2005 and 2006.

    • Ed

      He’s at 136 IP for the season. He pitched 100 last year, 110 the year before, and the year before he pitched around 130 between college and winter ball. If they shut him down today, he’s only a little bit past the strictest interpretation of 30 IP over last year, not enough to care. If you believe in previous high rather than previous season, he can still make a few more starts.

  • http://www.twitter.com/MatthewHarris84 Matt H. :: Sec105

    Joba holds his fate in his hands. If he wants to stay in the starting rotation, throw strikes, simple as that.

    It’s so frustrating to see a guy who had talent and ability of the physical nature, but who a lot of the times is mentally unfocused.

    • Mike HC

      I’m not buying that mentally unfocused nonsense. You can’t just lay 92 mph fastballs over the plate. They will get crushed. It is better to nibble in my opinion then let these Major League hitters smack you all over the park. It is not mental focus, it is just that his stuff is not that great right now.

      • http://www.twitter.com/MatthewHarris84 Matt H. :: Sec105

        Well one leads to another.

        He’s trying to be to fancy instead of just bearing down and throwing strikes when he needs to.

        • Mike HC

          if it was only as easy as telling a guy to “bear down and throw strikes.” Any RAB commenter could be a pitching coach then.

          • http://www.twitter.com/MatthewHarris84 Matt H. :: Sec105

            Obviously, come on…

  • Craig

    If the Yanks put Joba in the pen for the rest of the year and have Hughes, Joba and Rivera, every game will turn into a 5 inning game. That’s Huge. Look at the pen of the 2002 World Champ Angels for an example.

    • Accent Shallow

      Who’s pitching the first 5 innings, then? Gaudin? Mitre? Aceves?

      • aj

        no way im comfortable with one of those as the fourth starter.

  • Reggie C.

    Cant help but think these past couple subpar outings look worse than they really are since Joba was pulled early as per instruction. Joba didnt have a chance to settle in and pitch a 4th & 5th inning.

    Look at Ric Porcello. Porcello has logged a comparable amount of innings in the bigs and provided better results these past couple starts b/c he’s not on any similar restriction. Off the leash, Joba could be pitching satisfactory games.

    Or maybe Joba isnt as good as Porcello…

    • Zack

      Porcello has thrown over 100 pitches ONCE all year. But hey only the Yankees baby their pitchers right?

      Joba has had a rough August, and Porcello had an ERA over 8 in July. It’s all about what have you done for me lately.

  • Bob Michaels

    This whole joba bit is utterly ridiculous. either he`s a Big League starter or he is not. Let the boy throw the ball, cut him loose , either he has it or he doesn`t

  • Mark

    One thing that we have to remember is this:

    Now is not the time to experiment with Phil Hughes. Shortening the game for the starters and giving us that bridge to Mo will be a great help in winning number 27. I just do not want him confused with and let him stick to the routine as much as possible. Phil has come out of the bullpen for the past few months now, and by leaving him there for the past month, the yankees are setting his role to be out of the bullpen for the year. Now is not the time to experiment by changing his role.

    As for Joba, I really feel he will get it back. he just needs to get his innings in, get his lumps. One great thing now is the team is not relying on Joba to be a shutdown ace, but rather a guy who can keep his team in the game. We need to remember that the timmy lincecums of the world are a dime a dozen. Even king felix had his lumps during his first few years.

  • Virginia Yankee

    – Joba is lacking in current ability to throw quality pitches — fixing that is mental and mechanical — I would guess moe than difficult in 3-4 inning sets — Coney had him throwing 600 pitches more than last year — those are not quality innings — 40 15 pitch innings

    — more critical than Joba is the recent place Burnett has gone to

    Sabatthia Pettit pray for Rain?

    — but to JOBA

    — Question – does the small sample out of the pen and later in 2007 realy translate into must make him a starter; or is the pen where you get most out of him. I am not rehashing where we’d like him to be; asking where he is most suited

    — Joba was not on my radar during the Franchise IPK for Santana debate – but it appears to me we have walked a path that inadvertantly switched Hughes (injury and our patience with him) and Chamberlain in roles this year where Hughes was the one making the better progress until we messed him up trying the CMW experiment

    — Hopefuly one learns to be a dominant starter – maybe both; but suppose neither and we have 7th 8th inning guys until Mo retires; then one of them succeeds him??? Not terrible if that is where they produce actual results

    Recognize they are very young and there is timeto work careers —

    — as to the postseason – He does not look like the guy you’d go to up 3-0 in a four game series (remembering how Boston got off the mat) but series are wierd – if Sabbathia Burnett falter it will be OMG — depending on “OLD” Andy against likely a patient well versed team; the #4 guy needs to be prepared — Mitre looked better against the Os

    — Joba is potentially a valuable property – he needs a mental fix without “ruining” him — I sense an arrogance under the outward humility that makes him more of a challenge — I see the same thing in Burnett

    — and I know Holliday went down to single A

  • LivefromNewYork

    Goodness Gracious what is the Rocket doing these days?

  • Steve S

    You can’t shut him down. One because you dont have another option (ie Hughes coming out of the bullpen) and two the kid needs to fail sometimes and struggle. Youll need a fourth starter at some point and right now the options are Mitre, Gaudin or Aceves and to be honest I think Aceves’ days as a starter are over (as long as he is with the Yankees) because Girardi (rightfully so) likes having him out there and he plays a very important role. Joba needs to pitch, he provides them with their best chance to win, especially if you get to October and they let him air it out.

    It was going to happen at some point but you deal with it because its those struggles that will allow him to be a better pitcher. He is developing on the fly. I also will say this, its clear that baseball players are head cases and this year hasnt been the easiest thing in the world for a 23 year old kid who got a lot of attention right away (and liked it). By pulling him off the team at this point might be as damaging to his development as it would be to allow him to pitch 200 innings.

  • Mike P

    It’s normal to be concerned with Chamberlain since he has been below average over the last month. But he hasn’t had a disastrous start really, which is what inflates 5th starters’ ERA and cuts their innings per game. Top of the order pitchers have bad starts too, but find a way to stay in the game and avoid bringing in your worst bullpen arms (a la AJ Burnett recently).

    If you put Joba’s performances in the context of playoff baseball, is it that unreasonable to count on him for 5-6 innings of 4-5 run ball? With the Yankees’ offense and bullpen, I’ll take that from my 4th starter. Never mind the fact he could still come out of this rough patch before October. That is why you stick to the plan in my opinion.

  • Tim

    why in the world would they shut him down? Is he not one of their 11 best pitchers?? Or would urather have gaudin in playoff innings??? Dumb

    • Mike HC

      It is under the assumption Joba continues to pitch horribly down the stretch and premised with the fact there is not much to talk about and just a mental exercise. That’s why

  • LeftyLarry

    The entire Joba situation is ridiculous.Anybody actually ever ask him how he feels?
    How many young pitchers who pitched a lot of innings and weren’t any good the following season were asked how they felt, how their arms felt every 5 days and how many were given as much protection as Joba has been given?
    Answer is probably none.
    Joba can’t possibly be fatigued or be sore right now.If he is shut him down, if he isn’t, pitch him and worry about how he got the innings, not how many innings.
    Don’t pitch him 7-8 innings back to back to back (not that he’s good enough to last that long in 3 consecutive games anyway) but let him pitch.
    This is ridiculous.
    Wonder how hard he’s working his legs and body in between starts.