Holiday Mailbag: Joba Chamberlain

Believing in Austin Romine's defense
Friday Night Open Thread
(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Tom asks: I’ve seen people suggest that Joba Chamberlain‘s career is a failure with the reasoning that when he was a prospect, he was promised to be something so special that even considering the attrition rate for prospects, he should have turned out better. Are you happy with Joba’s apparent role now as a good relief pitcher?

Oh no, he’s absolutely not a failure. Joba was selected with the 41st overall pick in the draft and here’s the full list of players taken with that pick who have been above replacement level in their career.

Year Tm Pos WAR
1973 Red Sox Fred Lynn (minors) OF 46.7
1980 Cardinals Dan Plesac (minors) LHP 15.9
2006 Yankees *Joba Chamberlain (minors) RHP 6.5
1982 Phillies Lance McCullers (minors) RHP 4.7
1991 Tigers *Trever Miller (minors) LHP 4.2
1965 Athletics Bob Stinson (minors) OF 3.5
1983 Reds via Yankees *Joe Oliver (minors) C 2.2
1970 Giants Butch Metzger (minors) RHP 1.0
2007 Athletics *Sean Doolittle (minors) 1B 0.8
1990 Red Sox via Braves *Frankie Rodriguez (minors) RHP 0.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/27/2012.

That’s it, ten guys and Joba is currently the third best with a chance to climb into second before things are all said and done. The Yankees have gotten plenty of return on their draft pick and $1.1M signing bonus, so there’s no way he can be considered a failure.

Now, being a disappointment is another matter entirely. Joba will billed as an ace-in-waiting — “Chamberlain fits the No. 1 starter profile in nearly every way,” wrote Baseball America (subs. req’d) when they ranked him as the third best prospect in baseball prior to 2008 — as a prospect and he has not delivered on that promise, so in that sense he’s a disappointment. There’s wasted talent here in that he’s been used primarily as a reliever when he had the stuff to start, but the team played a big role in that obviously.

The Yankees gave Joba only 33 full/unrestricted starts (3.88 ERA, ~4.00 FIP) and ten pitch-count limited starts to prove his worth in the rotation in 2008 and 2009. As a 23-year-old in 2009, he pitched to a 4.34 ERA (4.43 FIP) in 24 starts and 130.2 innings before being limited during the final month of the season, when he got hit pretty hard. He didn’t light the world on fire from April through August, but that performance in the AL East at that age doesn’t strike me as something that warrants being banished to the bullpen for good. That’s what happened though. It is what it is.

Joba set the bar crazy high with his out of this world 2007 debut and that led to unrealistic expectations that were impossible to meet. He also didn’t do himself any favors through the years by showing up to camp out of shape and getting arrested for DUI, so I don’t want to make it seem like I’m absolving him of blame for the failure to reach his ceiling. I wanted Joba to get more time to show what he could do as a starter but that didn’t happen, so I’m disappointed. In no way is having one decent year as a starter and 3+ years as a good to great reliever a failure though. Not at all.

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Believing in Austin Romine's defense
Friday Night Open Thread
  • Blake

    Never cared for how the Yanks handled Joba….namely them expecting him to be a successful big league starter with what 70 minor league innings of development and then pulling the plug when he predictably struggled …..but yea you can’t call him a failure….most guys drafted where he was never even make it to the show and Joba still has time to make a good career for himself.

  • Dalek Jeter (formerly: Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM))

    Man, every time I’ve gotten over Joba as a starter somebody brings it back up and I get filled with hate for the way that situation was handled and with hope that maybe…just maybe, this will be the spring training, or return from injury, where they can give him a chance to return as a starter…

    Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi, Oppenhiemer, if any of you read this blog please, from somebody who bought a Joba jersey in 2008 cause you said he’d be a starter, give him another chance?

  • All Praise Be To Mo

    I think his mishandling was the biggest mistake of the Cashman regime. He could have been the next great starter, or he could have been a bust, but he should have been given the chance.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      He could have been the next great starter, or he could have been a bust, but he should have been given the chance.

      Completely agree. He had a decent season as a starter at a young age, with inning limits, pitch counts, extra days of rest, etc. Who knows what might have been? I still haven’t seen a good reason why he didn’t continue to start. He’ll probably choose free agency and be given a chance to start elsewhere if he chooses to do that. I wouldn’t blame him.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        If he’s smart that’s what he will do. No point in staying with the Yankees when he becomes a FA.

  • Frank

    I will never understand why the Yankees handled him the way they did. I remember having screaming matches with my wife’s family who all swore he should be a reliever while I completely disagreed. The Yankees hadn’t developed a #1 starter in forever….they finally find a guy who has the stuff to do it, and b/c he doesn’t do it in his first full year as a starter…he’s a reliever. They can talk all they want about his shoulder or whatever other excuses they make but that kid deserved a longer shot as a starter.

    The Yankees operate as if they’re infallible at times, and homer fans tend to despise folks who disagree with how they handle things, but this was a giant clusterfVck!

    • TCMiller30

      Women.. Am I right?!?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      HE SHUD BE UH GOOSE GOSSAGE TYPE, YA KNOW?

      #francesa

      • Jason

        #jobber

    • The Big City of Dreams

      I will never understand why the Yankees handled him the way they did

      ————–

      They had no idea what they were doing. That’s it in a nut shell

      • toad

        Correct.

      • Ted Nelson

        They know more about baseball and Joba than you. That doesn’t mean they made the right decision, but it means you thinking it’s wrong is not a convincing argument.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          Based on what they did and what happened with his career I would say it was wrong.

        • Reuben Sierra’s Chains

          Oh Ted…

  • Yankee insider

    He was actually looked at as a J. Verlander type starter until the Yankees not only messed up his arm but changed his career as a starter. I’m sure of it if they tell him to build up stamina to start and he would give you a Phil Hughes type year without as many HR and more strikeouts.

  • viridiana

    And the mishandling continues. Joba is a no-brainer candidate for extension. Due to make just $2 mill in his final arb year before free agency, the Yankees are in excellent position to lock him up at least thru 2014. If he is offered for example $7 mill for the next two years, that raises his expected 2013 salary by 75% and guarantees him $3.5 mill the following year at a time where there is still some doubt as to injury recovery. If necessary, he should be given even more. Joba could be on the verge of an outstanding comeback season. And Yanks will surely need bullpen help in post-Mo 2014. A recovered Joba at $3.5 mill would be far better value than what they’d likely getin FA market or in trade. But if they don’t extend him now they will lose him. Hughes of course a similar case whose extension would be more expensive. IMO both should be done.

    • Jacob

      Giving Phil and extension>giving joba and extension

      • Get Phelps Up

        Yeah I agree. I’d much rather have the starter than the reliever given how volatile bullpens are.

        • Jacob

          And how we have been producing RPs lately, plus I don’t think it is smart to extend relievers if they are not crazy dominant ala MO, I probably would not even extend Robertson just yet.

          • jjyank

            And the farm system. I think it would be easier to replace Joba’s production from guys like Montgomery and Whitley than it would be to replace Hughes’ production.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Absolutely. At this point, Joba’s a reliever for this team. You can find another reliever much easier than you can find a #3 starter.

        I’d LOVE for both of them to stay, though. I don’t think it’s happening.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      If Hughes is expensive let him walk. Even the Yankees will find no problems in developing a 4.40 FIP pitcher.

      • trr

        well….

    • Mike HC

      I would lock up Joba 2 for 7 mil this year as well. I doubt Joba would accept that though.

      • Mike HC

        And in general I agree that trying to extend Joba and Hughes this off season is not the worst idea. Considering both have been known to have conditioning issues, I bet Cashman likes the idea that both are in contract years though.

  • Jacob

    And let the flood of “Make Joba teh 5th starter” commence-

  • Jamey

    There’s been a lot said over recent years about how poorly the Yankees handle developing young pitchers. The only example that I can’t really deny is what they did with Joba, they absolutely caved to the blowhards in the media that were 100% sure that Joba was a “born reliever” that would throw unhittable flameballs & eventually replace Rivera. Amazing that despite him throwing well for a young starter (no worse than many developing starters over the years) his career trajectory as a Yankee will forever be based on 24 innings he threw out of the pen in 2007.

  • http://bassoprofundo1.blogspot.com Coloyank

    Didn’t the Yanks make him a reliever after problems were discovered with his shoulder? And he’s had TJS, right? I know lots of guys come back from that (Joba would have to be included, now), but I guess I just am not as willing as (seemingly) everybody else to vilify decisions made by Yankee management and the individuals responsible. They know a lot more than we do about these situations, and by “a lot,” I mean the instrument has not been invented yet that can measure the gap. It’s just that broad.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      No one’s vilifying anything but okay. Please no team make perfect move and this was one of their worst.

    • MannyGeee

      Technically, they drafted Joba at that slot because of the potential (and history) of injuries, if memory serves.

      So to use the “well, he’s had some injuries so thety converted him to a reliever” argument is somewhat false. Truth is, he came out of the pen in 2007 like wildfire, 2008 and the Joba Rules happened, Joba “struggled” (using the term loosely, considering what we know about his performance then), and the rest is history.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      , but I guess I just am not as willing as (seemingly) everybody else to vilify decisions made by Yankee management and the individuals responsible.

      ————-

      But what they did was idiotic and Cashman’s comments a couple of yrs ago show how sensitive they are about what happened.

  • mrdbag

    Can’t blame the front office hetr. Joba had a chance to make up their minds by producing. Jobs did not produce and didn’t want to pay the price and he wasted what should have been a hof career. I think he got complacent and caught up with himself, OUI, trampoline and now he is just another mediocre has been.

  • Neil

    Hey, look, the Yanks aren’t the only ones who can take a promising young pitcher then break him by doing crazy things (see Bard, Daniel).

    I honestly believe that Joba can be a good-to-very good closer somewhere, just not in New York. Now he’s not going to sign on for closer-type money right away, but I see some team somewhere saying to him “here’s $5MM, close for us” when he hits FA.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Difference is Bard was never a top 3 prospect in the game. Yes it’s still batshit crazy but it’s Daniel Bard who cares.

  • Nathan

    Unreal expectations. I think seeing how phenomenal he was in ’07 makes his performance since then seem like a disappointment.

    Geez, ’07. Hard to believe that was five years ago. I still remember being at the Boston series where they pulled Moose in favor of IPK and Joba was on fire at that point. I remember thinking they had something supernaturally special in the bullpen with Joba.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      For most fans yeah but I remember people viewed his 2009 minus his stupid September as a success.

  • Now Batting

    It seems unlikely now but I really hope wherever he goes next year, is contingent on him starting. I’d love to have some kind of answer to that “what if?”.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      I’d like to see that happen and rub it in the FO face

  • mark

    Joba’s career was butchered. He should have been given more opportunity to start.

  • Brian S.

    Should have let him continue to start instead of trading for Vazquez.
    /hindsight

  • MannyGeee

    This whole conversation saddens me.

    I have an irrational love for Joba, and I was always on the forefront of the “Let Joba Start!!!” campaign. Hated seeing him come to camp out of shape (I remember adamantly denying it, almost as if people were calling ME a fatass!), was completely bummed when he got popped for the DUI (even more than when Pineda got popped), and died a little inside when I heard the sentence “Joba Chamberlin set to visit Dr. James Andrews”

    I hope that he will be a Yankee for life, but I could see him successfully starting for KC or closing for Houston next season as well. I will always cheer for him so long as the fat prick doesn’t end up in Boston.

    • Mike HC

      Actually, starting for KC just seems to make a ton of sense all around. It will be interesting to see if Joba still wants to start or continue to be a reliever after next season.

      • MannyGeee

        Smart money on starting.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I think he should have started every year. Hell, I think he should start THIS YEAR. That dead horse has been kicked so many times I won’t even visually describe it anymore (it’s nasty.)

    He’s been an injury-troubled pitcher who’s had regular success at the MLB level when healthy. Not what we envisioned, but there’s plenty of potential bad outcomes beneath that.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      ….and, honestly, if he wasn’t starting, there are few things that would warm my heart more if HE, not D-Rob, wound up being the true Heir to Mo.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

        Agree with that.

        I’ll always be disappointed he hasn’t become the front of the rotation starter we envisioned but the next best thing would be taking over for Mo.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Wasn’t he coming out to “Shout at the Devil” for a while? What a fitting sequel to “Enter Sandman” that would be.

          • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

            I have no idea what music Joba uses.

            “Shout at the Devil” would be aces in my book though.

            I always loved watching Arturo Gatti come out to “thunderstruck” but it would require Joba getting a new nickname. Thunder Joba Chamberlain sounds like a WWE character.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              There was a country song he used for a while as well. That was terrible. No one should be coming to bat, or coming out of the bullpen, to country music in NYC.

              • nsalem

                Except Jeff Nelson

      • The Big City of Dreams

        Why would he even want to take over for Mo?? The first blown save would be non stop he’s not Rivera talk

        • Ted Nelson

          No one should ever step up to a challenge. If it’s hard, you just shouldn’t do it.

          • The Big City of Dreams

            If you’re Joba would you rather leave the organization and start somewhere new or stay and hear every single day that he’s not Mo. The organization already fudged up his career as a starter why should he trust them to over look his career as a closer.

            • Ted Nelson

              My point was that being criticized is not a good reason not to do something.

              You are making a huge assumption that he gets offered closer money as a starter. I doubt that very much. Or you are assuming he succeeds and gets paid more later, another gigantic assumption.

              That you disagree with what the Yankees did doesn’t make it wrong.

              • The Big City of Dreams

                Based on what happened with him I would say it was wrong.

                What I’m saying is if he is smart he’ll leave the team the minute he gets the chance. Why continue to be mishandled by the same ppl over and over again.

  • trr

    Unfortunately, I beleive he will never be effective in a Yankee uniform.

    Hopefully, they’ll learn their lesson from this, but I doubt it

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

    I still don’t understand why the Yankees won’t give Joba a chance to start. He’s still only 27 years old which is the same age David Wells was when the was converted from a reliever to a starter. Worse case scenario is he gets hurt or sucks and they let him walk after the season.

    They’re really gonna have egg on their faces if he walks and becomes a good starter for another team.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      That last sentence is a real, although I don’t know how likely, possibility.

      • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

        Probably not a likely possibility but if I were Cashman, I’d still like to know for sure what I’ve got before I have to make a decision on extending him or letting him walk.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I honestly think they don’t believe he can do it.

          This puts us in a confusing position as fans. Obviously, those of us without delusions of grandeur understand that the organization has more information than we do, and can make more informed decisions than we can. We still see a player that, when healthy, showed strong initial results at a starting pitcher, yet didn’t recieve much time, at all, to do so at the MLB level.

          This is why we’re still having this conversations years later.

          • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

            The way they’ve not given him a chance to start makes me think that the medical reports on his shoulder are much worse than the general public and media have been lead to believe.

            It would make sense to restrict him to the bullpen if they really felt his arm would blow out with a heavier workload. The answer will likely come out next offseason when we see if other teams view him as a reliever or as a possible stater.

            • Ted Nelson

              I have no idea beyond what everyone else knows, but I would just point out that he was widely viewed as a RP going into the draft too from what I remember. Granted, so was Lincecum and he did great as a starter.

              • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                Never knew that. I thought he was always projected as a starter though with injury concerns coming out of college.

                • Ed

                  I don’t remember him being projected as a reliever. It was more of a “good prospect with some question marks” type thing – those guys are always looked at as “upside of a starter, floor of solid reliever.”

                  The role concerns were largely due to how he’d up up due to his weight and mechanics. After being draft he lost weight, and the Yankees reworked his mechanics, which lead to him gaining several MPH on his fastball. At that point, everyone saw him as a front of the rotation starter.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    There were a lot of people saying he’d be better as a RP. Not able to start. The Yankees gave him a chance to start, which some % of other teams may not have. They concluded he couldn’t. It happens.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      After what 43 starts they came to that conclusion lol smh.

            • Ed

              I’d buy that reasoning, but the timing doesn’t fit for it. The shoulder injury was in ’08, but they let him start in ’09. If he moved to the pen for ’09, this would really make sense.

              • Ted Nelson

                Din’t have the same stuff in 09 he’d shown prior to the injury.

          • Deep Thoughts

            http://riveraveblues.com/2012/.....ies-76172/

            I wonder if this had anything to do with Joba’s handling over the years, after the original drop in velo as well as during the TJS rehab.

            I’d like to hear what Rothschild thinks of Joba’s stuff independent of the organization’s conventional “wisdom.”

  • turd surfer

    I hate what happened to Joba. I do think a lot of pitchers sabotage their own careers by ignoring conditioning too much. There aren’t many rubber armed Boomer Wells types out there.

    Even thicker guys like Clemens conditioned like freaks. You want to be be an elite professional athlete, train like one. You get what you give.

  • Herby

    Hopefully now that the Nardi Error…is over perhaps more of the Yankee SP prospects can get a chance to develop at a better success rate. I just hope they aren’t saddling his replacement with the same constraints. Isn’t it Gil Patterson who took his place?

    • Ted Nelson

      If you’re that upset about the last era, it’s unlikely that anyone will meet your standards because they are probably not realistic.

      • Herby

        Well, Ted let me ask you this…would you ever make any changes in personal in management or staff if things weren’t working out the way you had planned. It does seem under your vision of things nothing would ever get changed. If you believe Nardi was great, that must mean the Joba Rules were a success, the limits on innings in games works out perfectly for them. It does seem there are other ways of going about teaching pitchers, that doesn’t make my standards unrealistic, just that there are other ways of going about doing it, as many other teams and pitching coaches believe as well. It’s why you see coaching staffs and training philosophies change all the time.

  • Robert

    Joba Joba Joba so much potential. I believe with maturity he could become a force once again. I was encouraged by his velocity last year,he just has to work on his fastball movement.

    That said if he has a great first half next year he could be a trading chip to aquire some prospects to fill any Yankee farm system holes.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      even if he has a great 1st half you shouldn’t expect a big return in a trade. Grade C prospect at best.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    you just have to forget it. Yes he once was a phenomenal prospect. Like so many other he just didn’t pan out. Maybe it’s because of the injuries, maybe he just never had the talent to take the next step.

    Anyway, I’m not positive if Joba could’ve ever been better than a #3 starter. Look at his stuff today: it’s really nothing special, every pitch in his repertoire is about average (if you wanna believe various stats on fangraphs).

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Even sadder, of course, was the career decline of those midges.

    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (formerly Manny’s BanWagon)

      Hopefully they met a slow and painful death from an industrial sized can of RAID.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        If you look closely, one of them is a young Bryce Harper.

        • MannyGeee

          HA! You never cease to amaze R-Tils…

    • Herby

      We’ll be seeing him in 15 years on the Outdoor Life network pitching for BugbeGone…”Hi, I’m Joba Chamberlain…cut to video on the mound with the midges…then back to him…I sure wish I woulda had, BugBeGone, back in Cleveland when I was pitchin for the NY Yankees. I would’ve mowed those bugs down, and those Indians too”.
      Hopefully he’ll have a good year, and the Yankees will see fit to sign him to an extension. It probably wouldn’t take a whole lot given past injuries His command should be better with more time since surgery.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Meh. I hate judging a player by the pick that he was taken in. Especially if he was a high pick. So he’s the third best 41st over all pick ever, who gives a shit? There’s scores of players taken after the 41st pick with better careers than he’s had. Given the way the MLB draft works that’s just poor analysis on so many different levels. There’s tons of reasons why players fall and some teams stay away from certain types of players. It’s not the NFL draft where slotting actually means something. I think it was Mike that said it himself “The top 10 or so players in the draft are pretty concrete, after that it’s pretty debatable” or something to that effect.

    Back to Joba, though. I don’t think failure is the right word, however I don’t think success is either. I also hate the reasoning “most prospects fail if you get anything out of them that’s a good thing,” while it’s technically true, it blurs the point. Joba wasn’t most Prospects. He separated himself with a stellar season and was a consensus top five prospect at one point. He had command, great movement on two breaking pitches, and a 96+ fastball. Arguably two plus plus pitches, an additional plus one, good control, great polish, and good command for where he was in his development. He was all of these things and then in 2010 it was decided that he wasn’t to start anymore and he was strictly a reliever. He possessed good stats as a starter, his health was always a question, but the results weren’t. Then in 2011 he had to have TJ Surgery and now it seems that his career’s in a questionable state. He’s also maybe the third best reliever on the team.

    It’s hard to call him a failure when he was a vital reliever used to get to the post season in 2007, a great starter in 2008, and the 4th starter on a team that won the World Series. Hard to call that a failure. Unless they traded the best player in the game to get him or surrendered a decent package of talent, failure is a tough word to use for Joba. Perhaps failure to describe how the Yankees brass handled him, but not for Joba himself. Was Joba a disappointment? Oh absolutely. A disappointment and a half. He looked like Felix Hernandez for a bit there and he turned into, well…Joba Chamberlain.

    • Ted Nelson

      No, doing a more thorough analysis of guys taken in the same range would give you the same results. And if you control for bonus that is the way to look at it: the return on their investment.

  • RetroRob

    What unwritten, yet we all know, is Joba injured himself. The Yankees have his medicals. They’ve made a decision that his reduced velocity and command (he lost a little off both, never to return) means he has more value to them in the pen. It could even be more medical related. I’ve long since given up questioning the move. They know more here on both the physical and skills side than I can ever hope to.

    • And in merrie olde England

      I agree it’s risky having an injury prone pitcher with spotty command who throws around 95mph in the rotation. However it amuses me how they threw a fuckton of cash at AJ to cover that role instead.

  • Pistol Pete

    Looking back on Joba it would be reasonable to conclude he was juiced when he first came up because he never had the electric stuff after that late season call up his first year. Then he got hurt and now he’s just another middle to late game relief pitcher. Spending so much time discussing Joba is ridiculous since he really hasn’t been effective in a long time and when he was it didn’t last long. Tired, so tired of Joba talk.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      “Looking back on Joba it would be reasonable to conclude he was juiced when he first came up because he never had the electric stuff after that late season call up his first year.”

      Completely reasonable.

      And my dick might turn into a St. Bernard.

      • MannyGeee

        I would believe your dick can carry a gallon of ‘elixir’ in a wooden barrel, even in today’s state, but I digress.

    • Ted Nelson

      It would probably be more reasonable to conclude that he injured his shoulder in Texas.

      • Pistol Pete

        Joba pitched 100 innings the next year and was 4 and 3 and never had the electric stuff he had when he arrived the previous fall when he pitched to a .38 era. It’s completely possible he was juiced the year before because they didn’t test in the minors and when he returned the next year in the majors and they did test he never had the electric stuff he had the previous year. I realize he hurt his shoulder in mid season but never in that year was he like he was the previous season, never.

        • Ted Nelson

          Possible and reasonable to assume do not mean the same thing.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          lol 07 that yr gets more unrealistic as the yrs pass by.

  • ClusterDuck

    Joba, Kennedy and Hughes would have made a pretty good 3/5 of the starting rotation for the Yanks if they had played their cards right.

    But they didn’t.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Love, Captain Hindsight.

      • ClusterDuck

        You assume my opinion is hindsight.

        Unbelievable.

        • Inprobable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (RRR)

          I’m actually with you. that was a perfectly valid opinion to have at the time, and that it was confirmed in hindsight is just evidence that it was a good opinion.

          You thought they’d be three good pitchers and they were. That’s a pretty reasonable opinion.

        • Get Phelps Up

          I didn’t realize that it was your opinion. I apologize.

  • Dean Travers

    It’s disingenuous to compare Joba to other 41st picks; if you’re gonna make an argument like that–you gotta compare him to players drafted from the 41st round on; that would fairly represent the pool of players that were available.

    • Ted Nelson

      It was a quick and dirty analysis, but your point is not a strong one. The draft tends to only get weaker as it moves on. Comparing Joba to 20th rounders would be a useless exercise.

      • Dean Travers

        I’m not sure you understood my point. Comparing him to 41st rounders and on includes a lot more than 20th rounders, no? If you choose almost any specific pick beyond, say, the first round–you typically won’t find more than several decent players; what the author found is what one would expect and isn’t much of an analysis. A continuous (rather than a discrete) approach makes a lot more sense for this type of study.

  • http://none Favrest

    People forget, as a pitcher, he’s still young.

  • Darren

    Joba is a grunt and fart guy, best suited for the bullpen. He was not a starter. Great stuff doesn’t make you a starter. Look at Mo.

    • Pistol Pete

      Please don’t compare in any way or in any sentence Joba to Mo. This Joba’s still young talk is exhausting. Reminds me of all the Tebow nonsense. He’s an average middle reliever with previous shoulder, elbow, and ankle injuries, all of them serious. He had a two month run to glory following a late season call up when minor leaguers weren’t tested. Since then he’s been average at best when healthy but hurt most of the time, that’s the Joba story and for me I ‘m tired of everyone talking about him.

      • Darren

        My point is only that people who think Joba could have been a great starter simply because he had great stuff are misguided. You need a lot more than great stuff to make a great starter. I mentioned Mo only to illustrate that fact, because Mo, who obviously has some of the best stuff of all time, was not a good starter. But yes, for the record, Mo is way way way better than Joba.

        But that’s like saying Kathy Ireland in her prime is hotter than my girlfriend. I mean, ok, sure, but let’s talk about actual mortals.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        He’ll be FA next yr so you don’t have to hear about him anymore