What Went _____: Joba Chamberlain

GM Meetings Notes: Pettitte, Aldred, Peterson
Japanese club working to sign Thames
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Over the past four seasons, few Yankees have inspired as much analysis, hand-wringing and debate than Joba Chamberlain. He seems to embody both the impossibly high expectations the Yankees and their fans place on young players and the ways in which the organization seemingly cannot get out of its own way when it comes to developing young pitchers. In that latter sense, then, Joba’s 2010 campaign is a microcosm of his career. Joba made 73 appearances, and the results should have been better than they were.

By now we know the Joba story. Drafted out of Nebraska in 2006, Joba rocketed through the system in 2007 as a starter and made his Yankee debut in August of that year as a reliever when Kyle Farnsworth could not be trusted. Limited by the Joba Rules, Chamberlain dazzled out of the pen, and his initial success set himself up for inevitable failure. Transitioned into the starting rotation in 2008, he was excellent until a shoulder injury in Texas derailed his season, and while he showed flashes of brilliance in 2009, he didn’t regain his velocity. When the team again instituted a variety of rules at the end of last year, the Yanks seemed to consider him a lost soul at the ripe old age of 24.

Heading into Spring Training in February, the Yankees had reportedly planned to host a competition for the fifth starter spot, but it was an unfair one from the start. Before camp began, Joel Sherman reported that the rotation spot was Phil Hughes‘ to lose, and Joba stumbled through Grapefruit League play. Destined for the bullpen, Joba inherited the eighth inning role and seemed to excel.

Through mid-May, Joba was as good as we could have hoped. He struck out 21 over his first 16.2 innings and allowed just four runs on 12 hits and five walks. But after giving up a combined seven earned runs in back-to-back appearances on May 16 and 18, the wheels fell off. From May 16-July 25, Joba pitched to an 8.42 ERA as opponents hit .348/.408/.500. Stick Joba on the mound, and everyone became Albert Pujols.

Over that span of 26 appearances, Joba gave up runs in 11 of them, and he did so in spectacular fashion. He allowed four runs to Boston in the 8th inning of a game the Yanks were winning and then choked away a six-run lead against the hapless Indians two weeks later. His nadir came on July 10 when he came in with a 1-0 lead and gave up a grand slam to Jose Lopez.

But through it all, the numbers just didn’t add up. Over those 25.2 innings, Joba had a FIP of 3.49, a mark nearly 5 runs per 9 innings lower than his actual results. He was still striking out more than a batter an inning, and the home run to Lopez was just the second he had surrendered all season. We were waiting for the market correction to come, and it finally did in late July.

Over the final two months of the season, Joba returned to form. In 29.1 innings, he struck out 30, walked just five and gave up seven earned runs on 20 hits for a nifty 2.15 ERA and a FIP — 2.89 — nearly to match. Joba saw limited playoff action in 2010 but gave up just a run in 3.3 innings against the Rangers.

The 2010 data on Joba's fastball velocity shows an upward trend. (Via Fangraphs)

So what do we make of this? On the one hand, Joba’s 9.7 K/9 IP was his best mark since 2008; his 2.8 BB/9 IP was his lowest since his debut season in 2007; and he showed a marked improvement in keeping the ball in the park. On the other hand, at times, he just didn’t have the confidence in his stuff. He threw too many 3-2 sliders and seemed tentative. Even though his velocity seemed to return to pre-shoulder injury levels and improved as the season wore on, he went through stretches where he fooled no one.

The numbers too bear out these struggles. Fewer than half of his pitches were inside the strike zone, and only 9.4 percent of his strikes were of the swinging variety. In 2007, he notched an impressive 16.7 percent mark in that category. His fastball, a whopping negative 20 runs below average last year, rebounded to 2.8 runs above average while the slider dipped from 7.6 runs above average to just 3.6. Perhaps the league has caught on to Joba’s approach and his stuff. Perhaps he’ll never be as consistently good as he was for a few months in 2007.

Going forward, the Yankees seem intent on keeping Joba in the bullpen. “We consider him a bullpen guy in the back end of the bullpen,” Joe Girardi said last month. Even though Joba’s stuff seems to be rebounding, even though he can gets the outs and could be a more valuable member of the pitching staff, the Yanks like his stuff in the pen and clearly view him as the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera if he can keep his head in the game.

And so I’m left without a word to put into the blank. Did Joba’s season go wrong because of his mid-summer struggles? Did it go right because it validated the Yanks’ decision to put him in the pen and saw his strike out abilities return? Whatever the answer, Joba remains an enigma who just might not be as good as we all hoped and dreamed he would be.

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GM Meetings Notes: Pettitte, Aldred, Peterson
Japanese club working to sign Thames
  • Yank the Frank

    Joba is the Shane Spencer of pitching.

    • MikeD

      Not a proper comparison. One had ability, one did not.

      Shane Spencer never had any upside. He was assured of being a flash in the pan.

    • Ben Vinutti

      LOL GREAT analogy!

  • The Three Amigos

    I still want them to rework his mechanics, break him down and build him up. One can only imagine if he stayed starting in the minors in 2007 and came up as a starter in 2008 when Wang went down.

  • JobaWockeeZ

    Wrong. Very very wrong. Nothing good came from it. The value they got from him was nearly nilch.

    • Slugger27

      they got 7.4 WAR out of him before his arb years.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        I was talking about 2010 only

      • swo

        /pwnt

  • Beamish

    Whether it was the Yankees handling of Joba’s development was objectively poor (the “They Ruined Him” theory) or that Joba was just unable to handle the pressure and uncertainty of moving between the rotation and bullpen (the “Million Dollar Arm, Five Cent Head” theory) – the results are below what everyone saw as his initial potential.

    In some ways his handling reminds me of Dave Righetti’s Yankee career arc (a story recently repeated after the World Series): a coulda/shoulda front line starter sent to the bullpen for perceived “value” or to maximize his NOW value. I will never agree that there is more pitcher value in a bullpen role than as a starter if the pitcher is capable of being an effective starter.

    Just as we cannot fill in the blank on Joba’s 2010 season since it was both horrific and excellent, his entire effectiveness and value overall is still indeterminate since he has apparently been pigeon holed so early in his development.

    • MikeD

      I’m not sure it’s either. I think he’s an example of what happens to promising young pitchers. They are injury prone. Young arms are fragile, especially when tossing baseballs at close to 100 mph.

      In 2007, out of the pen, Joba’s average fastball was just about 97.5. He would at times eclipse 100, and I believe he registered one of the two or three fastest pitches of 2007, I think around 101. In 2010, his average fastball was three mph slower, at 94.6, occasionally peaking at 98. It’s the same consistent loss of three mph off average and peak velocity. I’m comparing 2007 to 2010 because he was used in the same capacity both years, as a reliever. Yet we also see that same loss of three mph as a starter from 2008 to 2009. In 2008 he was at 95 and change as a starter, down to 92 and change in 2009. The same missing three mph, and with that loss of velocity comes the loss of some movement, and seemingly some command. His slider still seems to have good tilt, although he seems to fool hitters less with it, perhaps because they now have that extra split second to determine if it’s a slider or a fastball. Last, he had an absurd 14 mph difference between fastball and change in 2007. That gap narrowed substantially to nine mph in 2010

      Add it all up and it’s not hard to see why Joba went from dominant pitcher to okay pitcher. We know he walked of the Texas mound in August 2008 with shoulder tightness. When he returned a month later, his velocity was down three mph. The Yankees noticed and basically shut him down. He showed up in Spring Training in 2009 and the velocity was still missing. It’s never come back to peak. I don’t think it’s mishandling. If a young pitcher is susceptible to an arm issue, it’s going to show up eventually, so my guess is if they never put Joba in the pen, or then never put him back as a starter, that day in Texas was going to happen eventually.

      Maybe he’ll get that extra velocity back. He wouldn’t be the first young pitcher to do so, but the further we get away from that August day it seems less likely the dominant fastball is returning. I think he still has more than enough stuff to be a starter, but he may be more of a back-end starter as opposed to the front-end starter that seemed his destiny. The Yankees recognize this, even if they’re not going to say it to the media. If he can’t be a dominant starter, then perhaps it makes more sense to see if he can be a near-dominant reliever. They have lowered their expectations on Joba, and it’s probably best if the rest of Yankee Universe does the same.

      • Kevin M.

        This times a million. This post should be required reading for every Yankee fan before they utter an opinion’s about Joba and what went wrong with him.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        “I don’t think it’s mishandling. If a young pitcher is susceptible to an arm issue, it’s going to show up eventually, so my guess is if they never put Joba in the pen, or then never put him back as a starter, that day in Texas was going to happen eventually.”

        It’s not all attributed to mishandling but let’s be honest they had this kid jumping through hoops especially last season in Aug/Sep with long rest, normal rest, 3 inning relief starts. I understand if a guy is injury prone it’s only a matter of time until he gets hurt but that day in Texas was a weird one. Many ppl think he got hurt diving out of the way of Pudge throwing to 2nd base.

        “If he can’t be a dominant starter, then perhaps it makes more sense to see if he can be a near-dominant reliever.”

        And it he fails in that role than what’s next?? They should trade him now while they have the chance to do it.

        • MikeD

          Sure, I’ll play along. So let’s be honest, as you suggest. When they had him “jumping through hoops” last Aug/Sep, it was a year after he already sustained the injury robbing him of the extra three mph on his fastball. So while they were limiting his innings last Aug/Sept., what exactly did they lose?

          The Yankees can trade him, but only if they’re getting greater value back; otherwise, why bother???? All MLB teams know that Joba is not the same pitcher he was in 2007 until August 2008. So what are we going to get for him? Why would we sell low?

          • The Big City of Dreams

            “When they had him “jumping through hoops” last Aug/Sep, it was a year after he already sustained the injury robbing him of the extra three mph on his fastball. So while they were limiting his innings last Aug/Sept., what exactly did they lose? ”

            Aug and Sep is when his numbers started to spike in the wrong direction. He was great those three games after the break and then they gave him a long lay off going into the game at the stadium against the Bosox and Smoltz. What they lost is a young starting pitcher turning his game around. It seemed like he was finally putting it together. His mph was up in those 3 games I remember Kay dame near jumping out of his seat when Joba hit mid to high 90’s.

            “The Yankees can trade him, but only if they’re getting greater value back; otherwise, why bother???? All MLB teams know that Joba is not the same pitcher he was in 2007 until August 2008. So what are we going to get for him? Why would we sell low?”

            It’s not like the Yankees haven’t sold low on a prospect: Melancon, Tabata, A-jax, Kennedy, etc. It’s not as if they have never done it before. Plus why keep him and watch his value sink any lower than it is. The kid i a middle reliever not a set-up man or lock down eighth inning guy.

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

    I really wish they’d give him another shot at starting, but that’s a pipe dream at this point.

    I remember the Jose Lopez grand slam game. I was so pissed for many reasons. But aside from the obvious I had just dropped Jose Lopez from my fantasy team a few days earlier and I also had Joba on my team. That was a rough day. I cursed…a lot.

    • Chris

      Unless everything goes wrong this offseason, I don’t think there’s any reason they should let him be a starter next year. He had a very up and down season out of the pen, so there’s really nothing that suggests he would be able to cut it as a starter. If he had put up a season out of the pen like Hughes did in 2009 there would be more justification to move him back to the rotation, but there aren’t many pitchers that have struggled as relievers and then become successful as starters. Let him get straightened out in the pen and once that happens then consider moving him back to the rotation.

      • Rob

        Nothing huh? His 221 innings as a starter with a 4.18 ERA and 8.4 K/9 says you’re wrong, especially since he did all of that before he turned 24.

        The kid needs to throw innings. Throwing 71 at random times isn’t going to develop him.

        • Chris

          2008 (pre-shoulder injury and velocity drop): 2.60 ERA, 2.65 FIP

          2009 (post-shoulder injury and velocity drop): 4.75 ERA, 4.82 FIP

          I’m not saying he won’t recover to be a good starter, but he’s not the same pitcher he was in 2008 – whether he’s starting or relieving. If you assume that he’s the same pitcher he was in 2008, then you’re just being naive.

          • Rob

            Except that difference indicts the organization even moreso. They not only wasted his development, they destroyed it. All for the joy of a ALDS loss.

            If you assume that he’s the same pitcher he was in 2008, then you’re just being naive.

            Except facts prove you wrong again. Selective sampling will do that. His velo back in 2009 and not surprisingly the results came with it, as the post shows.

            • Chris

              How is Joba’s not recovering from an injury and indictment of the organization?

              Except facts prove you wrong again. Selective sampling will do that. His velo back in 2009 and not surprisingly the results came with it, as the post shows.

              I have no idea what you mean. His velocity STILL isn’t back to where it was before the injury, and he’s still struggling.

              • Rob

                Sure it is. Check out any Gameday from his most recent appearances.

                His K rate last year was fine. You’re making a story where there isn’t one.

                • MikeD

                  His velo is not back. Joba the reliever in 2010 vs. Joba the reliever in 2007 is down three mph. Just as Joba the starter in 2009 was down three mph vs Joba the starter in 2008. What you’re doing is comparing Joba’s velo in 2010 as a reliever to his velo in 2009 as a starter. If you can’t understand why that’s wrong then any amount of explaining will be pointless.

  • Rob

    How can we ever figure out who he is if they won’t pitch him? His peripherals suggest he should be starting. Give him 200 innings and make a final call. Given how little time they gave him to develop – all of 88 minor league innings – isn’t it time they just let him air it out one a week for the whole season?

    To stick him in the pen, as a league average starter, is absolutely senseless. Absolutely a brain dead move from the organization. And with mucho pitching prospects on the way, but at most one slot to fill, it’s a disgusting pattern I expect to see repeated again and again.

    • Slugger27

      they gave him a chance at starting in 2009. his stuff wasn’t the same, his command wasn’t the same, and all of his peripherals reflect that. k/9 plummeted, bb/9 skyrocketed as did home run rate. even his ground ball rate dropped. he wasn’t pitching well and getting unlucky in 09, he just pitched bad.

      joba 09 = 4.82 FIP
      aj burnett 10 = 4.83 FIP

      • Rob

        Nice job of selective sampling. Want to compare their salaries too? Or how about their ages? Or the number of innings they each got in the minors?

        Burnett is a huge mistake that’s already been made. Joba is a mistake that they keep making worse.

        • Slugger27

          selective sampling???

          your post: “his peripherals suggest they should be starting”

          how is 2009 selective sampling? he came into the spring preparing to start, got his chance and sucked. the aj comparison was to demonstrate just how bad he was. i thought it was assumed i knew the difference between the 2 different points in their career.

          • Rob

            You’re using one number to compare him to Burnett. Why not round out the picture? Because it doesn’t support your conclusion?

            The plain fact is Joba as a starter has been successful. And as the post makes clear, his numbers relieving in 2010 were fine.

            The kid needs to throw innings. He didn’t in the minors. He’s throwing less and less in the majors. It’s time to trade him.

            • Slugger27

              im using 2009 because that’s the biggest sample of him starting in his career. he didnt have to build up his arm midseason. he came prepared to start, he won said starting gig, and he bombed. he as a starter he threw what, 150 innings that year? how is it not the best way to judge him as a starter?

              by no means am i saying 2009 should be his last chance to start. he’s still young and learning his craft. but lets not run from the fact that 2009 gives us the best sample to judge joba the starter, and he pitched terribly (both anecdotally and by advanced metrics).

              • Rob

                Except he was finding his way in 2009 before they started jerking him around.

                The kid needs consistent innings. He should have gotten those in the minors.

              • The Big City of Dreams

                So if he fails in his first yr as a starter that’s enough of a sample size to say that he can’t be a starter. The sad thing is judging by the comments of Joe G and Cashman the organization feels the same way

            • murakami

              Might as well unload him. They foolishly wasted his options, blowing the window they had to send him down to work on his fleeting delivery.

              When he had that great stretch after the All-Star break in 2009, I thought he was on his way. The short innings starter plan – the likes of which I have never seen in all my years watching baseball (early 60s) – was really the icing on the cake of the Yankees’ stupidity. I believe even CC commented that such a schedule would be difficult for any pitcher to work with, or something to that effect.

              • Rob

                This.

              • burnettscreamfilling

                thank you!!!! i was waiting for someone to bring that up!

              • The Big City of Dreams

                Very well said I mean when ppl love to shoot down how he was handled and say the joba supporters have it all wrong but when players on team let it be how weird it is are they wrong as well

    • Chris

      Why do you think he’d be able to succeed as a starter when he struggled as a reliever this year?

      • Rob

        The 200 innings he’s already thrown as a starter and that show he’s better than Hughes at the same.

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

        Because it’s one year. One year should never be the death knell of a talented prospect’s career.

        It’s just one f#$%ing year.

        • Chris

          It’s really two years – 2009 as a starter (4.82 FIP) and 2010 as a reliever.

          I’m not saying that his days as a starter are done, but he did nothing in 2010 to earn a spot in the rotation in 2011. Let him settle into the pen in 2011, and once he recovers to his previous level of performance, then you can look to move him back to the rotation. There’s nothing that says he can’t move from the pen to the rotation when he’s 26 or 28.

          • Rob

            There’s nothing that says he can’t move from the pen to the rotation when he’s 26 or 28.

            Yankee history says you’re wrong. Joba is finished with the team. Absolutely done. They’ve already buried him. Now it’s just the matter of the tombstone.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            “There’s nothing that says he can’t move from the pen to the rotation when he’s 26 or 28.”

            Lol they wouldn’t allow him to be in the 2010 rotation with Hughes, they traded for Javy who was terrible the first time and worse the 2nd, they allowed AJ to get his brains beat in, Andy got hurt and they didn’t even entertain the thought of having Joba start a couple of games. Joba will never ever start a game for the Yankees as long as he’s on the team.

    • murakami

      Let’s hope we don’t go down that road with the Killer Bs, Stoneburner, Marshall, etc.

      Couldn’t agree more with this post.

      Re your observation “To stick him in the pen, as a league average starter, is absolutely senseless,” I have to say, it’s deflating knowing Mike Francesa was put in charge of Chamberlain’s development.

  • http://theblogthatruthbuilt.com Craig

    I never thought I’d say this, but I want the Yankees to trade him if they don’t start him. I certainly don’t want him taking over the closer’s role once Mo retires. I could go on, but nobody has time to read a small book on this issue.

    • Rob

      Agreed. The Yankees too often remind me of Lenny when it comes to prospects – squeeze them until they’re dead.

      The problem is after all of the talk about Joba being a starter in the pen, then coming out and saying he’s a reliever, I don’t see how much value he has. He is a league average starter, but it’s been so long now, why should any team buy into that?

      Maybin would have been a great get….I absolutely hate the front office when it comes to thinking about Joba and his future. Such and utter waste of their own making.

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

        The Yankees too often remind me of Lenny when it comes to prospects – squeeze them until they’re dead.

        Literary reference FTW.

        • Rob

          Yeah, exactly the only book I read in high school….

          Still it’s the image I can’t shake…the front office petting the prospects over and over again until they’re a limp shell of a body.

          Cashman has had 13 years to develop one above average starter. We’re still waiting and no Home Run Hughes doesn’t count.

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

            Cashman has had 13 years to develop one above average starter. We’re still waiting and no Home Run Hughes doesn’t count.

            Weak and unfair analysis FTL.

            • Rob

              ORLY? Point to one example of an above average pitcher that came through the Yankee system in the Cashman Era.

              Wang? He could have worked if he didn’t look utterly flukey in retrospect.

              Hughes? There might be something there, but 42 HRs in 315 innings as a starter is not a good sign.

              Moreover, didn’t Cashman make a big deal about developing pitchers and NOT wasting the money in the free agent market? How’s that philosophy looking? How about the results, three years, and one Burnett, later?

              • Chris

                Wang? He could have worked if he didn’t look utterly flukey in retrospect

                So it’s Cashman’s fault that his foot blew up running the bases?

                Hughes? There might be something there, but 42 HRs in 315 innings as a starter is not a good sign.

                So 42 HR in 315 innings (1.2/9IP) is bad, but 25 HR in 221 innings (1.0/9IP) is good?

                • Rob

                  His foot wasn’t the problem. It was his K rate. Wang was always pitching above his head.

                  Hey, if you want to argue against Hughes by comparing him to Joba, go nuts. You’re just proving my point. Hughes and Joba both look to be middling starters now and after all that talent. Who’s fault is that? At least Hughes got 62 starts in the minors…

                  • Chris

                    Who’s fault is that?

                    It’s Joba’s fault, and no one else (well, perhaps just bad luck and/or DNA). He was a dominant starter in 2008, then got hurt. He’s never recovered to get back to that level. Do you just assume that he’ll suddenly recover back to his 2008 level of performance?

                    • Rob

                      Yeah, it was his fault he got all of 88 innings in the minors. Sure. It also his fault he was brought up early for an ALDS losing team and told to air it out one inning at a time. Sure.

              • theyankeewarrior

                Three years and ONE WS later.

          • ZZ

            There was this pitcher from Taiwain who was really good for a few years and then he got hurt. He came through the Yankee system and had this great sinker.

            I forgot his name. It was like a Dick or a Johnson or a Weiner or a Schlong. Ehh I can’t remember. Whatever it is just going to ruin your super anger filled narrative.

            • Rob

              Except for the minor fact that he was an utter fluke. Two decent seasons with a horrid K rate. He was fun to watch but it was never going to last.

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

                You’re also forgetting all the starters we’ve developed and traded away. They count too.

                Jake Westbrook, Ted Lilly, Eric Milton; they count too. We developed them and then flipped them for veterans we decided we needed for our various playoff pushes. They all went on to be useful MLB starting pitchers for quite some time.

                • Rob

                  Their development was completed by other organizations.

              • Thomas

                You can get outs by other ways than strikeouts. Wang was excellent at this, because he was a sinkerballer and had a terrific GB%. His ERA, FIP, and xFIP for his career are very similar meaning it likely wasn’t a fluke.

                • Rob

                  Except he was unlike anyone in the history of the game. It was never going to last.

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    Wouldn’t be surprised at all if he is traded at the Winter Meetings

    • The Big City of Dreams

      I’m ok with that hopefully he can turn it around like Brandon Morrow

  • BigLou

    Joba has lost his swagger…he used to exude confidence…sneer at batters…throw his pitch right passed them…he was thrilling! Now, he trots in and walks around the mound and throws here and there…he used to throw strikes…now he misses most of the time…I think he is too satisfied sitting and visiting on the bull pen bench…playing big-leaguer…being that visiter Yankee to hospitals…anything but pitching the way he could pitch…maybe he still has bugs on his neck…Please bring back the real Joba or trade him to Baltimore where he could forget the pressure and learn to be Joba again

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

    • swo

      Francesa?

      • murakami

        Gotta be.

  • Ben Vinutti

    Mariano Rivera=Rolaid Relief Award winner and Fireman of the year many times.

    Joba Chamberlin= BP Gas Can Award 2010 finalist (Chad Gaudin took home the prize)

  • Bronx Ralphie

    I said it last year and I will say it again for 2011…Joba needs to go. I know people remember me saying this because I took a lot of heat for it (especially from blogger tampa yankee). I wonder if he is still around. Do you guys still feel so highly about Joba? Hopefully a few have seen the light. They should trade him while they can still get something decent for him. Let him go to the Pirates and be a 3 or 4 starter.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      This.

  • Shaun

    Its his head, call Dr. Phil get it straight make him the reliable reliever he once was and hopefully a great closer.

    • Rob

      Yeah, Brackman and Betances will be competing with him for that role. Wooooo!

  • mac1

    Unless the Yanks actually can get value for Joba in a trade (very unlikely IMO), I’d like to see him start in AAA and keep him as a starter until he either proves he can be one as a major leaguer or you kill whatever value he has left.

    As unpopular as the opinion is, I never wanted him to leave the pen – and I get how much greater value a starter has vs. reliever.

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

      It’s too late to put him in AAA. They screwed that up too.

      • mac1

        Maybe, but the way Girardi seemed to have zero faith in him as a reliever, I’d like to see the Yanks give him one more shot away from the Bronx to try and become something valuable.

        And again, unless you get something for him in a trade – it seems to be a waste to just jettison him off the team or bury him in the pen.

      • murakami

        This is the thing: people don’t know the extent of the screwup, because I keep seeing posts, here and elsewhere, that he should “just be sent to the minors to work things out.”

        Guess again.

    • Rob

      They can’t send him to AAA without sending him through waivers.

      His development was completely wasted…

      • mac1

        didn’t realize, looks like its over then.

        • Rob

          It. Is.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          It’s been over for quite some time unfortunately

      • MikeD

        He’s development wasn’t wasted. He’s just the latest young pitcher to suffer an injury and never quite be what was once hoped. Doesn’t mean he can’t be decent. It’s just not a development issue. Not to repeat my last post:

        http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....nt-1317626

        • The Big City of Dreams

          If it wasn’t wasted is it fair to say his development was not a normal one?

  • utah slim

    Somebody needs to lock Joba and Alan James Burnett in a camp with Gunny so they can re-discover their manhood or why yellow makes them sad, which ever comes first.I really thought Girardi would be more visceral and less cerebral. They both need to pitch with a f*#kyou attitude. Joba needs to start and be left in the rotation, if the Rays had as little patience with Price they wouldn’t have just won the division. Too many tngents, too little time.

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

      Yes. I’m sure Joba’s missing manhood and not his shoulder injury is what caused him to pitch poorly in 2009.

      • utah slim

        I think his velocity in 2010 showed that the shoulder is not currently an issue. His demeanor on the mound looks to be. He looks like he’s hoping to get guys out, not expecting to. I could be wrong , no one really knows what’s in a guys head, but that’s the way it looked to me last season.

        • MikeD

          If by that you mean he wasn’t injured in 2010, you’re correct. Yet whatever damage he suffered in August 2008 is still there. The fastball has never returned to previous levels, which impacts all his other pitches.

        • Chris

          His velocity in 2010 was still down from where it was before he was injured. It’s recovered somewhat, but still down from where it was.

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

        Every time I’m hiring a person to fill an important decisionmaking role, I remind myself that I person to be visceral, not cerebral.

        (rolls eyes)

    • Slugger27

      i dont get the price comp at all…

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

      Batshit insane.

    • http://www.twitter.com/brandonholley B-Rando

      “re-discover their manhood”…what the hell are you talking about? Also do not get what comparisons Price has to the Joba.

      Also it should be noted that I’m leaving this comment with a f*#kyou attitude.

    • murakami

      What a ridiculous comparison. AJ is 33 or 34 years old. He’s also a guy who has steadfastly refused, throughout his career to expand his arsenal and throw a change up that is actually a good pitch.

      Joba is 25, had 89 minor league innings, and has four worthy pitches, all of which he is willing to throw. He’s also, despite constant jokes about his weight, a very good fielding pitcher, and a good athlete.

      What a crock.

  • swo

    Can’t they just use the Phil Hughes argument and say that, because Joba has a certain amount of IP in the past, that he can handle a certain amount of innings next year? I mean, either the Yankees are going to benefit or some other team is, and I just don’t think it’s worth it NOT to try it one more time. I say push him to 170 IP if he doesn’t flame out of the rotation by then.

    Everyone is talking about how he has such minimal trade value. What would we trade him for, more prospects and even more of a crapshoot than Joba already is? At this point, isn’t it more beneficial to the Yankees to just start him again? If the Yankees only sign one of Lee and Pettitte, then doesn’t it help to have someone with substantial MLB experience in the rotation to at least start the season? Even if it’s only to give guys like Phelps and Noesi (and of course the B-men) a bit more minor league seasoning, I can’t see how it hurts the ballclub any more than some replacement level chaff with no future.

    • utah slim

      Bingo

    • murakami

      Well, they could tell him to prepare as a starter, and try and stretch him out in ST. It’ll be interesting to hear what the new PC, whomever he proves to be, has to say on Joba’s future.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        He’ll probably just fall in line with the organization

  • theyankeewarrior

    I’ll let the experts on the coaching staff deal with Joba’s mechanics, delivery etc. and try to make something useful out of him. Then, I’ll let the FO execs decide where his place is whether that’s in or out of the organization. At this point, I don’t care where he pitches, as long as he is somewhat useful as a low-cost arm.

    That being said, here’s a tip for Joba: (because I know he reads this) Hit the f%@!*&$ weight room, bro. Listen, I understand that losing weight doesn’t mean you will get better as a ML pitcher, but it can’t hurt. The guy looks like a hot-dog vendor in pinstripes. It’s only been 3 seasons since he came up and I can already see an obvious difference in his physique. He’s freaking 25 years old and already looks like boomer out there.

    That’s ridiculous. It can’t hurt to actually be in shape out there while you’re trying to repeat a delivery that can help you consistently nail the outside corner instead of drifting fastballs over the plate.

    Talk about too many “moving parts”… Thank god the uniforms in this game are nothing like the NBA’s.

    • vin

      Although it seems simplistic, I do agree with you on his conditioning. Of course I have no idea just what kind of shape he’s in, but I do know the old adage is that you can either “play your way out of the game, talk your way out of the game, or eat your way out of the game.”

      I know Hughes spent last offseason in an intense training program. He definitely looked in better shape this year. How that helps him on the mound, I don’t honestly know… but it can’t hurt. If nothing else, I get the impression that the coaching staff and FO would appreciate it.

    • murakami

      “The guy looks like a hot-dog vendor in pinstripes.”

      Worked for Ruth, whom my dad says was an under rated baserunner.

      Also, some people have what’s called a “kapha’ type constitution, and it’s really not down to be some undisciplined slob, as the assumption so often goes with Joba.

      I mean, HTF would fans know?? Yet these sanctimonious declarations about how “he better” do this and “he better” do that, while they likely sit on their ever spreading asses, typing with one hand while the other visits and re-visits the bowl of doritos, which they must constantly replenish – the only motivation that will get them off their fat butts. :D.

      • theyankeewarrior

        1) Babe Ruth has nothing to do with Joba

        2) If babe Ruth lifted weights and followed a proper diet, training program etc, he would have been even better.

        3) Fans aren’t paid to be in shape.

        • murakami

          1). My point is, body type influences how a given body looks. It does not always translate that a person is “out of shape.”

          2). You would have no way of knowing what Chamberlain’s workout habits are, although people who know nothing seem pretty opinionated, nonetheless.

          3). Ruth could not possibly have been “better.” Maybe he would have lived longer…

          4). Right, so they have no idea what it takes for a pro baseball player to be in shape and can’t detect whether he is or isn’t. Therefore, all of these morally outraged comments on Joba Chamberlain’s out-of-shapeness are based on nothing but the subjetive emotions and assumptions of the fan.

  • farentheight

    I feel sorry for this kid. I do think he was mishandled/mismanaged and brought up too soon. Now it’s time to get him right once and for all.

  • vin

    So what is to become of Joba? Obviously things like “pitching with more fire in his belly” and sending him to the minors aren’t a part of the equation.

    My guesses for what the FO will do with him:
    1) keep him in the pen in hopes he can take over for Mo.
    2) include him in a deal for a starter if they whiff on Lee.
    3) ???

    If they do trade him, I don’t know what they will need to get back (other than a starter in the 2nd scenario). They’ll be pretty set at each position. Besides, most small-market teams won’t value him as much because he’s been in the pen the past year, and he’s in his arbitration years.

    Other than the 2nd scenario, I can’t see them dealing him. Nor do I see them starting him ever again. I guess he has 3 years of team control left to prove he can take over for Mo.

  • http://jukeofurl.wordpress.com Juke Early

    Oct. 2008 Joba was back home in Nebraska & busted for drinking & being at a strip club, it was the beginning of his decline. Naturally, there were obvious pitching holes people finally began to notice. Most jocks, jock writers & their fanboys discount psyché. But Joba’s persona took some kind of hit from that experience & the next season, he was no longer confident & intimidating on the mound. You could look it up.

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

      The shoulder injury >>>> DUI.

      Enough with this confident/intimidating armchair psychology BS.

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

        STOP DISCOUNTING PSYCHE, YOU JOCK/JOCK WRITER/FANBOY!!!!!

      • toad

        Funny, I thought you were concerned about his lack of confidence:

        On the other hand, at times, he just didn’t have the confidence in his stuff.

        Confidence is important, like it or not, and the Yankees certainly didn’t help Joba’s.

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

      Oct. 2008 Joba was back home in Nebraska & busted for drinking & being at a strip club, it was the beginning of his decline. Naturally, there were obvious pitching holes people finally began to notice. Most jocks, jock writers & their fanboys discount psyché. But Joba’s persona took some kind of hit from that experience & the next season, he was no longer confident & intimidating on the mound. You could look it up.

      That doesn’t make sense.

      http://fronteras.org/wp-conten.....dymilk.jpg (safe)

  • Mike HC

    Joba should be a starter in the Major Leagues. The Yanks fucked him. It is really that simple. Part of me hopes he ends up on another team at some point to start for his sake and sticks it to the Yanks.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      I wouldn’t like to see him beat the Yankees because it’s the team I root for but I would like to see him get traded and turn his career around

  • Reggie C.

    Trade Joba as a supplemental piece for JUSTIN Upton (who’s apparently available!).

    That’s about the most value Joba could offer the Yanks going forward if he’s not ever starting for the ML squad again.

  • jim p

    Joba doesn’t locate his fastball consistently. There’s the whole mystery. When he can, if he can in 2011, then we’ll be hearing about Joba the Starter in mid-’11 or to start ’02.

    Successful starters locate their fastball, whatever the speed. He can’t, so the Yanks don’t make him a starter. This was what happened with Hughes in ’09 in the bullpen. He learned to locate.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Yeah, I hope he gets traded…he never really got the chance to start. 2009 was a weird year, definitely didn’t inspire confidence, I was hoping after that he’d be in the Scranton rotation so that the team could see what he can do with more conditioning, and a longer chance to build up his stamina. I’m very bearish on Chamberlain in general, but I don’t think he was given a full chance to demonstrate his true talent levels. He realistically shouldn’t have seen the bigs until 2008, but alas panic happened and they brought him up in 2007.

  • burnettscreamfilling

    its as simple as this:
    Joba was awsome in 07 and then he was great in 08 until he got hurt.
    He finally started to regain his stuff in mid 09 before they they screwed with that wierd schedule to “save his arm”
    in 10 he has a bad spring training which appreantly meant banishment to the bullpen. He had an up and down year as a reliever but had great Periphials.
    and now that means hes done for?
    He needs to be given another shot at starting.He still has the talent to succend as a starter. I don’t understand why people are giving up on him so fast.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      “I don’t understand why people are giving up on him so fast.”

      Because the FO has given up on him. Cashman the biggest supporter of him starting finally gave up hope this past ST. Listen to the words of Eppler and Eiland when Joba “lost” the battle for the 5th spot you would think he had been starting for 8 yrs and was mediocre to bad for all 8 of them.

    • MikeD

      I’d like to see him given another shot at starting, but what you wrote is not correct. He was not regaining his stuff in mid-09. He has never regained the “stuff” he had from 2007 until August 2008.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        He did those 3 games after the break. He threw hard, was confident, and pitched deep into games.