The hoopla over Joba Chamberlain


That's all the action Joba saw in the ALDS (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

When a team goes through a series using only its starters and four best relievers, it usually goes without comment. That’s the ideal scenario, especially when one of those four is a lefty and the other is Mariano Rivera. Yet there was one conspicuous omission: Joba Chamberlain. Joe Girardi never called his name in the series, and as with all things Joba it left plenty of room for speculation. Ben didn’t waste any time.

The one common thread I’ve seen in the Joba discussion is how the Yankees will have to evaluate his future with the club this off-season. That’s true, of course, but it’s also true of nearly every player on the team and in the farm system. I’m not sure that his lack of use in the ALDS speaks to any greater need to discuss his future. The Yankees will evaluate him based on his body of work and how he has progressed, not on the manager’s relief pitcher choice in one postseason series.

This raises two points I want to make about Joba, both of which I think play favorably for his future as a Yankee.

1) The match-up wasn’t there. Ben noted this in his post. It’s not necessarily that Girardi doesn’t trust Joba; it’s that he trusts Robertson and Wood more. There’s nothing wrong in losing a battle to two relievers of that caliber. Plus, as I read on Jon Lane’s YES Network blog, there might have been something else at play.

“It was just matchups,” Eiland said. “Matchups where, for example, guys hit sliders better than they hit curveballs. Things like that. Joba’s going to play a big part in this thing before we’re finished this year, and he understands that. He’s all in as is everyone else.”

That might just be Eiland trying to cover for one of his guys. We hear that all the time. But we do have a way to check Eiland’s statement. FanGraphs has a stat called pitch type values, which evaluate’s a hitter’s ability to hit certain pitch types. It’s not perfect, of course, because it doesn’t account for the pitch coming from a lefty or a righty, it doesn’t consider pitch sequences, and it doesn’t differentiate between similar pitches with different degrees of break. But in terms of publicly available information it’s the best we have.

Six of the Twins’ starters have fared well against sliders, per pitch type values. Orlando Hudson is a bit below average against sliders. Jim Tome and Jason Kubel rank as the team’s worst, but that could very well be a lefty-heavy stat. In other words, it’s possible that opposing righties don’t throw them many sliders. Joba does handle lefties well — he struck them out at a better clip than he did lefties this season — but since he relies on his slider it is perhaps understandable that the Yankees left him out.

(For what it’s worth, the Twins as a team seemed to fare a bit better against curveballs.)

2) He actually put together a good season. Remember when Joba had a terrible ERA, but we kept saying that his peripherals suggested he’d perform better? Through July 25 Joba had a 5.95 ERA, but a 3.02 FIP. It wasn’t necessarily bad luck on balls in play, but that had to play some role in such an immense discrepancy. From his appearance on July 28 through the end of the season, Joba had a 2.15 ERA and 2.91 FIP. In other words, things started to get better. He ended the season with a 2.98 FIP, 3.34 xFIP, 3.12 tERA, and 3.16 SIERA. All of this suggests that he can certainly rebound next year.

Returning to the question of the Yankees’ decision on Chamberlain this off-season, I now turn to a mailbag question.

How would you rate his market value? Teams might acquire him as a starter or reliever — what would he bring in return?

I think that his greatest value is to the Yankees. I’m not sure how other teams view him, though I’d guess that they’d want him in a starting role. But even if he stays in the bullpen, I think he can provide more value there for the Yankees than they can receive in return. As Brian Cashman has said, he’s a starter in the bullpen, so he can provide depth for the rotation, if not win a spot outright. He has also shown that he can be an effective relief pitcher.

The main reason I think he’s more valuable to the Yankees is that I’m not sure how they’d use him in a trade. Assuming Jeter re-signs, the entire infield is back, as is the entire outfield. They could trade him for a pitcher, but I don’t see how Cashman can trade Joba for a better pitcher. The only other option is to trade him for bench depth. But then you’re just trading pitching depth for position player depth, and that’s not an exchange I favor. Pitchers get hurt all the time. Having every possible pitcher available is important for any team.

No matter what he does, or doesn’t do, Joba Chamberlain will continue to act as a lightning rod for Yankees fans. The guy excited us as a reliever in 2007, and then tantalized us as a starter in 2008. He hasn’t been the same guy since, which has caused much frustration. But the Yankees organization does not think like a fan. They know Chamberlain’s value to the team. When they evaluate the team’s situation this off-season, I’m fairly certain that they will determine that Joba will play a role on future Yankees teams.

Categories : Pitching
  • TopChuckie

    “I don’t see how Cashman can trade Joba for a better pitcher.”

    I am not advocating trading Joba, but you trade Joba for a better pitcher by packaging him with other pieces/prospects and/or by targeting better but more expensive pitchers on smaller market teams, you know, what the Yankees have been doing for years.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

    I only wanted to see Joba because I wanted him to get work in. Anyone who would get rusty with this much amount of time off. Although, I didn’t consider the matchup factor.

    However, I cannot blame Girardi for just going for the kill. The twins were down big in the final game, just step on the neck, if you get cute, you may let them back in. He made the right moves.

    In my opinion, they’re keeping him in the bullpen until Pettitte retires. They’ll then give him a chance to earn that spot.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      What if Petitte retires 3 yrs from now would they still still him as a starter. He’ll be 29 by then and would not have started in 4 yrs

  • http://twitter.com/#!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

    Joba until August of 09 was an above average starter. He just collapsed when nearing his innings total. Then now he still posts great peripherals even if the results aren’t there.

    There’s hope for Joba and yes I still find hope in him starting. Cashman ins’t short sighted to completely be against the idea based on his first year of fully started where he didn’t do that terrible.

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

      Joba’s first 32 career starts:
      176.0 IP, 64 ER, 165 H, 75 BB, 171 K, 19 HR
      5.5 IP/S, 3.27 ERA, 1.363 WHIP, 8.43 H/9, 0.9 HR/9, 3.8 BB/9, 8.7 K/9

      Joba’s last 11 career starts:
      45.2 IP, 39 ER, 62 H, 26 BB, 35 K, 8 HR
      4.10 IP/S, 7.69 ERA, 1.927 WHIP, 12.21 H/9, 1.5 HR/9, 5.1 BB/9, 6.9 K/9

      Did he look like shit in August and September in 2009? Yes. Was there enough potential for greatness shown in 2008 and the first four months of 2009 that merits giving him time to develop as a future frontline starter? Absolutely.


      • Captain Jack

        Were there also enough warning signs throughout his career as a baseball player to suggest that 2008 Joba isn’t coming back? Absolutely. I recall, anecdotally albeit, his stuff being down all 2009. He had several issues, there were nights where he’d look like Andy Sonnanstine and there were nights where he’d look like Roger Clemens; there was also that first inning issue that was just bizarre too. I think he deserved another start to stay a starter, but needed more seasoning in Scranton. I’m still quite bearish on him, but at the rate he’s currently being used he’ll never be a starter.

        • http://twitter.com/#!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

          No, not really. His fastball was terrible, but it looks like an outlier looking at FG. The rest of his pitches were above average in 2009.

        • Ted Nelson

          ” at the rate he’s currently being used he’ll never be a starter.”

          He’s currently being used as a reliever. So, yes, if he continues to be used in the same way for the rest of his career, he will never be a starter. That is true. However, just because he’s a reliever this season doesn’t mean he is next season or once he gets out of the Yankee organization (if they continue to use him as a middle reliever I assume he’s out at some point). I could have said last season about Phil Hughes ” at the rate he’s currently being used he’ll never be a starter.” And yet he was a starter all season.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      “Cashman ins’t short sighted to completely be against the idea based on his first year of fully started where he didn’t do that terrible.”

      Maybe Cashman wouldn’t but the ppl around him would be that short sighted

  • All Star Carl

    I want to see Joba lose about 10 pounds. I’d bet he would return to beast mode Joba if he did.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig
      • The Big City of Dreams

        That was probably the peak of Jobamania. He was the talk of the town the next day

    • Guest

      In fairness, CC is a beast and he’s not going to win any swimsuit competitions any time soon. As long as a pitcher is taking care of himself (and, by all accounts, he has ever since he was a much tubbier version of himself at Nebraska), it doesn’t really matter how big he is.

      • Captain Jack

        The fatness/success correlation in pitching is bell curve shaped. If you’re lean or in good shape you got good chances and when buffet owners cower in fear of your very presence you also got good chances. If you’re merely pudgy…not so much.

        • pete

          huh? not sure how being fat would improve your chances.

          I would say that it helps to be in shape and hurts to be out of shape, but, providing that the pitcher is generally healthy, being fat won’t make a pitcher of CC’s caliber a bad pitcher, and being in shape wouldn’t make a crappy pitcher an ace. In the end it, like everything else in this sport, all comes down to talent and luck.

          It’s still worthwhile to try to get in shape, though.

          • Captain Jack

            It was a joke.

            • pete

              ::walks into a bar about 20 minutes outside of Cleveland at just after midnight after getting off a grueling double shift, grabs a seat at the end of the bar, orders a DFA IPA from the barkeep, savors every last warm, bitter, disgusting sip of it::

          • Ted Nelson

            I would say, and I’m no medical expert or trainer, that some guys carry weight better than others (not to be racist, but look at Samoans… they can often be huge and still good athletes in good shape). CC is built like an offensive lineman. He may be in good shape–he pitches a lot of innings and doesn’t particularly wear down more than another pitcher would–but just have a higher natural weight. Joba may be out of shape when he’s heavier and in shape when he loses the babyfat. When he was successful he was apparently working out with Roger Clemens. Besides a few injections and creams maybe helping Joba’s performance… Clemens was long known as the hardest working pitcher in baseball. I heard rumors that Phil Hughes out-worked Joba last offseason. No idea if they’re true, but I could see it.

  • Captain Jack

    Meh, I dunno…if they didn’t deal him in the Haren deal (I personally think hes a lot better than Joe Saunders) I don’t see them getting a better offer. I don’t see many other bad teams with shitty contracts lying around or good players who are signed long term but happened to have had a bad year. I think he ends up staying, I’d love to see them try and make him a starter again…but I would never advocate him going into the season with an opening day rotation spot. Sad stuff, doesn’t seem like he’ll be able to get the most out of his career.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Joba Javy Navy Beans, Navy Beans, Meatloaf Sandwich http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY-03vYYAjA (safe)

  • ZZ

    Long term it is very difficult to project extended success for Joba unless he gets himself into better shape and cleans up his mechanics, but for next year at least I believe he will be very good in the bullpen.

    Given that he is only first time arbitration eligible, unless they can use him as a piece in a larger package there is not really a compelling reason to trade him. After next season it becomes more of a question and his performance will go a long way in determining his future with this club as his salary increases.

    • Guest

      See above comment re: CC and shape.

      • ZZ

        CC is 6 foot 7 inches. There is no comparison between Joba’s body type and CC’s. Joba also has major issues with his mechanics and many of those problems can stem from his body type and shape.

        It would greatly benefit Joba to get in better shape if he ever plans on having a repeatable delivery.

        • pete

          completely agree that it would benefit, but i think it’s very hard to make judgments about the degree to which it would help, or the degree to which being portly will hurt him.

        • Guest

          I don’t understand this. Are you saying that CC is in better shape, but he just looks bigger because he is taller? Or are you saying tall guys can afford to be fat?

          I don’t think I can get with either. On the first point, have you seen CC’s midsection? The guy is unequivocally, unquestionably, fat by all reasonable measures. He’s a great athlete, yes (see basketball and football prowress in high school), but he’s a fat great athlete.

          And as far the second option, I don’t see how having a particular weight distribution at 6’3″ can be much worse than having a proportionately similar weight distribution at 6’7.” And I don’t think you can honestly believe that Joba is proportionately fatter than CC. He isn’t. Again, just find any picture of CC in something non-XXXXL. Maybe he can get away with it better than Joba can since he’s a better athlete.

          But the point remains: CC is fat. He is also phat. And awesome. That’s why call him Big Poppa (most appropriate player intro song ever).

          • Guest

            Last line should read “That’s why we call him Big Poppa (most appropriate player intro song ever).”

          • Ted Nelson

            I am repeating what I said above, but some guys have a higher natural weight. There is a big difference between being fat and being out of shape: you can be fat and still in excellent physical condition (take an offensive lineman). CC looks healthy and just like a big man (like an offensive lineman), if he is out of shape it certainly doesn’t show up in his performance: he pitches a lot of innings and doesn’t noticeably wear any more than a skinnier pitcher. When Joba is fat, he looks like a huffing-and-puffing alcoholic type of fat. There were pretty wide spread rumors that the Yankees were unhappy with his conditioning and that conditioning/preparation played a big role in Hughes beating him out for a spot basically before training camp started.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              I read on another blog that he will follow a condition program over the winter in order to get into better shape. Have you heard anything like that?

              • Ted Nelson

                I haven’t seen it, but I haven’t been looking around either. I certainly hope he is, though, and if he wants to be a good ML starter he pretty much has to. When you hear that the Yankees “feel Joba may be better in the pen” I always think 2 things: 1. Maybe he can be a lights-out closer to replace Mo and/or 2. it might be because they don’t think he prepares enough to throw 200 innings and get through a batting order 3 times (both physically and mentally).

            • Guest

              I think CC looks healthy to us because he dominates and we know he’s a good athlete.

              If his ERA were 5.00, I’m pretty sure people would stop thinking he looked so healthy.

  • http://lohud sandy g

    very easy to trade joba and get back value. joba,brett gardner,and austin romine for zack greinke. if you want to expand the trade kansas city includes joakim soria and the yankees include ivan nova,brandon laird,jose pirela and andrew brackman

    • Captain Jack

      What the hell is it with people wanting to acquire Greinke? Look, I love the guy but he needs lithium to function correctly…probably not a good mix with a town where Mike Francessa has a daily radio show and Mike Lupica has a daily column. Besides Cliff Lee is available for just money, go get him.

      • pete


      • ZZ

        Do you have any clue whatsoever about Social Anxiety Disorder, how it works, its triggers, etc.


        • Captain Jack

          Sorry if I have reservations about acquiring a guy who needs to be on lithium to function correctly, especially at the cost it would take to acquire Greinke when Cliff Lee is available for just cash. Although, anyways ZZ enlighten me.

          • ZZ

            Why do I have to enlighten you?

            You are making claims and the effects a disorder would have on a person pitching in the city of New York.

            Making those very serious claims, I would expect that you have at least a working knowledge of the general condition.

            Do you?

            • Captain Jack

              I know how medicated people work and can get…and yes, those are very serious claims…Jesus Christ, it’s the internet, get over yourself. I merely suggested that lithium and Mike Francessa aren’t a good mix…it’s not like were giving medical advice or performing open heart surgery here.

              • ZZ

                Get over myself?

                You’re the one speculating about a disorder that apparently you have no knowledge about and passing it off as if you do. You’re the one speculating about what a person is capable of with a specific disorder, when again you have no clue what the disorder entails.

                The problem here is that, you need to get over yourself, because you don’t have a damn clue about SAD or how it affects Zack Greinke.

                • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

                  Have you read stories about how he behaves in public? Or do you know anyone in KC that has connections that know first hand how utterly bizarre of a dude he is? Have you ever done lithium or other drugs for personality disorder or known anyone who was on them? Yes, I’m not his shrink…does it take a shrink to realize that it might be prudent to worry about a heavily medicated guy in New York with all the hacks in the media? I don’t think so.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    I’m pretty sure the Yankees will consult experts before making a move like that, Captain Jack, and not just make blanket statements like: “I know how medicated people work and can get.”

            • Sayid J.

              He clearly doesn’t know, which is why he asked you to enlighten him in a snarky manner.

              I do know that Lithium treatment is generally reserved for more serious cases of SAD due to its potentially harmful side affects that other drugs, such as depakote, don’t seem to have as many of. And although I’ve never seen the quotes, I have heard people say that Greinke has said he isn’t sure if he’d want to come to NY. I know a little bit about SAD, but you don’t need to know too much to know that pitching in NY could do a little bit to exacerbate the issues as compared to KC. It’s a legitimate concern.

            • nsalem

              Thank you. Your comments reflect my thoughts, but I would have stated them in a much much unkinder way.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dougchu Doug

        Lithium is for bipolar disorder…

    • pete

      yeah. no.

    • pat

      Your trade proposal sucks.

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

        It sucks hard.

  • pete
  • BigBlueAL

    Am I the only one who has gotten so tired of all the Joba talk/debate that at this point I could care less with what happens with Joba??

    • http://twitter.com/#!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

      Well no one’s forcing you to read it.

      • BigBlueAL

        Nah man I dont mean posts here because it is obvious a topic that is worth talking about and garners alot of attention and debate which is fine I just mean all the speculation and stuff Im tired about. Just trade him already or finally 100% commit to either starting or relieving and thats it.

        • Ted Nelson

          It’s getting old, sure, but the Yankees have to continue to do what’s best for the team. While some people find it unfair, Joba is a great asset to the team in the flexibility he offers. It would be hard for the Yankees to commit one way or another before the conclusion of the Cliff Lee free agency (assuming they’re going to be a player) and till Andy tells them about his future. Maybe they just make a “we’re not going after Lee” and/or “we’re not re-signing Andy even if he wants to come back” decision up front, but I sort of assume they’ll see how things play out and evaluate their options. I would also look at who is available on the trade market and for how much before making any final decisions.

      • mustang

        Yes, but as a Yankees fan how can one avoid it?

        It keeps coming back up like a bad case of hemorrhoidals.

    • mustang

      Totally agree.

      We been doing this now for three years and counting reliever, starter, trade him, or keep him i can careless. I hope that the might baseball gods end this debate this winter.

      Yes, i know wishful thinking.

      • BigBlueAL

        Right thats what I meant, trade him this off-season or come Spring Training commit 100% to him as a SP or RP.

        Im hoping come this time next year we arent still debating what to do with Joba.

        • mustang

          Don’t hold your breath.

  • Art Vandelay

    Another thing to consider is he is due for a raise in arbitration this year. I wonder if he will get the melky treatment from cashman. Not sure if they want a multi million dollar 7th inning man

    • nsalem

      what do you think Joba would get in arbitration?

      • Art Vandelay

        No idea. 2.5 – 3 mill maybe ? That’s just a guess. Mike ben? Anyone

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          My guess is $1 mil, $1.5 mil tops.

    • MIkeD

      He won’t get the Melky treatment (as in being dumped) because unlike Melky, Joba has a higher upside. The Yankees have no worry that Melky will turn into a .300/.380/.500 OFer for some team, but Joba could turn into a front-end starter, or an impact closer on another team. They’ll hold him, unless they package him for an impact player.

  • wayne’s world

    Joe, while I agree that the Yanks should hold onto Joba, I do see that there is value in the trade market that the Yanks could use…You assume that they wouldn’t want to trade him for an outfielder because the Yanks outfield will be back….I think the Yanks need a bit of an overhaul in the outfield…I don’t think the Granderson/Gardner is a strong enough combination…I’d still rather see a real star in centerfield or, failing that, have a more potent left fielder with Gardner as a fine fourth outfielder.

    • Hughesus Christo

      Who has a better outfield than the Yankees?

      • Hughesus Christo

        On this note, I don’t think people have adjusted their mindset to the “new way of baseball” that has emerged in the last two years. You’re not going to find two 40HR guys in the corners. There aren’t 15 middle infielders clocking 25-30 HRs and OBPing in the upper 300s.

        • Jerome S.

          We’re lucky to have what we’ve got; anything else would be a risk.
          What do you want, Crawford in left, Hunter in center and Suzuki in right?

          Hey, I know, let’s buy the All-Star Team!

          • pete

            What do you want, Crawford in left, Hunter in center and Suzuki in right?

            one of those things is not like the others

    • Jerome S.

      You’re right a real star in CF is exactly what we need.
      Get that Mays fellow on the line, see if he’s still available.

      • Guest


    • All Star Carl

      Yanks outfield is amazing.

      Don’t remember us having this much speed/D

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      All 3 OFers were worth at least 4 WAR. That’s the only OF in the majors to do that.

      Also Gardner had the highest UZR among all players. Infielders AND Outfielders. That’s right higher than Crawford, higher than Gutierrez, higher than well, EVERYONE.

      On another note, Granderson had the 27th highest UZR among all players, and 4th among CFers.

      That’s a damn fine outfield.

      • Jerome S.

        And hey Swisher’s pretty damn good too (All Star and all that he is).

        • All Star Carl

          I remember watching Matsui, Williams, And Sheff. BG Grandy and Swish = Fun.

      • nsalem

        and it is an extremely inexpensive outfield that is locked in through 2012. Someone is going to pay (not the Yankees) Crawford
        what Swisher, Gardner and Granderson make combined.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Granderson is a star, and I guarantee there are a lot of clubs envious of the Yankees that he’s their CF. Even after struggling offensively until Kevin Long tinkered with his swing, Granderson came out of the 2010 regular season a four-win player with 24 homers and a very respectable 120 wRC+. There aren’t a lot of CFs who can bring his tools to the table.

  • Jerome S.

    I know I’ve said this before, but as the core four ages, they will be replaced by a core five: Cano, Gardner, Hughes, Montero, and Joba.

    Joba isn’t Mo – no one is or ever will be – but he will become a centerpiece to the New Yankee Dynasty (TM).

    • ZZ

      Joba may be off the team before all of the core 4 even retires. He only has 3 more years of team control.

      • Jerome S.

        Just wait… Joba will be amazing, and we’ll have no choice but to sign him…

        • The Big City of Dreams

          Amazing with how the yankees have handled him…good luck with that

    • pete

      If you’re talking about valuable farm-raised guys, sure. If you’re talking about the true core of the team, I would say that it either is already or will very soon be:


  • Ross

    “…Ideally it goes without comment.”

    But instead, we’re reading 2 posts in three days on only Joba? Oy. For a blog and a readership that complains, rightfully, about the amount of airtime Joba Chamberlain gets relative to his impact on the team’s fortunes, we certainly don’t match the rhetoric when it comes to what we blog/comment on.

    Honestly, he’s (currently) a 60 IP/year 4th or 5th option out of the pen. Can we chillax on Joba? What makes us so prone to default to opining on the man? His stuff? The bootstraps narrative? Indigestion?

    • The Big City of Dreams

      ?Can we chillax on Joba? What makes us so prone to default to opining on the man? His stuff? The bootstraps narrative? Indigestion?

      lol @ indigestion but seriously it has to do with it being NY, the buzz he created yrs ago, and the things that have happened since then. No one will dispute that some of the problem falls on his shoulders but the team made mistakes as well. They didn’t put him in the best situation to succeed.

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

    It’s the Jobapocalypse! Jobageddon!


    • Hughesus Christo

      The Great Jobacession?

      The Joba Bowl?


      The Joba Ages?

      The Jobaformation?

      The Jobalution?

      The Bronx Joba Trials?

      Joba Joba 2: Beyond Jobadome?

  • Jerome S.

    Is Joba’s ceiling lower than it once was? That is, we have yet to see him as a mature player in the MLB. Will we ever? Or has his talent been “damaged?”

    • pete

      His ceiling, I would say, is slightly lower. HIs chances of reaching his ceiling, however, appear to be MUCH lower.

      • ZZ

        I think you are being very generous with only slightly lower. It has been a full 2 years now since he has shown the stuff that made his ceiling so high.

        He had a once in a lifetime arm with the stuff he was consistently showing on a day to day and inning to inning basis in 2007-2008.

        I would say his ceiling is much lower at this point and has been for a while now.

        • Hughesus Christo

          He still throws 96 with inconsistently great secondary stuff.

          • ZZ

            Which means what exactly?

            • The Big City of Dreams

              Dime a dozen middle reliever

              *blows party horn*

  • MIkeD

    As was noted, the only way the Yankees trade Joba is to fill a clear need, one I don’t see right now, and that needs to be balanced with the upside of Joba.

    Joba right now is at the opposite side of 2007. He was hyped to such a level that even when he was succeding at times in following seasons he was viewed as failing because he either wasn’t as dominant as people expected, or there was the battle of the Joba-the-starter vs. Joba-the-reliever crowds. Neither crowd is still happy today.

    Joba is now at the low point, and that’s the danger. I am sure the Yankees will get contacted by almost all MLB teams trying to see how low Joba’s stock has fallen and to see if they can steal him away. Just as the Yankees jumped in when Swisher was at a low point, teams will try to do the same with the Yankees and Joba. In past years I’d be concerned they might bite. I think they’re much better run from that side now, so I have less of a concern.

    Yet there is a scenario where I can see Joba traded. If the Yankees really are focused on Cliff Lee and they don’t get him, they suddenly might turn their attentions to Carl Crawford, and then turn around and package Gardner and Joba and a Killer B or two to land the quality starter they desire. If Pettitte returns, I’d rather see them give Joba the 5th rotation slot.

  • Erik D.

    “Joba does handle lefties well — he struck them out at a better clip than he did lefties this season — but since he relies on his slider it is perhaps understandable that the Yankees left him out.”

    … Wait, what?

  • Ted Nelson

    “I’m not sure that his lack of use in the ALDS speaks to any greater need to discuss his future.”

    I don’t think it’s his lack of use, so much as it is the lack of consistency on his role and performance the last several years. The team will evaluate everyone, sure, but there are some certainties, some guys whose roles are well defined. Joba’s is not, and therefore I do think we need more speculation on what they’re going to do. Tex, for example, is not going to start at SS or come off the bench next season… CC isn’t going to the bullpen. Joba may start, he may relieve, and (even if it’s unlikely) he may even start the season as a starter in AAA to stretch out his arm and wait for an opening in the rotation. Fans really don’t know which it’ll be, so they speculate. The Yankees FO probably doesn’t even know 100%, as some of it is contingent on how other things unfold this offseason.