Who’s At the Door? It’s Jrz!
As most of the people that will be reading this know I have been in the “Joba is a starter” camp from the get go. While I still believe he can be at worst a #2 starter at the Major League level I am starting to question it a bit. Maybe it is just because it has been going on for so long or maybe it is from watching him for almost 3 years now.
For the first time in his career he will have no limitations or ceilings put on his innings.He will not go through the 3 inning, 50 pitch, whichever comes first nonsense that he went through at the end of 2009. He will not have to be stretched out as he was when he started in the bullpen and was moved to the rotation in 2008 and in my opinion this can only be a good thing for his psyche. One would have to imagine when presented with a 3 inning 50 pitch limit that a pitcher would be too fine or at least try to be in order to get the most out of his pitches. Chamberlain has had success in both roles, starter and reliever. If you throw out the “holding pattern” starts from Aug. 30th until he went to the pen in October of 09 ( 1-2 25.2IP 35H 21R 20ER 5HR 11BB and 17K) his career #s as a starter stand at 11-5 in 196IP 192H 96R 83ER 20HR 90BB and 189K. At the age of 24 these are numbers that make me wonder what he is capable of doing as a starter over a career.
He has had less bumps in the road as a reliever since he broke onto the scene in 2007. Out of the bullpen he has ridiculous stats. For his career in 50 appearances he is 3-2 with a 1.50ERA in 60IP giving up 39H 11R 10 earned surrendering 2HR while walking 20 and striking out 79. His ability out of the pen is undeniable he has been unhittable at times and strikes fear into opposing hitters. His demeanor is not unlike many closers, he can be surly and animated and he seems th thrive on the pressure that comes along with coming out of the bullpen. Though, after watching Mariano Rivera for the last 15 years I kind of like the calm, cool and collected persona he projects. That is not to say that a guy like Joba cant be successful as a reliever, just look at that jackass papelbon.
I guess the main reason I have always been in the “starter camp” is because top of the rotation guys dont grow on trees.Although as time goes on I am starting to get a little worried about his delivery. It seems to me that for a big kid there is not alot of leg thrust (think Tom Seaver) and that he throws with alot of arm. I dont believe that is very conducive to 15 years of 200 innings and 34 starts. In a perfect world Chamberlain would have spent 3 years in the minor leagues working on things like that but that isnt the world the Yankees reside in. The win now attitude surrounding the team and demanded for by the fans is the reason Joba came up to the pen in 07 and started the season there in 08.
I know this is filled with alot of stuff that has been said in alot of places. Guess what, it is going to keep being said in alot of places until Brian Cashman, Joe Girardi and the Yankees orginization make a decision. Who knows, maybe the decision has already been made. One thing is for sure, we will know by the end of 2010….I hope.