Joba throws off full mound for first time since Tommy John surgery

Is the 5th starter competition rigged again?
Open Thread: 2/28 Camp Notes

Via George King, Joba Chamberlain threw off a full mound today for the first time since having Tommy John surgery last June. He threw just 15 pitches (all fastballs), but it’s a significant step. He’ll do the same thing on Friday. “We will see how Friday goes and how my arm recovers because there [are] different pressures when you throw off a full mound,” said Joba. “I won’t throw breaking balls at all this week. After Friday we will figure out a plan.”

If all goes continues to go well, Joba will be able to face hitters in batting practice and simulated games within four-to-six weeks. A minor league rehab assignment follows a few weeks of that, so think sometime in May.

Is the 5th starter competition rigged again?
Open Thread: 2/28 Camp Notes
  • nedro

    I think we oughta stretch him out…

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Let’s start a pettition.

  • KeithK

    OK, I’ll ask the stupid question. Why is a full mound so different from a half mound? I assume it’s still 60’6″. Why does the 6″ difference in vertical height make a difference?

    • LiterallyFigurative

      I’m not expert, but if I had to guess, the steeper incline has a different (greater?) level of stress on your body and arm.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Yup, simplistically, that’s it. I saw it explained somewhere, but that’s about the best I can do too. Throwing down a hill adds stress (and velocity, I believe) to your arm that isn’t there when throwing on level ground.

      • Havok9120

        Legs too. That was where Joba said he was really feeling it after he threw.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    With Pineda, Nova and Banuelos, and the pending (?) Rivera retirement, Joba’s value to this team is surely greater in the bullpen. He might be the 7th or 8th inning guy in 2013, whereas he at best might be challenging for the 5th spot in the rotation (and if the Yanks get a big pitcher this offseason, you can forget about it)

    • Havok9120

      I tend to agree.

      Which doesn’t really decrease your chances of getting flamed for saying this.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Too soon to tell. If he was given a chance as a starter and was a solid #5 (assuming he’s better than the other choice for that spot, of course), then I think there’s more value to him as a starter. That, of course, is a lot of assumptions. First he needs to gain his strength and his command.

        I highly doubt the Yankess will give him a shot at starting again, but we can always hope. I’d love to see what he can do given ample time. They can always throw him back to the pen if it doesn’t work out.

        • fin

          I agree. No one has any idea what type of starter he would be at this point. The Yankees definately can use Joba the reliver this year and next, no idea where Joba the starter would fit in with the Yankees pitching depth. Given that Joba will be a FA in 2014, it seems to make the most sence to put Joba back in the pen and get as much value out him as you can before he hits FA.
          At the end of the day, it wouldnt suprise me if Joba ends up pitching for someone else as a very good starter. Making the Yankees look even worse than they already do for the way they rushed him, and diminished his career to this point.

    • RetroRob

      He might be the closer in 2013.

      He mentioned in addition to the TJ surgery, Dr. Andrews also clearned up and strengthened other parts of his elbow. Coupled with the extensive workouts required to recover from TJ surgery, I’m hoping the surgery helps Joba rediscovers his lost three mph. That would be quite a find and worth the lost year, especially if Mo retires after this season.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    I thought Joba was throwing off a half mound simply because he was too fat to climb a full mound. He’s in better shape than I thought.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      That’s why he worked out so hard this off season. Wanted to make sure he could climb back onto the mound.

  • LemdaGem

    Don’t worry about the velocity, that comes with more experience, innings thrown, warmer weather and Larry Rothschild & Russ Martin noticing
    the little things in Joba’s delivery on specific pitches in specific counts. STAMINA, conditioning, flexibility and mental toughness = a full season once he gets his groove on. No one has more to prove than Joba to himself that he is ALL the way back from before his injury when even his
    breaking stuff was light’s out.
    Let’s hope he gets to be in some make or break situations in the 8th inning with RISP by July. I still would like to see him and D-Rob matching up as late inning alternatives to Soriano and give MO a break in the 9th when needed. There are a LOT of teams that WISH they had this much depth in the back end of their bullpen.