Archive for Joba Chamberlain
Via Anthony McCarron and Chad Jennings, Joba Chamberlain was released from the hospital in the wheelchair* this afternoon after suffering that open dislocation on Thursday. “Things are going as good as could be expected, as I understand it,” said Brian Cashman. “There’s a limit of what we can give in terms of absolutes, and there’s a spectrum of risk to optimism. We’re not in a position to give absolutes that this is going to be a definite one way or the other.”
Joba will remain in a cast for six weeks then will switch over to a weight-bearing walking boot. Infection remains a concern, but doctors feel the risk is small enough that he was released. With each day that passes, the risk of infection decreases. It’s good news that he was allowed to go home, but Joba still has a long, long way to go between this injury and his Tommy John surgery rehab. Fingers crossed.
* Doesn’t everyone get released from the hospital in a wheelchair? This isn’t unusual, right?
Via Chad Jennings, tests showed no microfractures in Joba Chamberlain‘s right ankle following Thursday’s open dislocation. His is being kept in the hospital tonight as a precaution and will be released tomorrow. He will remain in a cast for six weeks. Infection is the main concern, particularly an infection of the bone which could end his career. Joe Girardi said the Yankees will take is slow with his rehab for obvious reasons, but this is certainly about as good as the news could have been.
The Yankees got some awful news yesterday (really Thursday night), as Joba Chamberlain suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle playing with his son. It’s a really bad fluke injury and I do not recommend Googling it at all. It’s expected to keep him out for all of 2012, but the club is still awaiting test results to determine the extent of the ligament damage and any fractures. Here are some random thoughts and links on the injury…
- A report yesterday indicated that Joba lost a “life-threatening amount of blood,” but both his agent and father denied that was the case. “There was no life-threatening loss of blood,” said agent Jim Murray while Harlan Chamberlain was a bit more blunt: “That’s [B.S.].”
- David Robertson was one of those who visited Joba him the hospital yesterday. “He was feeling good,” he said. “[He's] in good spirits.”
- The moralizing of the injury was inevitable. People are calling Joba stupid and reckless and while he obviously made a mistake, the guy’s biggest crime was wanting to play with his kid. If trampolines are so dangerous, how come no one is getting upset that he put his five-year-old son in danger?
- It’s still way too early to know what the Yankees will do with Joba contractually. His one-year, $1.675M contract is not guaranteed as an arbitration-eligible player, so the Yankees could release him anytime before Opening Day and pay him only 45 days termination pay (roughly $415k). If there’s “no trampoline” language in his deal, they could release him and pay him nothing. More than likely I think they’ll wait the season out, see how he’s doing come December, then decide whether or not to non-tender him (he won’t get a raise next year if he doesn’t play at all in 2012). I don’t think they want to repeat the Al Aceves mistake again. Who knows, maybe insurance will cover his salary this season.
- As for the bullpen, Joba wasn’t going to be back until mid-June anyway. Nothing will change for the first few months of the season, but now they can’t count on adding that power arm at midseason. It creates an opportunity for guys like George Kontos, Adam Warren, David Phelps, and D.J. Mitchell. Chamberlain’s injury opened the door for Hector Noesi last year, and now another young arm will get a chance.
- Stephen Drew, Jason Kendall, and Kendrys Morales are examples of comparable injuries, as are Yankees farmhands David Adams and Ravel Santana. The recovery time seems to range anywhere from six months to nearly two years. Of course all those guys are position players, and we’re talking about Joba’s push-off leg. If he can’t push off properly, he’ll inevitable blow out his arm at some point.
So that’s really all I have to say. I hope the latest tests show the best case scenario and Joba crushes his rehab and is able to get back on the mound sooner rather than later, but I’m not going to hold my breath. I was really looking forward to seeing him back out on the mound this summer.
Update: Via Sweeny Murti, apparently Joba could be released from the hospital as soon as today. The MRI results are not back yet, but the doctors told him there’s a chance he could be back on a mound by July. Fingers crossed.
Last year we all expected the Yankees to go out and make a significant midseason move to bolster a questionable pitching staff, but that move never came. Starters Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, and Ivan Nova performed better than expected while David Robertson and call-up Hector Noesi emerged to shore up the bullpen when Joba Chamberlain and Rafael Soriano went down with elbow injuries. Eduardo Nunez performed well enough off the bench that no outside help was needed when Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez missed weeks at a time with lower body injuries.
That was the exception and not the rule, however. Most contenders need to go outside the organization to improve their roster over the course of the summer, and the 2012 Yankees don’t figure to be any different. Before they do that though, the club already has a trio of pitchers due to return at various points of the season to help boost their staff. All the midseason pitching help they need could end up coming from within.
Andy Pettitte (May-ish)
I have to admit, I didn’t think I would be writing about Pettitte’s return like, a week ago. The veteran southpaw decided to give it another go though, and now he just has to get himself back into playing shape over the next few weeks before returning to the rotation. The Yankees were very clear about that last part as well, Pettitte will be in the rotation as soon as he’s ready. The plan calls for six or eight weeks of “Spring Training,” which will surely include some minor league starts to get ready.
There’s no way of knowing how a near-40-year-old pitcher will return after a year-long hiatus, especially in the AL East. There are reasons to be skeptical about just how successful Pettitte can be this season, though I don’t think he would go through all this trouble if he didn’t think he could get back to being the guy he was just two years ago. Whether he can physically be that guy is another thing entirely, but it’s also possible that the year off does his body good. I have a hard time betting against Andy, but it will be some comeback if he gives the Yankees four or five strong months.
David Aardsma (mid-August)
The forgotten free agent pickup, the Yankees signed Aardsma to a ridiculously cheap one-year, $500k contract with a $500k club option for 2013 about a week into Spring Training. The 30-year-old right-hander didn’t pitch at all least season because of a torn labrum in his hip and later Tommy John surgery. He has his elbow procedure in late-July but comments from the team last month indicate that mid-August is a more realistic target for his return.
The Aardsma signing is geared more towards next season, but he could definitely help late in the year assuming all goes well during his rehab. He started to harness his power stuff (averaged 94.0 mph with the fastball) after taking over as the closer in Seattle, though he’s always been a high strikeout (9.6 K/9 and 25.9 K% during his two years with the Mariners) and high walk (4.4 BB/9 and 11.8 BB%) guy. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees extended his rehab a bit and didn’t call him up until the rosters expand on September 1st, but having a dirt cheap and experienced power bullpen arm in your back pocket for the late-season stretch drive sure is a nice luxury.
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Joba was originally going to be included in this post because he was due to return from Tommy John surgery in mid-June, but that almost certainly will not happen following this morning’s news of his dislocated ankle. There is no timetable for his return just yet, and in fact they’re still awaiting test results to determine the full extent of the injury according to David Waldstein. Even if the Yankees hear the best possible news and there’s no further damage, they can’t count on Joba for anything this year. That’s a shame, and hopefully both Pettitte and Aardsma contribute a bit more.
Via Jack Curry, Joba Chamberlain suffered an “open dislocation” of his right ankle playing with his son yesterday and had surgery last night. They were at some kind of children’s play place. Brian Cashman called it a “significant injury” and said they “can’t put a time frame” on his return. Joba is in the hospital now and will remain there for a few days.
“We’re worried significantly about him right now for him as an individual,” added Cashman. They’re not sure if the injury is career-threatening, but right now they don’t believe it is. Joba is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, but this injury will definitely delay the process. There’s a pretty good chance we won’t see him at all in 2012 now. For shame.
Six questions and five answers this week. Remember to use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar for all your contacting RAB needs.
Mark asks: Does the new payroll austerity plan all but eliminate the chance of the Yanks signing either Hamels or Cain after this season? I never personally thought the team would ever be in on either, unless Nova, Phelps, Warren, Banuelos, Betances and Hughes all regress in 2012, though signing either Hamels or Cain seems to be the long-term hope of Yankee fans – thoughts?
If they really wanted to, the Yankees could still add one $20M a year player and fit under that $189M luxury tax threshold in 2014. They’ll have to cut costs in a big way elsewhere — namely replacing Nick Swisher, Russell Martin, Mariano Rivera, and Rafael Soriano with guys making no money — but it can be done.
I’m certain Matt Cain will sign an extension with the Giants soon, maybe even before the start of the season. Cole Hamels is a bit more of a question mark; I could see him signing an extension or testing the free agent waters. I don’t think the Yankees will heavily pursue either guy as free agents after the season, but they’ll surely remain in touch just to see what happens. That’s pretty much what they did with C.J. Wilson and Yu Darvish this past offseason, if they fall into their laps at a lower than expected rate, great. If not, then no big deal. I love Hamels as much as the next guy, but it would be cool if the Yankees didn’t need to add another $20M a year pitcher after the season.
Jonathan asks: Torii Hunter is in the last year of his contract and stated that “I made money now I want a ring.” What would you think of letting Swish walk and getting Torii on the cheap 2/16m?
Well, there’s nothing cheap about Torii Hunter for two years and $16M. His power and overall offensive production has been declining for years now, and his defense was never as great as it was cracked up to be. He’s also close to a dead pull right-handed hitter, and those guys don’t have great success at Yankee Stadium unless we’re talking A-Rod or Andruw type power. I’m the president of the Torii Hunter Haters Club, but there is some merit to looking at him as a stopgap solution if Swisher is allowed to walk after the season. Two years is one too many, however.
As for Andruw and Dickerson, I actually thought about that this offseason back when there was some talk that the Yankees might try to trade Swisher for a pitcher. That platoon wouldn’t be great but it would get the job done, probably a bit below average offensively (since Jones is on the short-end of the platoon stick) and a bit above average defensively (because Dickerson would get more time). I’d rather go with those two next season rather than Hunter, but I do think the Yankees could do better. They’re basically a solid Plan B in my book, nothing more.
Cameron asks: If you were given the opportunity to swap rotations with another team in the league, 5 guys for 5 guys, which team would it be? The Rays, the Phillies? Someone else? I guess on the surface it could be an easy question, like ‘oh yeah, I’d take the Phillies rotation for sure’ but obviously there are a lot of factors like pitching in the AL, and the East specifically, etc. Just curious what you think. Thanks!
Just five-for-five, I would definitely trade rotations with the Phillies, Rays, Giants, and Angels. If I knew Chris Carpenter (career high in innings last year and his elbow was barking in the playoffs) and Adam Wainwright (coming off elbow surgery) were going to be their usual selves, I would include them as well. Given the uncertainty, they’re on the outside looking in right now.
With Philadelphia, the reasons are obvious. Three guys who are legitimate aces right now plus two more serviceable back-end arms. That same logic applies to the Giants, who have three aces (Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner) and two other serviceable arms. The Rays have two ace-caliber guys in David Price and Jamie Shields, plus another huge upside guy in Matt Moore. Jeremy Hellickson and either Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis are fine at the end of the staff. Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, C.J. Wilson, Ervin Santana, and a potted plant is a pretty dynamite rotation as well. You can make arguments for the Brewers, Tigers, Nationals (if you knew Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann were going to get 200 IP each), and White Sox (if Jake Peavy was healthy) as well, but I think those are up for debate.
Shaun asks: I was just wondering if Joba Chamberlain had any options left and if there was a way to delay his free agency by a year or so. I supposed this is irrelevant now that he will be back sometime in June but could the Yankees have saved anything from sending Joba down prior to him going on the DL? Still trying to wrap my ahead around the potential 2014 Yankees! Thanks!
Joba was called up in August 2007 and has never gone back to the minors, so he has all three options left. If they want to delay his free agency by a year, he’ll have to spend approximately two months in the minors between now and the end of the 2013 season. He will collect service time while on the DL and on a minor league rehab assignment, so that won’t help the team’s cause.
Unless he comes back from Tommy John surgery a shell of his former self, there’s no reason for the Yankees to send Joba to the minors. The union would flip out because his performance doesn’t warrant a demotion, and it’s not worth the hassle. If they would have sent him down and then put him on the DL, he would have filed a grievance and won. Glen Perkins and Tony Abreu have won grievances for this exact situation; their teams sent them down injured and tried to stash them on the minor league DL rather than allow them to accrue service time on the big league DL.
Tom asks: With caps on draft and international spending, is there any punishment for teams who do not use up their cap money? It seems that if teams only used part of their allotted amount, it’s a waste to the game as a whole because that’s money that other teams could have used to help bring more players into the game.
There’s no punishment, and teams won’t be able to save that money and use it on players the next year or anything like that. These draft and international spending restrictions are in place for one reason: to keep costs down. The less teams spend on amateurs, the happier the owners and union will be. It’s completely stupid, but it is what it is. At the end of the day, MLB and the 30 clubs are still for-profit organizations and the new Collective Bargaining Agreements reflect that.
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.
Via Alex Speier, today is the first day pitchers can be placed on the 60-day DL. The Red Sox stuck Bobby Jenks on the 60-day today to make room for Chris Carpenter, who they acquired from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein. Not that Chris Carpenter, the one the Yankees drafted and didn’t sign back in 2007. I assume today’s date applies for all teams; I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t.
Anyway, this is noteworthy because the Yankees have a full 40-man roster following the Raul Ibanez signing, though they have two candidates for the 60-day DL: Joba Chamberlain and Pedro Feliciano. If they were to sign Eric Chavez or anyone else to a big league deal, they won’t have to remove someone from the roster just yet. This buys guys like Chris Dickerson, Justin Maxwell, and Brad Meyers some more time with the team, which is always a good thing.
Pitchers and catchers aren’t due to report for another eight days, but many of the Yankees’ hurlers are already in Tampa preparing for the season according to the AP. Joba Chamberlain threw 15 pitches in his second half-mound session yesterday, saying he’s “happy with the progress and feeling good.” Unlike the other guys in camp, he’s rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.
Ivan Nova threw off a mound yesterday, which is only notable because he ended last season with a strained flexor tendon. The team says he’s fully healed and healthy, but there’s always that little bit of concern until you hear that he got back on a mound and didn’t report any problems. Phil Hughes and Cory Wade also threw off a mound, and Derek Jeter is scheduled to hit on the field for the first time on Monday.
Via the AP, Joba Chamberlain has started throwing off a half-mound as he continues his rehab from Tommy John surgery. He’s been throwing off flat ground for a few weeks, but now he’s starting to get elevated. He’s right on schedule based on Mike Dodd’s classic TJS article, and should begin throwing breaking balls pretty soon. Joba figures to return to the team in mid-June, a year out from surgery.