Joba’s oblique strain “a little worse than expected”

2011 Season Preview: Rafael Soriano
Why would the Yankees release Mitre now?

Yesterday it didn’t appear to be that big a deal. After we learned that Sergio Mitre would miss his start with an oblique strain, we learned that Joba Chamberlain suffered a similar injury. Word was then that he would miss just a few days before getting back on the mound. Today Dan Barbarisi of The Wall Street Journal reports that Joba had an MRI yesterday, and that the results are a little worse than first indicated.

At this point we don’t know exactly how much time he’ll miss. He’s not scheduled for any kind of activity in the next few days, so it appears the Yankees will play it safe. The team does have some options in the bullpen, so if for some reason Joba needs to miss the start of the season they should still be in good shape.

Update: Zach Berman of the Star Ledger spoke to Girardi, who said that Joba is “functionally” fine. I’m not sure what that means, but it certainly makes the situation sound a bit better.

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2011 Season Preview: Rafael Soriano
Why would the Yankees release Mitre now?
  • Dr. O

    Hopefully this is one of those injuries where he misses the rest of spring training and then the “smart path” is to let him tune up in Scranton “to get him some regular work” before bringing him back, but he stays there and moves into the rotation for a spell and then he gets a new toy.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Wishful thinking on your part but hey whatever works right

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    He can’t handle the rigors of pitching everyday……SOOOOOO back to starting.

    /BeatingCashmantothepunch’d

  • Monteroisdinero

    Soriano on the team looking better already (for this year). Injuries happen.

  • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

    Wow, the Joba Rules were really effective.

    • Chris

      Really? You think that just letting him pitch as much as possible would have been better?

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

        Really? That was the alternative to the Joba Rules?

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

      Pitchers who didn’t have rules also suffer oblique strains. There is no causal link here whatsoever.

      • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

        My point is that they were no more “Rules” than me deciding what to eat for breakfast is a set of rules.

        Hughes got hurt too, and frequently so in the early years.

        TINSTAAPP.

        That said, throw the kids to their innings limits then shut them down.

        • Chris

          That said, throw the kids to their innings limits then shut them down.

          How would that have been any different, other than leading to having those pitchers unavailable in the playoffs?

          • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

            The yo-yo nonsense with the pen and back again would be gone. I would argue that putting Joba in the pen, even for the few innings in 2007, did more to kill his career than anything else.

            Decide if a kid is a starter or a reliever then stick him there. If he struggles, send him down. It needn’t be complicated.

            • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

              There are 81 active pitchers with 1000 innings pitched. Of those, only 5 have never appeared out of the bullpen in their careers.

              Reliever time doesn’t kill pitchers

              • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

                And two of those five (Sheets and Peavy) are chronically injured.

              • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

                The logic is lame. It wasn’t mop up work that they gave Joba. They asked for and received high velocity in high pressure situations. Within a year he had shoulder problems? They tried to get cute and they killed the prospect. Worse, his starting performance has actually been better than Hughes (who is looking more and more like a scary fly ball guy).

                Banuelos should never see the pen. Ever. Never. Ever.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  I’ve seen ppl say that Joba’s starting stats are similar to Hughes’. I think someone posted them on a YES Network blog a couple of months ago.

                  “Banuelos should never see the pen. Ever. Never. Ever.”

                  I agree let’s not start another debate with a young starter.

                • Chris

                  Joba had injury issues well before he hurt his shoulder, so to suggest that somehow a half season as a reliever caused his injury is short sighted.

                  Joba hasn’t been the same pitcher since he got injured in August 2008. Using any of his stats from before that injury is pointless.

                  And in 2009 (after his injury), Joba was considerably worse than Hughes was in 2010.

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

                    Seriously, if you’re using 2008 for both of them, well no shit Hughes is gonna look worse starting than Joba. I don’t think using those stats is “pointless” but I think people need to accept that Joba might not exist any more.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      “but I think people need to accept that Joba might not exist any more.”

                      Then they should get rid of him. There is no point in keeping damaged goods

                    • Chris

                      Then they should get rid of him. There is no point in keeping damaged goods

                      Except he’s still a 1.5-2 WAR reliever. There’s value in that – particularly when he’s being paid very little.

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    The stats between Hughes and Joba isn’t as wide as ppl think.

              • The Big City of Dreams

                “Reliever time doesn’t kill pitchers”

                True but not knowing how to properly handle pitchers does kill them.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              Getting his feet wet in 07 started the debate that still goes on today. One has to think that things might have been different if he wasn’t forced to come up. Not saying injuries would have been prevented but the circus of the Joba Rules wouldn’t have been on full display in the Bronx.

              • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

                This.

              • Mike HC

                I agree to a certain extent. I think the way Joba was quickly moved up to the big leagues, and then how he was handled once in the big leagues, definitely set his overall development back a little bit. And also effectively ended his development as a starter. On the flip side, Joba excited the fanbase for a couple of years and has still been a somewhat effective pitcher for the team in one role or another since then. The Yanks got the production while they had it in hand, and decided not to wait for unpredictable future production. It was a trade off.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  True it was a trade off but unfortunately we’re left with a middle relief guy. There was no guarantee he was going to become the ace of the staff but a middle relief guy. It bothers me to no end.

                  • Mike HC

                    Bothers me too. And I still think Joba can be a good starter in the majors. But another part of me thinks Joba tends to be pretty inconsistent, even throughout college and now his professional career. So cashing in on the asset when it was going well might not have been the worst decision, and it came at a time when our pitching was especially depleted and fan moral was waning a bit.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Very well said.

                      For Joba being consistent is a big thing. Like last yr he had games where he was lights out and then there were others when you though wow this kid does not belong in the majors.

              • Chris

                Not saying injuries would have been prevented but the circus of the Joba Rules wouldn’t have been on full display in the Bronx.

                So the Yankees should make personnel decisions based on how much of a firestorm it would create in the media? The Yankees obviously don’t think Joba can stay healthy and be effective as a starter – he seems to be able to do one or the other. If you agree with that assessment, then the best thing to do is move Joba to the pen and there’s nothing the Yankees did wrong. Maybe you disagree about the basic assessment of Joba’s skills/health, but that’s a scouting call that you’re disagreeing with and not a question of how to handle a young pitcher.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  “So the Yankees should make personnel decisions based on how much of a firestorm it would create in the media?”

                  No the Yankees should be smart enough when it comes to handling a pitcher. The 09 Joba rules were a complete joke and it was obvious they came to a point when they had no idea how to handle him. They don’t take 100% of the blame because there are mistakes Joba made along the way but the Yankees are the ones that set the tone and they handled him poorly. But hey all isn’t lost we have a dime a dozen middle reliever with low trade value.

  • Monteroisdinero

    This is worrisome for a pitcher of Joba’s style/mechanics/stuff. Jumping the gun here but I bet it will be longer to resolve than we would think. “A little bit worse” is hard to interpret but….

    /gut feeling

    • Big Apple

      don’t worry…be happy.

      i’d be worried if this article said anything about his arm, elbow, shoulder, etc… not an oblique.

  • Un Named Yankee Source

    When did Joba get an Oblique? Did David Wells give it to him?

    • MannyGeee

      I thought Joba traded an oblique for massive guns and a barrel chest this winter…

  • Not Tank the Frank

    Is this because he’s fat? How dare he come into camp overweight. His career was on the line. Now look what happened.

  • Banks

    “Functionally fine” means he can still eat.

    • Not Tank the Frank

      He’s breathing on his own and his motor reflexes seem good.

      /Joe Girardi

    • Mike Myers

      “Functionally fine” = He may not make opening day, be he wont miss Nathans Hot dog contest

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I laughed.

  • RollingWave

    bah, who cares about the 5th innings guy (jump off a cliff)

  • Monteroisdinero

    Joba opens up the roster spot for Banuelos. Manny already can strike Youk out on a 3-2 changeup-something very few of our pitchers not named CC can do.

    /thanks Joba!

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Now Joba will know how Wally Pipp felt

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

      I see you’ve found the New Shiny Thing.

      • Monteroisdinero

        I like New Shiny Things/tis true.

      • MannyGeee

        well played.

    • MannyGeee

      counterpoint:

      Joba is the only guy on this team that will throw up and in to Youk… and that giant bald head

  • MikeD

    I’m functionally fine on New Year’s Day, even though I’m really not fine after the damage of New Year’s Eve.

    I have no idea what Girardi means by that.

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

      I think it means he’s fine just going through the motions, but he just can’t throw pitches. It makes sense for a low-grade oblique strain.

      • Monteroisdinero

        As long as it’s just he can’t throw pitches. Whew! I was worried there for awhile.

    • Tom Swift

      You mean you are fine on the day before New Year’s Day, but not so fine on New Year’s Day after a festive New Year’s Eve.

  • mike_h

    could be more evidence that he showed up to camp out of shape so much so that he’s injured

    • Zack

      Mitre came in fat too then right?
      Ryan Braun had a sore side the other day, fat too yes?

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Cliff Lee must be a fat pig because he always has a sore side

    • MannyGeee

      sheep… have you seen pictures of Joba? year over year?? he is no more out of shape than he usually does…

  • The Big City of Dreams

    thought* not though

  • Monteroisdinero

    Actually, Joba’s Yankee career has been kind of an Oblique Strain.

    • Mike HC

      hahaha, funny … but I would say the media coverage of Joba’s career has been an Oblique Strain.

      • Monteroisdinero

        I agree with that too.

    • theyankeewarrior

      Interesting concept…

      I would relate following Joba’s career to an oblique strain. But then again, I’m talking out of my ass because I’ve never come close to straining my oblique.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Baseball players: Masters of the oblique strain

  • The Big City of Dreams

    “Except he’s still a 1.5-2 WAR reliever. There’s value in that – particularly when he’s being paid very little.”

    I guess