Feb
16

Joba’s fat: does it matter?

By

People are paying just a little attention to Joba

Even after the Yankees put an end to the starter/reliever debate, Joba Chamerlain remains the most talked about player on the team. After the team signed Rafael Soriano the discussion centered not on what Soriano brings to the pen — we all knew that — but on what the signing meant for Joba. But that paled in comparison to the attention he has received since reporting to spring training.

It started last week, when Brian Costello of the New York Post, standing at a distance, observed that Chamberlain put on weight. An up-close look confirmed it, but there was an admission that it might not all have been lard. Chamberlain explained that he added a gym to his home that he used to work out all winter. That sounds good, and it speaks to a certain level of commitment to fitness. But the gut we can see, and therefore it is on the gut we will judge.

In his blog this morning, Joel Sherman discusses the loss of faith in Chamberlain, even as his results improved markedly in the second half of 2010. Of course, he opens with an observation about Joba’s weight. He’s above the level where the Yankees would like him, and apparently they don’t buy the added muscle bit. They apparently see a “wider girth.” Brian Cashman added fuel to the fire by repeating the term, “he’s heavier” this morning, without mentioning anything about how it affects the organization’s view of their once top prospect.

Yet I wonder how much Joba’s weight actually matters. Every year we hear about this player or that showing up to camp in the best shape of his life. Does it really mean anything? Last month at FanGraphs Dave Cameron examined the “good shapers,” i.e., players who showed up to camp last year professing their fitness. A few of them did beat expectations, but many others fell right in line or below. As Cameron concludes, “there doesn’t appear to be strong evidence that it is a significant predictor of a strong season on the way.” Why, then, is anyone worrying about Joba?

If Chamberlain is throwing well, how concerned can the Yankees be about his weight? Sherman addressed this point in his blog post this morning: “the early word out of camp is that Chamberlain is throwing the heck out of the ball…word is that the ball is coming out of his hand easy and hard, and if he can do that consistently than [sic] he could probably waddle around for all the Yankees care.” Chamberlain himself addressed the issue, saying he feels “awesome,” and that he’s in better shape than he was last year.

In the early days of spring, we’re all looking for something we can cling to.* With the Yankees, it seems to rotate by the day. On Monday it was CC’s out clause. Yesterday it was A.J. Burnett and his importance to the team. Today it is apparently Joba and his weight. They’re baseball related, and therefore we pay attention. But I’m not sure that this story in particular means much in terms of the 2011 season. All that matters is how Joba performs. One hundred percent of Yankees fans would prefer a fat Chamberlain throwing gas than a svelte Chamberlain serving up gopher balls. The temptation might be to focus on his weight right now, but in a little more than a month it won’t matter one bit.

*Fat joke resisted.

Categories : Spring Training
  • Roba the Hut

    Go joba!

  • PaulF

    Good to hear he’s “throwing the heck out of the ball.” Fat pitchers FTW.

  • RL

    The weight didn’t seem to hamper Boomer. Joba’s 2 years or so removed from the shoulder injury. Time for a return to the rotation! :-)

    • The Big City of Dreams

      “Time for a return to the rotation!”

      lol why do that when a middle reliever/mop-up guy is more valuable than a starter

      • Chris

        The bigger issue is that he was good (not great) in the pen last year. There aren’t a lot of non-great relievers that make good starters.

        • http://twitter.com/TylerWilkinson T-Dubs

          Except for Sergio Mitre.

          • RL

            Well played.

            • Alex C.

              Fausto Carmona says hello.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          I thought he was ok last yr. I wouldn’t say he was good. There were games where he was lights out and then others where he was terrible.

          • RL

            Peripherals were better than his ERA. He was (at least) “good”. Not great, but very solid. Daniel Bard solid.

            That said, the team has made it quite clear he’ll need to earn whatever spot he gets. He’s got a lot of work to do, but hearing that he’s throwing well is a very good first step.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              True him throwing well is starting off on the right foot but the same can be said about anyone right now. Who isn’t throwing the ball well at this point in spring.

              • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

                Who isn’t throwing the ball well at this point in spring.

                Sergio Mitre. He never throws the ball well.

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

                  From the hitter’s perspective, he is.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  lol

                • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

                  The 2009 White Sox cry. Loudly.

      • Ted Nelson

        “lol why do that when a middle reliever/mop-up guy is more valuable than a starter”

        Because that’s a good way to describe your #3 reliever…

        • The Big City of Dreams

          a #3 reliever who is basically a non factor on the team

    • Horace

      That is 100% correct!! Time 4 Girardi,cash & the bumbling Steinbrenners 2 do right by Joba and get him in the rotation where he belongs

      • The Big City of Dreams

        or get him to another team

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, because giving players away is more valuable than using them… If the Yankees had an offer on the table where they were getting more value for Joba than they think he gives to the team, they obviously would make that trade.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            what exactly is the value for a mop-up man who the team doesn’t trust

  • Tripp

    Kenny Powers!

    • Klemy

      “I’m the man who has the ball. I’m the man who can throw it faster than f$@#. So that is why I am better than everyone in the world. Kiss my ass and suck my dick…everyone.”

  • Dream of Electric Sheeps

    Does the NY Post matter?

    • BigDavey88

      (Thinks about it)…

      No.

      • Shawn Tzu

        And the News, Times or Newsday, do?

        Hmmm, nope. They all suck for various reasons of scandal and deceit but only the Post gets the attention here for some reason.

        • pete

          the times is pretty irrelevant when it comes to sports, but I think it’s absolutely a good paper overall

        • http://procrastinationperfected.tumblr.com/ BigDavey88

          “And the News, Times or Newsday, do?”

          I wasn’t aware I made such a claim simply by saying “no”.

  • Dream of Electric Sheeps

    Bieber,Franco,Gaga and Joba, hot topics indeed, that’s a lineup that will ultimately shape the foundations of humanity.

    • BigDavey88

      If you needed to know anything about the New York Post readership there is your right there.

      • BigDavey88

        answer*

      • Shawn Tzu

        So, “BigDavey88″, if you’re so arrogrant to preach about the evils of the Post, then by all means tell me why the News or Times is any better?

        I’m not a Post fan, but stop insulting their readership like their any more ignorant or biased than other newspaper publications.

        Seriously, do you suggest some reader of the News fine intellectuals like Lupica are more informed or civilized? The man is competely unhinged Yankee hater who writes nonsense to feed his bigotry of the team in the Bronx. And now he writes a humorous political column, although I think he’s actually trying to be serious.

        And how about the near bankrupt Times- what do they stand for?
        Well I think they’re perfectly symbolized by their the fine columnist Paul Krugman, who without any evidence decided in less than a hour after the tragedy in Arizona to blame and slander innocent conservatives. Scum of the Earth-definitely.

        Can you find anyone person who is as immoral and cowardly at the Post? So please next time you or anyone attack only the Post and/or its readership- realize the wide amount of idiots you are leving out from rightful judegment and scorn.

        • pete

          please cite the example about Krugman, because you’re making it seem like something it wasn’t. I mean seriously, “scum of the Earth”? I think Krugman is an excellent writer – better than any writer I’ve ever read on the Post or the News. I get the Post hate, I get the News hate, I get Newsday hate, USA Today, Boston Herald, etc. etc., but the Times, Globe, and WSJ are all clearly a higher level of writing which does suggest an intellectually higher level of readership.

          • Mike M

            http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=41087#

            Every newspaper has it’s slants…it’s pretty much a matter of which slant you wanna hear. I’ve read some pretty terrible articles in pretty much every paper, including the Times, Globe, and WSJ. Just because your paper has to be folded in half to read it doesn’t make the reader any smarter. When people make statements like BigDavey though it just comes off as elitist.

          • Shawn-Tzu

            Pete, I appreciate the question and the lack of malice in your response. Whther Krugman is an excellent writer or not, I’m questioning the man’s very character and ethics.

            How can I make such a jarring statement? Well, as I illustrated above, the man less than one hour after the Tuscon shooting last month decided to blame “the climate of hate” on talk radio, the Tea Party & Sarah Pailn….with absolutely no evidence just his sick opinion.

            And then as the truth behind that madman’s motive was revealed to have nothing connecting to the politically right- Paul Krugman, the coward, never issued an apology for his vicious libel rendered upon the innocent parties.

            We can all have disagreements with politics and tend to avoid them to avoid these type of arguments. But when you’re openly & fervently slandering innocent people & groups for mass murder- then you are no longer a respectable news source let alone decent human being.

            P.S. To BigDavey, I apologize if I came off too strong against your probable silly remark. But I’m just a little angered to see some biased call out but others get away with it.

            I mean heck, disregard all issues but sports… how can any local news source sink lower than the News having in their employment Mike Lupica. Not saying the News doesn’t have some superior things than the Post sports team. But no one on the Post has ever agiated me like that coward- who has never issued his e-mail address.

            • pete

              But he didn’t blame them, that was what I was trying to say. He criticized the general climate of hate and extremism that is proliferated by a lot of current news media, especially those with financial motives for being extreme – such as the Post or Daily News.

              I should note: by “extreme” I’m not referring to their biases, but rather to the degree to which they play up any kind of drama, but especially in the realm of actual politics, which almost always have a nature of moderatism and tend to go to great lengths debating what amounts to minor changes. I tend to read mostly the Times and the WSJ for politics so as to get multiple political perspectives on issues, but what I like about both of those papers is that, while the writers don’t hide their biases, they do tend not to blow issues out of proportion for the sake of sales.

              With that in mind, I tend to think that the readership of the Times and WSJ are more thoughtful than the readership of the Post or DN because otherwise nobody would be buying the Post or DN. I don’t think thoughtful, intelligent people buy into extremism, even if they do have autofelatious tendencies when it comes to reading news with biases that match their own.

              I don’t just base these opinions on the nature of the newspapers themselves, though – the online Post and Times both have comments sections, and the discrepancy between the two is mind-bogglingly huge in terms of intelligence. It’s similar to the difference between posters on RAB (or other good team-specific blogs) and ESPN, only I think even more pronounced.

              Again, to reiterate: this has nothing to do with the credibility of any of these papers as news sources, nor does it have anything to do with what people believe or how the newspapers pander to that. I do agree that just about every newspaper has biases somewhere – the Times is definitely at least mildly leftist all-around, and the WSJ is definitely mildly right on just about every economic issue. My point was not about the opinions expressed in the papers, nor the opinions held by their readers, but rather with the presentation of news in general. The tendency of tabloid papers like the Post, DN, Herald, etc. to blow things out of proportion has always made them difficult papers for me to read, and I just don’t understand how thoughtful people could enjoy reading a paper like that.

        • http://procrastinationperfected.tumblr.com/ BigDavey88

          I find this reply totally unnecessary and hilarious. Nowhere did I mention ANYTHING about those other papers.

          But hey, thanks for putting words in my mouth.

  • A.D.

    Can also be a difference between being heavier and being in shape, just because he’s added weight doesn’t mean he’s not in better physician condition when it comes to endurance & strength

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      Agreed. He may have packed on a bunch of muscle and be more durable.

      • ZZ

        Any serious weight training program to add muscle would have trimmed him down as well.

        Also, players are given a weight before they go home for winter that they are supposed to report at (or below). It is pretty evident Joba has shown up above his assigned weight. Generally, this is not looked at favorably when you report to camp above that number.

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

          “Any serious weight training program to add muscle would have trimmed him down as well.”

          Yeah, that’s not true. Trimming has much, much, much more to do with diet than it does exercise.

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

            Muscle also weighs more than fat.

            • Thomas

              Muscle also weighs more is denser than fat.

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

                don’t ruin my fun!

                • Thomas

                  I’ll ruin everything . . . WITH SCIENCE!!!!!

                  • Dolby

                    Blinded me with Science….

                    • Klemy

                      Well played!

          • ZZ

            I am not talking about pure weight loss. I am talking about trimming down to shed the fat in combination with adding muscle.

            I also said a “program.” If Joba had seriously taken this “I put a gym in my house thing,” he would have been on a program to maximize adding muscle in combination with reducing fat.

            • MannyGee

              see, this is where you and I differ with Joba. We would have combinded that fancy new gym with a renowned trainer & nutritionist and built an off-season plan around a goal weight, maybe a body fat % goal, something of the like.

              Joba built a gym, started lifting weights like a Juiced Up Guido on Jersey Shore, continued drinking beer, and refused to get a haircut.

              meh. Who am I to judge, he’s throwing the ball “Easy & Hard”, which I guess is all you can really ask of your 6th-7th inning guy.

              God that makes me sick to say.

              • ZZ

                lol

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

              I think where we differ is in our opinions of the importance of fat loss. I’m not sure it means much.

              • ZZ

                I think it depends on the person. When talking about Joba who has gotten significantly larger since making his debut and during the same time has increasingly struggled with his mechanics, I think it is a big problem how much his body has changed.

                It is incredible to look at pictures of him for 2007 and now.

                • Urban

                  Joba has always struggled with his weight, as well as his mechanics. These were known when he was drafted out of college, and it hasn’t changed. Clearly he’s trended up, especially this off-season. If his legs/core are strong, the extra weight won’t mean much of anything. The question is has he just been sitting around not working out (which will impact him, especially in the early going), or did he do less fat-burning type of exercices, or did he just increase his calories?

                  Look no further than guys like Sabathia and Wells, who were always in pitching shape, even if they appeared to be out of shape.

                  • Midland TX

                    The Yankees have indeed looked at least as far as you suggest, with Wells in camp as an instructor. I have to think that’s mostly, if not entirely, for Joba.

              • Ted Nelson

                I think it’s as disingenuous to just say that fat doesn’t mean much as to say it’s a big deal… As outside observers we don’t know what his weight/gut says about his cardiovascular health and arm strength/conditioning, but the Yankees are in a better position to test this.

                Showing up at camp with a gut is a proxy for work ethic. He’s not CC or a lineman who is just big. He’s fairly solid and stout, so a gut is a bit more troubling than with a CC. When the rumors are that Hughes worked his butt off to get into the rotation and Joba didn’t work hard… this does nothing to dispel those rumors… But, I know, the Yankees are total idiots who have no idea what they’re doing and hate Joba and love Hughes and blah blah blah whine whine whine

            • Mike M

              It’s EXTREMELY difficult to add muscle bulk while simultaneous shedding fat. Usually you do one or the other, since you need to eat excess calories to build muscle and vice versa for weight loss. Adding muscle while reducing fat might help him get a perfect beach bod and something a bodybuilder would attempt, but for a baseball player it seems counterproductive to try and do this simultaneously.

              • Not Tank the Frank

                This is spot on.

              • pete

                This is very much true. Lifting weights makes you hungry. It makes you hungry because it takes a great deal of energy to rebuild the muscle fibers you tear while lifting. If the goal is related to performance, weight-loss should not be a major consideration. If Joba were excessively obese, then it would make sense that his first goal should be weight loss for health reasons (knees, heart, etc.), but he was not and is not obese. He’s heavy. It makes sense that as a professional pitcher, his primary goal should not be to cut down on energy intake and lose weight, but rather to build and improve the performance of muscles relevant to pitching.

                That being said, one would certainly hope that he (and any professional athlete, but especially super-wealthy major leaguers who can afford full-time chefs) has been eating and will continue to eat healthy food and avoided saturated and trans fats and simple/refined carbohydrates. But of course, there’s no way for us to know that.

                Also, the offseason is long enough that it would seem to be possible for him to at least spend a couple months focusing primarily on weight loss before incorporating more strength conditioning (not in place of cardio, but rather in addition to it, along with a higher protein intake) into his program.

                The concern about his weight is therefore valid for two reasons. Firstly, it is appearance-based. Although in many contexts, judging things by appearance – especially when relevant statistics (weight, BMI, for instance) is unwise, it actually remains one of the better gauges (from an external perspective and outside of performance tests, obviously) of somebody’s physical condition. From the pictures I have seen, Joba does look stronger, but it is also clear that his gut has grown, suggesting that he took in more calories than necessary for muscle growth. The other concern is his long-term health. Everybody’s knees act differently, but Joba has actually had documented knee troubles in the past, and excessive weight can wreak havoc on the knees. While I’m sure Joba added strength in his legs and built up stabilizing muscle around his knees, the added weight simply from muscle gain could be problematic, and the larger belly is unnecessarily so.

                In all, it doesn’t appear likely, based on the evidence cited in the article, that Joba’s weight will affect his ability to pitch this year – if anything, the added muscle will make him better. But he also represents an investment to the team, and him losing weight first, then adding muscle without adding fat (or at least adding as little fat as possible while still getting the most improvement in muscular strength and efficiency out of his workouts) would have been a much more encouraging thing to see.

                I’m not an expert, but I think a “trim” 210-215 would be an ideal weight for Joba. He looks to be more like 225 in the pictures I have seen.

              • Ted Nelson

                Not shedding fat is a whole lot different from growing a fat gut… I don’t know what the case is in Joba’s case, but I don’t think your point is necessarily completely relevant. It’s also not ideal for a pitcher to just build muscle and ignore their cardiovascular health. Pitchers generally run a whole lot. It is hard to run a whole lot, lift, and gain a fat gut.

                • Mike M

                  It’s actually not hard at all. If you eat more calories than you burn off, you’re gonna gain weight. He’ll have better cardio from running, but if he’s eating 20 beefy 5 layer burritos before bed he’ll still pick on the fat. NFL linemen have way better than average cardio, but they also look like slobs. My point is completely relevant because it was in response to a post talking about how he should be on a program that would build muscle AND trim fat, which is unrealistic. If Joba is focusing on building muscle, putting on some pounds on his gut just means he’s eating more than he needs. It has nothing to do with his cardio.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    “NFL linemen have way better than average cardio, but they also look like slobs.”

                    I think that’s an overstatement. Maybe 30 years ago. Today, most of them look pretty solid. They are big men, not 6-2 260 with huge guts.

                    It’s also a pretty irrelevant example. Joba’s body is closer to that of an NFL safety than an NFL lineman. He’s 6-2 230, I don’t know why you would assume he’s a physical freak like most NFL linemen.

                    “My point is completely relevant because it was in response to a post talking about how he should be on a program that would build muscle AND trim fat, which is unrealistic.”

                    That’s really not unrealistic AT ALL. Go to any gym and you’ll see dozens of people who do it. I don’t know where you came up with it being hard.

                    “It has nothing to do with his cardio.”

                    Yes, it does. You’re really claiming that running as much as most MLB starting pitchers do doesn’t burn fat?

          • Ted Nelson

            “Trimming has much, much, much more to do with diet than it does exercise.”

            Pretty sure that’s not true… where did you come up with that? Watching weight-loss supplement commercials?

            You can get a gut while doing nothing but lifting, but pitchers… you know… are supposed to run a good deal. Everything I’ve ever read has said that cardiovascular exercise has a larger impact than diet.

            I don’t really care that much for a one inning reliever. For a starter I would be more worried about his cardiovascular health. Not to say a gut is a total indicator of cardiovascular health, but it’s a good proxy. The Yankees probably have a decent idea of his health outside of just physical appearance. (I know, I know… CC is fat and he’s fine. That’s one example, though, not a rule. You can’t just say because one or two guys have done it, everyone can do it.)

            • Mike M

              It’s actually completely true. Cutting crap out of your diet, along with a reduced caloric intake has a profound impact on a “trim” look. The saying is abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. There are plenty of MMA fighters who look pretty soft but have amazing cardio, so physique isn’t really a good indicator. Someone jacked out of their mind, on the other hand, will most likely have crappier cardio because they need so much energy to feed their muscles. Everyone is different, we’ll see how Joba deals with this.

              • Ted Nelson

                There are lots of MMA fighters with big guts? Really? Joba doesn’t look soft, he’s got a big gut. There’s a difference.

                If you are exercising properly and not eating an obscene amount you’re not going to have a big, fat gut that grows over the offseason that you are supposedly working harder. I don’t know why you keep insisting that gaining a large, protruding gut is a normal part of weight training. It’s not. If the problem was that he didn’t have a six-pack and had a buldge, your points would be relevant. That’s not the problem. His gut is expanding to a point where it’s BIG. It’s grown a good deal over the offseason. This is not a normal part of weight training.

                How this impacts his on the field performance is another matter. I’m not sure why you keep insisting that everyone who lifts weights and gains muscle also gains a massive beer belly, though. That’s clearly not true.

                • Mike M

                  Hmmm…reread all my posts and I never said anything about a beer belly being a prereq for putting on muscle. All I’m saying is getting trim ISN’T something that automatically happens when you work out. If Joba spent all winter doing strength exercises there’s nothing about him having a gut that would argue otherwise. As for MMA fighters with a huge gut…see Nelson, Roy. Me saying MMA fighters look soft doesn’t mean fat, it just means they dont all have chiseled physiques. If you think it’s extremely easy to both cut fat and build muscle I suggest you become a personal trainer. You could probably make a lot of money with your miracle techniques.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    You really think gaining a large amount of fat is a pre-requisite for gaining muscle?

                    Joba has apparently gained a good amount of fat around his mid-section this offseason. Your argument was basically: “that comes with the territory… he was gaining muscle so the gut expansion is normal.” It’s not. You go so far as to say maybe he’s eating 7 burritos before bed… but how is that healthy? How is that helping your case?

                    “If you think it’s extremely easy to both cut fat and build muscle”

                    Again, there is a difference between cutting fat and gaining a large amount of fat. You can not cut fat and also not gain a large amount of fat on your gut. However, if you’re living a healthy lifestyle and seriously strength training like a professional athlete should… yeah, I think you’ll lose some of your gut or at least hold it pretty constant.

                    • Mike M

                      There’s nothing I’ve said to indicate you have to gain a large amount of fat to gain muscle. One more time…it is ENTIRELY possible the someone who spent all offseason strength training COULD come in fatter than they were. If you’re diet does not match your lifestyle, you will gain weight, period. But why am I even bothering if yo’re gonna twist everything I’ve said.

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

                  Roy Nelson.

  • ZZ

    Brian Cashman doesn’t tell the media this morning that Joba is heavier unless he cares that Joba has reported to camp overweight (again).

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      Why? He’s heavier. It’s a fact. He’s not breaking any stories by acknowledging it. Was it posed to him as a question, and if so, how would he answer? If he no comments it (when it’s an obvious yes or no) it’s going to look worse.

      • Ted Nelson

        He could have also said “Joba is heavier but it’s because he’s added muscle and is in great shape…” He didn’t. I wouldn’t read too much into the comment either way, but I certainly wouldn’t just assume it means nothing or it’s a positive because we don’t know what it actually means.

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    He’s got such a big fat ass, when he walks down the street, people say ‘Damn! That’s a big, fat ass!’

    Just keep him off the rollerblades and we’ll be fine.

  • BigDavey88

    You don’t need to have six pack abs and sculpted like a statue to be a good athlete. Case in point, NFL linemen. Yeah, they get all of the fat jokes, but chances are they’re better athletes then any of the people making those jokes.

    Joba Chamberlain may very well be in better shape then he was last year despite the added weight. You can have a gut and still be athletic. (SELF-PROMOTION ALERT!) Hell, I currently have a bit of a gut and I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in. It’s possible.

    I’m working on the gut though. Kind of… it’s been a looong winter.

  • Tampa Yankee

    I guess Joba has given up and has come to the realization that he is never going to start again (for the Yankees at least) and is going to be stuck in the bullpen so he is just getting into this “bullpen” shape. The added weight helps him grunt and fart more…

    • RL

      Or he plans on working really hard during ST and figures he’ll just lose weight as the season nears.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Joba found the North Beach diet= South Beach diet plus dessert.

    • RL

      IETC

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    The real test will come when the games start, and he actually has to throw quality strikes. Then we’ll see how much it matters

  • mike_h

    move over Bartolo Colon

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    Speaking of Colon, how does he look? Did he lose any weight pitching in Winter Ball?

    • MannyGee

      really?

  • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    One thing to keep in mind about all this is that the public was fed a story about Joba’s development during his college career that largely focused on how he was a big fat kid without much talent (and with weight-related injury issues) who worked hard to get in shape and worked on his game to emerge as a top prospect and then to rip through the minors as a Yankee and explode on the MLB scene. Since then, we’ve seen his performance gradually slip while his weight gradually rose.

    I totally agree, obviously, that it’s unfair for people to blame his performance on his weight or to kill the guy for gaining some weight in the offseason. On the other hand, I also don’t know how we can state with any certainty that his weight-gain is not a bad thing (yes Wells was fat, but that doesn’t mean other pitchers can do what Wells did). The volume and hysteria of the kvetching over Joba’s weight is definitely a bit much, but I, for one, sure wouldn’t mind seeing him dedicate himself to his fitness a little more than it appears he has.

    • Ted Nelson

      Great points. Totally agree. The people who are just stating it’s nothing to worry about because 2 other pitchers were fat and good are as bad as the people freaking out about his weight.

  • Frank

    Whether it’s fat or muscle is irrelevant. It’s clear to me from reading Cash’s commnents from today, he’s not thrilled with Joba girth.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      About time he said something but it maybe too late

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    I’m going to commend Joba for only gaining 15 lbs. If my team thought Sergio Mitre was a better starter than me I would have gained about 50 lbs.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I almost hope Sergio sticks around for a while just for the laughs, the Sergio jokes tend to be pretty funny.

      • Mister Delaware

        He looks like a fierce lion. Roar!

        • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          I don’t even know what that means but I chuckled at the idea of Sergio acting like a lion. People have been joking about him for so long it’s like he’s become a fictional character. Poor guy.

          • Mister Delaware

            His hat-adjusted hair looks like a lion’s mane to me.

      • Not Tank the Frank

        The joke’s on the Yankees in the end.

  • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

    Joba is the anti-Parker Lewis. I guarantee if he had lost a bunch of weight this offseason (and I’m not excusing him for gaining any) that there would be a bunch of articles on whether losing some bulk will effect his velocity, stamina or ability to pitch back to back games and 3 of 4.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi
      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        Not fat enough.

    • Mister Delaware

      Probably the best point. Gain and he’s a fatty who doesn’t care, lose and he won’t have his velo, stay the same and he’s not trying to get better even though gaining or losing is also bad.

    • Ted Nelson

      Are there a bunch of articles on how CC losing 30 pounds will hurt him?

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Yeah I agree, I think this is a false choice. Nobody would be criticizing Joba if he showed up to camp looking like he did when he first came up, all we’d see would be articles praising his new-found work ethic and dedication to his career.

  • Urban

    If Joba is throwing 98+ with the extra weight, then give the man a burger.

    I do mean that as a joke, but it is possible he changed his work-out routine, doing more weight lifting and less cardio, which would lead for him to get bulkier, especially based on his body type. He is someone who is always going to struggle with his weight. Body type is genetic. He is not a mesomorph, like a Fred McGriff or Lou Gehrig-type, who have the poster-child athletic buildz, and can add muscle mass very easily. Joba leand more toward the endomorph category, which means he can get fat easy if not careful, but generally endo’s can all put muscly mass on easily too, although they won’t look as cut as a meso.

    Anyway, that’s way too much info, but bottom line is I wouldn’t worry much about extra pounds on Joba. It’s something he’s going to be dealing with for his career. My only concern would be if the extra weight is a sign of his attitude, and perhaps he’s not a dedicated or focused. Probably not the case.

  • noodles
  • Eat

    I can’t believe anyone is actually buying this weight lifting story. He’s a lazy kid who sits around and drinks when he’s not being watched every day. Clearly cash man isn’t as foolish as some here seem to be.

    • Guest

      So, um, Eat. Do you have a surveillance camera implanted in Joba’s home?

      You can’t possibly know this fact. He might be exactly what you said he is: lazy and drunk. He might also be a big boy who worked hard this off-season, put on muscle, but has a body type that means he holds on to fat. Either could be true.

      And, seeing as I am not Joba’s roommate/keeper, I will not presume I know which is true and which is false. Unless you are his keeper/roommate, I advise you do the same.

  • Tony S

    Seems like “Fat” Joba throws lights out. Joba of 08 had plenty of girth.

  • Tony S

    Wells & CC have plenty of girth & they seem to have done just fine. I’m bullish on FAT JOBA.

    • Ted Nelson

      Mugsy Bouges and Earl Boykins were under 5-5 and did just fine… See why that doesn’t mean being under 5-5 is a desirable attribute for NBA prospects?

      • Eat

        Spot on, my friend. Spot on.

      • Tony S

        chill out dude & have a cold one.

  • CS Yankee

    Joba ate the hut?

    Doesn’t matter, a 6th inning specialist gaining weight should not gain headlines; afterall, it might even be in the Joba rules.

    CC is a stud who lost major weight and was praised…Joba was once known for his work ethic and it seems that that isn’t the case any longer. Perception in this case seems to be close to reality, but as long as he pitches to a sub-2 ERA he will get the same pass as CC (and rightfully so).

    • Ted Nelson

      “a 6th inning specialist”

      Who is pitching the “7th?” Mitre?

  • John Cerra

    As some one who has weight lifted for 30 years, there have been many times when I was heavier than normal and stronger than normal. The gut goes to cardio-vascular fitness, not strength.

    If Joba was trying to add muscle to protect his shoulder, it could work. By adding muscle to muscles that support the shoulder, he could regain velocity, and more importantly, retain velocity for longer periods. He may have also strengthened his legs to get more out of his legs, similar to Roger Clemens.

    Everyone loves to get on Joba…but if he did add strength, and the new pitching coach adds height to his delivery….he will be our #4 starter.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      “he will be another team’s #4 starter.”

      Just had to fix that for you.

  • John Cerra

    Read again: IF he did add strength, AND the new pitching coach….

    If both are true and effective, then he will be our number 4 starter.

    If not, he will be in our bullpen because nobody will pay $1.4 million for a number 4 starter that runs our of gas.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      I know you put the word if I just don’t think he’ll ever get another shot no matter how well he progresses. It’s a dead issue for the Yankees

      • The Big City of Dreams

        unfortunately

  • http://www.politicomix.net Roberto

    And the inevitable Joba Chamberlain cartoon: http://www.politicomix.net/201.....pring.html

  • John Cerra

    It’s spring training and hope springs eternal…
    The new pitching coach has been thinking about all winter.
    If this restores the “physicality,” nobody would be happier than Brian Cashman.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      My faith in Cashman right now is lower than Chamberlain’s trade value. I would love nothing more than for them to say we came into camp thinking he was a bullpen arm but he impressed us enough to earn a rotation spot. I just don’t see it happening under any circumstance. Even injuries to guys like Colon, Garcia, and Mitre wouldn’t change their mind. I think they would go with Warren and Noesi before Joba.

      • Midland TX

        My faith in Cashman right now is lower than Chamberlain’s trade value.

        To quote a book I read long ago, “How is this night different from all other nights?”

  • John Cerra

    Gee, Cashman is one year away from being the World Series winning GM.
    He’s not perfect, but who is?

    • The Big City of Dreams

      He doesn’t have to have perfect but many of his comments have left me scratching my head.

  • David

    Most important camp of his life, and he comes in looking like a beached whale. The Yankees don’t seem to have much faith in him. Can you blame them?

    • The Big City of Dreams

      The Yankees lost faith in him a long time ago

  • Cuso

    Moooo

  • LEOLUCCA RANDISI

    You no we all have to realize that Joba is still a really young kid, so is Hughes for that matter. Some times it takes a few years to mature in to a great pitcher, heck sometimes you don’t get really good till your on the wrong side of 30. Two examples are Randy Johnson and Roy Haliday they struggled at the beginning of there careers but look how those two turned out. There are countless others I can bring up but then I would be typing all day. So all Im saying is give these kids a real good look before we send them packing to another team and then you no what will happen they will go somewhere else and look GREAT and win 5 championships….

  • LEOLUCCA RANDISI

    I don’t understand why a lot of people make fun of certain players weight, are you all little kids or something because unless most of you are looking like Adonis then I have a wake up call for you more than half of America is over weight and its not a laughing matter. I happen to be over weight but I wasn’t my whole life when I was a kid I had six pack abs and could probably lift more weights or run faster then most kids in my town I even was very muscular my neighbors all called me the rock because I looked like a body builder. I was such an athlete as a kid I played soccer,football and track and field. What happened; I had a very emotional time with my parents breakup and eventual divorce I was very depressed and most of my teen years I ate junk food when I was depressed. I latter found out I had hyperthyroid witch could have attributed to my weight gain. So I ask all of you nicely please be considerate to other people who post hear because you don’t no everybody’s situation.