Open Thread: Cut those sideburns!


What the ... ?

What the hell is that, Robbie? That facial hair makes him look like a skinnier David Ortiz, and I don’t like that at all. Well, unless he hits like 2004-2007 David Ortiz, of course. I’m cool with it if that happens. Robinson needs to learn a lesson from Don Mattingly and Mr. Burns and cut those sideburns! (h/t ‘Duk)

On a more serious note, here’s the video of Jack Curry’s trip to the Dominican Republic, where he followed Robbie around during his offseason workouts. It’s not long (about four minutes), and I suggest you give it a watch. Once you’ve done that, use this as your open thread. The Devils, Knicks, and Nets are all playing at different times, but talk about whatever you want. Treat the thread as you see fit.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Brian says:

    maybe Oritz can hook Robbie up with some Dominican milkshakes

  2. Icxe says:

    Why does he still have the sticker on his Yankees hat?

  3. Midland TX says:

    If looking ridiculous freezes baserunners in their tracks I’m all for it.

  4. Xstar7 says:

    He really does look like a skinny David Ortiz. What does this mean?!?!

  5. MikeD says:

    I saw CC with some disturbing, beard-like, badly shaped, facial-hair thing during the off-season too. I was in a bit of a panic as I thought it was a tumor, or something growing across his face, like the creeping great blackness from the Princess Bride. Then I realized it was an attempt at a beard.

    Years ago I used to be against the Yankees facial-hair policy, then I got older and realized that the overwhelming majority of baseball players have no ability to figure out cool-looking facial hair.

  6. Craig says:

    anyone have an idea of how much a Mo and Joba autographed card would go for? Both have an individual plaque with their names engraved on it

  7. Kiersten says:

    And in this evening’s shocking news, “Yankees would consider Joba-For-Starter Trade.”


    • MikeD says:


      I don’t think the Yankees are quite ready to deal Joba. I mean, first they have to return Mitre to the bullpen, and then move Mitre ahead of Joba in the bullpen order, reducing Joba to being a mop-up reliever for the mop-up reliever. After that, they should send him down to AA ball (if they think he can handle it), where he can be the mop-up reliever for the mop-up reliever in Trenton, while at the same time talking to the media about how they don’t think his stuff will play in the rotation, or the bullpen.

      If we’re lucky, but the trade deadline, we just might be able to get Chad Gaudin back in a swap for Joba, well, I mean, as long as we also throw in another player to even out the deal.


    • The Yankees would consider swapping Joba Chamberlain, but “probably only” as part of a larger package for a “viable starter

      You know, someone who could pitch to a career 4.18 ERA as a starter. Someone who’s had success in that role before. Someone…like Joba.

  8. Craig says:

    Edwin Jackson for Joba/Laird?

  9. ultimate913 says:


    Really? The title should just be “Yankees would consider starter-for-starter trade.”

  10. bonestock94 says:

    I’d rather see Joba start on another (NL) team than be the 6th inning reliever. If we get a respectable starter that is.

    • Craig says:

      Clayton Kershaw?

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Honestly, I don’t care about Joba. I want the Yankees to win. If that means Joba turns into a chubby, Native American Tim Lincecum, great. If that means he’s traded for a backup DH for Charleston, allowing the Yankees to start a chain of promotions that results in some guy getting a key pinch hit, so it goes.

      (Clearly, he’s an asset, so the Yankees should be looking to maximize that asset. And the way to maximize that asset? Rotation, or trade before he’s a 6th-7th inning reliever.)

  11. Jake LaMotta's Left Hook says:

    Regarding the mlbtr post on Joba, I have to say I am quite disappointed in the Yankees seemingly incompetent front office this offseason.

    • Craig says:

      At least they’re not Drayton Moore and Co.

    • mbonzo says:

      Besides this questionable Soriano contract, what has the FO screwed up on?

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

      It’s Levine’s fault. He jumped a bridge prior to making Cash do it.

      • Chris says:

        Cash needed a kick in his ass. What was he gonna do in may when mitre and nova are struggling, Burnett is pitching like Burnett and Joba/ Robertson are shaky in the 8th inning like last year? Hope a starter and set up man falls from the sky and happens to land in Yankee stadium? At least now the bullpen is rock solid and they can focus on getting a starter which is gonna be hard enough in itself.

  12. I’m all for putting Joba back in the rotation, but I have to call out those on my side for a horrendously bad argument.

    You can’t bitch about how the Yanks have mishandled him and jerked him around, ruining his development as a pitcher. Then out of the other side of your mouth say that they should jerk him around one more time and make him a starter.

    I’m sure you wanted him to start all along, and in a perfect world none of this would have happened. But it did, so drop the ‘Yankees mishandled him’ argument if you’re advocating to change his role yet again.

    • whozat says:

      See, I don’t think that the jerking him around has anything to do with it. I think his struggles are explained by being young, having little minor league experience, and the shoulder strain. I don’t think the “jerking around” is the mishandling.

      I think they’ve mishandled him by not figuring out how to maximize the value to the organization of the asset that is Joba Chamberlain. If what we know is true, after his (totally acceptable, given his age and experience) performance in 2009, they had decided that Hughes would start in 2010 — barring a health disaster — and Joba should go to the pen. That meant his innings would not be built up, which meant that in 2011 he would AGAIN be capped, and going into arbitration. Given that data, the obvious thing to do in order to make the team stronger was TRADE HIM. Market him as a very young guy with lots of upside who had just had a reasonable amount of success in the rotation in the toughest division in baseball.

      • Yeah, that. What he said.

      • If you’re going by the Verducci rules (which I know some people have issues with) they don’t apply to pitchers 25 and older, which is Joba’s age. So the innings jump may not be an issue, depending on what version of the innings cap they subscribe to.

        In all honesty, the rest of your post is ‘we should have done this’ and ‘could have’ done that. Which doesn’t really help much with the situation at hand.

        • whozat says:

          I wasn’t addressing what to do now, I was saying that holding Joba responsible for his performance and believing the organization has made some poor choices about how to deploy him are not contradictory points of view.

          As for what to do now…well, they could certainly admit that he’s a good bet to be better than Mitre and tell him to start working on that curveball again.

          • Yeah, and I hope they do make him a starter. We’ll see, the generally do the right thing when all other options have been exhausted. But a ST starters battle that includes Joba doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

            Again, when people whine about how Joba’s been jerked around and their remedy for fixing him to to change his role yet again, it just comes across to me as hypocritical.

            • whozat says:

              Is anyone really saying that, though? Sure, there are people who argue that jerking him around has hampered his development, and while it’s true that moving him back to the rotation would be another ‘jerk’…a reasonable projection (league average starting, plus upside) even following the jerk still makes it worth it.

        • twac00 says:

          I also heard that if a young pitcher coming up throws 150 innings one year and gets injured the next and only gets to half that he won’t have to start his progression all over again. This is essentially what Joba has gone through the past couple of years. He threw 157.1 innings in 2009 and 71.2 innings in 2010. Based on what I heard he should be able to start next season without an innings limit.

      • CP says:

        That meant his innings would not be built up, which meant that in 2011 he would AGAIN be capped, and going into arbitration.

        He threw 157 innings in 2009, so the cap in 2011 would be around 190 innings. That’s high enough that it’s basically a non issue. Maybe they have to skip a start in September, but nothing significant.

        I personally think that if he had pitched better out of the pen in 2010 then he would have been considered an option to start in 2011. The fact that he struggled as a reliever doesn’t bode well for him moving to the rotation.

  13. joe says:

    Could the reds possibly trade for a Sp. it seems to me they have a nice plethora with volquez,cueto,arroyo,bailey,wood,leake, & chapman

  14. bakekrukow412 says:

    Does anyone else feel Joba’s problems are due to his weight? Look at some clips from him in ’07, the guy looks alot fatter now.

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ says:

      I doubt his weight had anything to do with him being unlucky last year.

      • CP says:

        I wasn’t just bad luck.

        • Tom O says:

          It was definitely partly bad luck though. Joba sure had some awful moments in the first half, but his overall numbers for the season actually came out pretty good, and his 4.40 ERA hides his good peripherals and great FIP (2.98). From July on he held opponents to .235/.287/.392, with a 3.66 ERA, so that first half bad luck and/or poor pitching was mostly responsible for dragging a good season down to a merely average one.

          • Mister Delaware says:

            Anything time where Hit f/x could add another useful layer of data. The line looks decent but there’s an isoP above league average in there, not something you really want from a top bullpen guy. Would love to know if he was hit hard (and the .275 2nd half BABIP was luck) or if he inducing mostly bad contact (and the isoP was bumped by some fluky XBHs).

  15. bpdelia says:

    Brandon Morrow is an excellent example of what we are all talking about. His stuff plays up out of the pen as well. ANd he was moved back and forth. Had very little minor league time to develop and is just now starting to pay off on his potential.

  16. Chris says:

    The yanks have enough in the bullpen now to let Joba pitch in scranton as a starter for the first 8-10 weeks and see what happens. If he suck just put him back in the pen. If he does well even better.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      I don’t think the Yankees can send Joba down without subjecting him to waivers.

    • MikeD says:

      Do they need to have him go to Scranton? He’s already had a full season as a starter in 2009, and another 12 MLB starts in 2008, and has been on the MLB roster since mid-2007. He can work his way into starter length in Spring Training.

      Also, I heard today (or was it yesterday?) that Pettitte has now begun workouts. Did I miss a story on this? Seems to me he’s planning to come back. Looking for anything positive when it comes to Andy.

  17. One other thing about Joba, the Yanks aren’t wrong when they say his stuff plays up as a reliever and he’s been much better in that role. He has, and it’s not arguable. Here’s the link. I’d post the table, but WordPress will just make a mess of hit. Format is too small.


    His WHIP as a starter was almost 1.5 (1.1 as reliever). He walked 101 batters in 221.2 IP, which effectively wipes away his other positive peripherals by allowing too many baserunners. OPS against jumps almost 150 points as a starter as well. Pretty much every rate stat you look at gets worse when you compare the two roles.

    Was it because he was on the Joba Rules and hitters waited him out? Yeah, that could have had a lot to do with it. Just getting into those deep counts meant he had to come in with 3-2 fastballs and is therefore all the more hittable. Did the league just catch up with him? I’m sure that played a part as well. His go-to swing and miss pitch is the slider, and he rarely throws it for strikes. Hitters aren’t stupid, once they recognize the pitch as a slider they lay off and take their walk. His fastball is pretty straight, so when he gets it up in the zone it gets hammered. I don’t know where he found that 100MPH heat in 07, maybe it was a result of building his arm up as a starter all year and switching to relief, or maybe it was a juiced radar gun. But the scouting reports I saw of him as a college pitcher and in the Yankee farm system had him sitting in the low 90s as a starter. So I really don’t think he hurt his shoulder, he just reverted to be who he always was before 1007.

    All of this is why I think all the excuse making surrounding Joba is just that. I don’t think he has the stuff to be an elite pitcher like we saw in 2007-08, which was a classic first time through the league effect. But with all his warts, I still think he’s better a option than Sergio Mitre or Ivan Nova as the #4 or 5 starter. So for that reason alone I’d like to see him moved back to the rotation.

    • CP says:

      which was a classic first time through the league effect.

      I agree with everything except this.

      He clearly lost velocity on his fastball after the shoulder injury and hasn’t been the same pitcher since. Whether that’s a result of the injury, change in mechanics, reverting to his normal level, or something else I don’t know, but that change is plainly evident in both the pitch f/x data and the results.

      • Well, I guess the problem is that we don’t have pitch FX for colleges and the minors. But I remember at least 2-3 scouting reports (one from Keith Law) that had him sitting in the low to mid 90s in the minors.

      • RiddlemeThis says:

        His mechanics have changed drastically from 07 and now look up video of then and now. I also think he isn’t as good of shape as he was in 07 either….I’m on the keep him in the pen group (always have been) but if he can prove he can become a strong force again from the pen (I mean tangible results, not “well his peripherals are good”)then let him move to a starter. I’m sorry, but we can’t keep making excuses for Joba anymore, the yankees jerked him around; sure; but that isn’t an excuse anymore. Everyone on here needs to realize it takes two to tango; Joba does have his share of the responsibility on what has happened.

    • whozat says:

      …but pretty much every pitcher’s stuff plays better out of the pen. Does Joba’s stuff play ESPECIALLY better out of the pen?

      • Jerome S. says:

        This. Just look at Phil Hughes in the pen.

        • mbonzo says:

          By those standards, Hughes belongs in the pen and Joba as a starter. Hughes’ numbers are insane out of the pen and meh as a starter.

      • He’s an above average reliever and around league average as a starter. The Yanks aren’t in the business of fielding replacement level guys in the hope they’ll turn into something more, they’re trying to win championships every year. They therefore need good to great performances to achieve that goal.

        Really, I don’t know what point you’re even trying to make. Yes, many pitchers will have their stuff play up as starters. We all know that. Is Joba unique in that way? No, of course not. Now what does any of this have to do with what the team needs for 2011?

        • whozat says:

          My point is, essentially, that I agree with you. Unless someone is less than average as a starter, and Joakim Soria as a reliever…the argument that his stuff plays better in the pen is unpersuasive.

        • hogsmog says:

          But right now, a replacement level pitcher would be really, really nice, seeing as everyone except CC and Hughes (with a 102 ERA+) is below league average.

    • Chris says:

      Really what do they have to lose? He’s just a middle reliever at this point. Romulo Sanchez one of the rule 5 draft guys could probably fill that role.

    • mbonzo says:

      I like you’re argument, but I like Joba in the rotation this year. All of his numbers, outside of WHIP show that he’s performed above average as a starter very young. As for his WHIP, you’re kinda exaggerating the numbers. If you want to round them its 1.5 WHIP as a starter and 1.2 WHIP out of the pen. You shouldn’t round one number down and one up. (1.480 v. 1.154)

      Joba was incredible in 2008. His 2009 was very similar to Hughes’. He started out with a 3.58 ERA until August and the Yankees FO started messing with his innings. Hughes’ numbers also fell as so many starter’s do when you haven’t pitched that many innings and the FO starts puttings limits on your workouts and games. For some reason people forget how successful Joba was in 2009. Probably because he didn’t get the same run support as Hughes did.

      BTW, in 2009 the starting pitchers on the Yankees tied for the lowest ERA on August 1st were… Joba and AJ.
      CC- 3.83
      AJ- 3.53
      Joba- 3.58
      Pettitte- 4.51

      ERA doesn’t mean everything, but it should be a bold enough number to tell you he’s had success at a young age starting. His career 4.18 ERA should tell you that he’s been able to limit runs better than Hughes’s as a starter.

  18. bpdelia says:

    absolutely. He’s not an elite starter and he IS better out of the pen. But he definately does have the stuff to be an effective starter. He’s got a consistent 92-94 fastball that he pumps up to 96 on occasion. He has a very good out pitch in the slider, and his curve/change combo showed you enough to assume that after a couple of years they could develop into more than show me pitches. Most young pitchers struggle with command. Even with his stuff now Joba seems to me like a guy who is easily a very very solid 5 with REAL potential to be an excellent #3.

    I mean, most guys pitching in the 6th and 7th inning are NOT guys you can say that about.

  19. Chris says:

    I don’t know what they’re gonna do but if mitre is in the rotation, it should be “wear a bag over your head day” when he starts.

  20. Monteroisdinero says:

    How’s this for an open thread non-sequitir: The greatest Home Run hitter in the history of baseball choked up on the bat!

    /strange thought

    • Jerome S. says:

      Do to the fucked up nature of the sport, there are actually three “greatest home run hitters in history.” I fully expect that by 2017 there will be another.

      Anyway, to whom do you refer?

      • bpdelia says:

        come on. Only one of the top hr hitters choked up. Bonds

        • Monteroisdinero says:

          Sorry, I knew I misphrased my point which was “the all-time HR leader (Bonds) choked up-pretty significantly. I find that interesting in thinking about swing mechanics/torque/batspeed etc. So many power hitters nowadays are the exact opposite with the pinky of the bottom hand even off the knob.

  21. Engelbert says:

    my sister was watching “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC and on it they said, and I quote, “_____ is going to become part of baseball legend, as she’s going to be married to New York Yankees pitcher Chad Gaudin”

  22. mbonzo says:

    I keep getting accused of using small sample size or bad use of statistical career numbers to prove that Joba has outpitched Hughes as a starter. It happened in the minor leagues, and its happened in the majors. Here are their best years pitching (small sample size) and their career numbers.

    Joba Chamberlain Best stretches as starter: 2008/2009
    12 games started
    2.76 ERA

    2009 (before innings limits and injury)
    20 games started
    3.58 ERA

    Career numbers as starter
    4.18 ERA, 8.36 K/9, 1.48 WHIP, .325 BABIP, 4.23 xFIP

    Phil Hughes Best stretches as starter: 2007/2010
    13 games started
    4.46 ERA

    29 games started
    4.23 ERA

    Career numbers as starter
    4.68 ERA, 7.27 K/9, 1.34 WHIP, .294 BABIP, 4.59 xFIP

    Except for career starting WHIP, Joba outperforms Hughes as a starter.

  23. romo4885 says:

    what free agent starter still avaulable would be worth taking a chance on and why?

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      None. I’d say Carl Pavano if his previous stint with the Yankees never happened. Unfortunately, it did.

    • mbonzo says:

      Justin Duchscherer because he was amazing when he was healthy, unlike everyone else left. He’s shown he rehabbed from shoulder surgery, but now he’s gotta show he can rehab from hip surgery, which is a lot less risk prone than shoulder surgeries like Webb had. The great thing about him, even though he’s faced a lot of injuries the last 2 years, he isn’t a violent pitcher. He relies on command rather than speed, which would mean he’d be less likely to reactivate injury problem. He’d also know how to handle a relieving job. Always thought he was underrated. I don’t understand why he’s not getting more play. I would love the Yankees to sign him, and I think he could be the Yankees 4th starter.

  24. Eirias says:

    I have to admit, the thought of somehow getting Soria pretty cheaply and possessing a simply terrifying bullpen is somewhat enticing.

  25. Jerome S. says:

    Last year taught us that offseason predictions mean nothing.
    So to hell with the Sox, Phillies, Rangers, or anyone else making bold conjectures about the future, because ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 World Series Champions are:

    The Kansas City Royals! Who beat the Milwaukee Brewers in 6 games. In other news, World Series ratings hit an alltime low…

  26. MikeD says:

    Joba. If he didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him, just to have something to talk about.

  27. Katie says:

    Our friendly RAB editors need to lighten up a bit. It’s cool of Robbie — a guy in his 20s — wants to grow some facial hair in the off-season. I know you guys are kidding? Right?? I know you stat-crazed wonks didn’t shave your mustache for weeks in high school and the definition of “cool” was a new slide rule in the shirt pocket. As long as Robo Cano keeps whacking the ball he can wear monks’ robes and shave his head.

  28. rek4gehrig says:

    I’m totally loving Cano all over again. Facial hair or not.

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