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.
I’m working on the new site. Enjoy the feeds and types your fingers off here until then!!! Protect your Junk!!
The work site is libertyboynyc.com. Wear a hard hat! It’s raining ERROR messages over there!
UPDATE: the new site is www.bronxbrasstacks.com. See you there!
It’s official. Jerry Manuel has mental deficiencies. Spring Training for Jason Bay and David Wright turns into Thunderdome with the loser starting the season protected by the ever-courageous Dan Murphy. Meanwhile, the 500lb day-glo-colored gorilla in the room is why Manuel wouldn’t simply tool the lineup by simply place-saving for the return of Carlos Beltran. There are three legitimate power hitters to stack behind Reyes and Castillo, in order they would be Wright, Bay, Francoeur, and you can hide Murphy in the six-hole without a second thought until Beltran comes back – which assumes that he’s coming back. Beltran returns, and you slot him somewhere in the middle. A lineup needs to gel, Bay is a new factor, not even considering Reyes’ clear place as one of the premier firestarter in the NL. I’m not the only one scratching my head, I’ve found one more blogger who asks “Where’s Carlos?”
How long until a metric is invented that shows how Jose Reyes is best-suited for batting third?
“I just tweaked it a little bit,” said Hughes, who is competing with Joba Chamberlain and three others for the final open spot in the rotation. “I’ve probably had about 29 different change-up grips in the last year and a half. It’s something that I’m constantly (experimenting) with…I feel like I have a good feel for it,” Hughes said. “It’s just a matter of consistently throwing it for strikes. It feels comfortable rolling off the fingers.”
I can’t wait for Opening Day.
I’ve been accused on not understanding the Tigers and the AL Central on a FanLaughs thread. OK, here goes my first try towards advanced divisional dynamic comprehension:
“He’s hit everywhere he’s been,” Leyland said. “What’s going to happen up here, I don’t know, but his consistency in the minor leagues was pretty good. I’ve always believed that if he’s hit for four or five years in the minor leagues, he’s probably got a good chance to hit in the big leagues.”
Leyland is a card player. And, for a team that’s as concerned with speed and defense as the article supposes, he hasn’t been dealt too many good cards to play. Johnny Damon is a left-handed bat who can’t field, and possibly won’t run too often, while the speed “additions” take the form of two rookies (Jackson and solid-hitting Scott Sizemore). Stealing in triple-A is a soft stat to rely on as, very often, runners aren’t even held on. In any event, it is wise not to heap too much expectation and responsibility on young talent. All kinds of crazy things can happen. IMO if you’re trying not to s**t the bed a second year in a row, add neither the very old nor the very young, but the just right.
Unfortunately, the great Leyland is not getting the help from management like his rival Ron Gardenhire is.
Justin Morneau is taking things slow this spring training. The Minnesota Twins spent last September politely and methodically showing Detroit the door, while down one of their biggest bats in Morneau’s back injury. The team finished with winning records versus each of their division “rivals”. This year, even as the great Joe Mauer reaches for eternity, just about the entire team (save Morneau, Joe Nathan, and Scott Baker) is either in free agency or faces a club option after the 2010 season and that’s a perfect storm for that division with an eye very perfectly centered.
In case you haven’t noticed, I really haven’t gone too far into depth regarding the Tigers’ outfield. That’s because after September 30th, it won’t really matter.
Johnny Blanchard spent seven seasons with the Yankees on the great clubs of the early 60’s and was born on this day in 1933 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He died of a sudden heart attack on March 23rd, 2009, in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.
Mike Silva of NY Baseball Digest interviewed Johnny not long before he passed. Here’s an excerpt of the excellent hour-long interview:
Mike: Did you ever what if you played every day what kind of career you would have had?
Johnny: No, Mike it never entered my mind…We had such a good relationship, and a good team, good bunch of guys, that it never entered my mind about “play me or trade me”…I was in five straight world series, how can you complain about that?…I knew that when I got to NY there was no way that anybody, I don’t care who it is, are gonna beat them [Howard and Berra, both MVPs] out behind the plate. So on my own, what I did in batting practice I would go in to right field, left field, and all the pitchers were shagging in batting practice you know Mike, and I would tell them ‘hey guys let me get every ball I can get to’…I played batting practice just like a game, I would simulate in my mind – ‘ball hit down the right field line, where do I go with it if there was man on first base, hit the cutoff’ and so forth. I was never told to do that, I did that on my own.
His tenacious approach to his role with the club and his humble bearing earned him both the respect and friendship of more widely-known and talented players. Mickey Mantle and John were great friends. In All My Octobers (co-authored by Mickey Herskowitz), Mickey wrote:
When John Blanchard was a rookie, and nervous about getting around, I talked him into staying with me. When he checked into the hotel, the desk clerk told him the room rate was $125 a night. The next thing I knew he had picked up his bags and was heading for the door. “I’m gonna ease on down the street, Mick,” he said. “This place is too rich for my blood.” I said, “Tell you what. I’ll pay the hundred and you pay the twenty-five.” That’s how we did it.
Of the death, Yogi Berra told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com:
This is a sad day. Johnny was a good friend and a great teammate. He was proud of being a Yankee and always fun to be around. We’ll miss him.
Although John never had 250 at-bats in a single season, he nonetheless made an offensive mark by hitting four home runs in four at-bats over three games in 1961, tying a Major League record. Later that season, he would have a great performance in the World Series versus the Cincinnati Reds, which the Yankes won in five games. In the final game, John had a double and a home run out of the cleanup spot (that year, Roger Maris hit 61 home runs and Mantle followed with 54; on their off-days, there were very big shoes that needed filling). Johnny would finish that season with a career high 21 home runs. He would later tell Baseball Digest in 1986:
“It was a team (1961 New York Yankees) that had a lot of pride and confidence. It didn’t matter if we were ever behind in a ball game. The team always felt they could come back and win. We never went into a game thinking we could lose.”
The Yanks traded Johnny in 1965, and he would not return to the majors in 1966 for an eighth season in the sun. He was widely regarded as tried-and-true Yankee and the fans showed him a special recognition in the many Old Timers’ Games that he returned to Yankee Stadium for. He planned to return to the South Bronx for Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium in April, 2009. His son Tim told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
He lived a life people would dream of living. He had a good life.
The New York Yankees’ Mark Teixeira on repeating …[bracketed] quotes were removed by MLB.com but retained hereunder for accuracy:
“Because we’re the [gosh darn] Yankees,” Teixeira said. “If you get complacent, it’s going to be a tough year for you. Once you taste a championship and taste that victory, [gahhhhleeee] it just makes you want it even more. You realize it’s everything you’ve ever hoped for.”
“We have to feel that way every single [fudgin’] season,” Teixeira said. “We feel like we’re just as capable of defending our [dang-gum] championship as we were winning it last year. We have a great team, the core group of guys are back [and a bunch of black guys are here, too!], and hopefully we all get a little bit better [I mean those boys fly!].”
“[Shoot,] I don’t know how many times I told my wife how nice it is I don’t have to worry about the future [while she’s ironin’ my jersey and sweepin’ the porch],” Teixeira said. “The last couple of years, it’s always been, ‘Where’s my family going to be? Where are we going to live? [Where’d ya put my dang-gum fishing pole, Mama?]’
“This year, it was really, ‘What [funny-soundin’] restaurant are we going to go to? Where are we going to take the kids [where’t don’t smell like pee]? What shows are we going to watch?’ I think that was a nice change for my family [I mean, how much catfishin’ will an 8-year-old take before he grows himself a set a’ gills?]”
“Everyone kind of tries to tell you … ‘You have to change something, [quit starin’ at the sun! poop sittin’ down!], but be yourself,'” Teixeira said. “Whoever it is, they’re in this room for a reason [even that Robbie Cano, I suppose]. You have talent, they’ve performed on the highest levels. When you come to the Yankees, there’s more eyes watching [kinda like gettin’ lost in the swampy place where the hill people are, blinkin’ in the trees, don’t go there!], more people that care — which is great. You go out and play the game the way it’s supposed to be played.”
“For us, I think it’s ‘Let’s keep doing what we’re doing,'” Teixeira said. “That was our motto last year during the playoffs — ‘Keep up the good work and let’s keep working hard and playing good baseball.’ [My other motto was “an apple a day keeps the doctor away, Alex!”] That’s what we’re going to try to do this year.”
- Courtesy of the Brass Ones, Jorge Posada and A.J. Burnett have mended fences and will be battery-mates this year. Bye bye, Mr. Curveball. Word on the street is that Hal Steinbrenner will install one of these, a first in MLB (projected cost: $13.1M).
- Speaking of Hal, the man is starting to build his own aura by appearing here and there unpredictably, always spoken of in the third person by a third party.
- Another discussion thread callout, the Mets finally signed a starting catcher, all-star Rod Barajas for an “undisclosed sum”. He’s not an all-star? Damn….damn!
- Still on the topic of “undisclosed” sums, Freddy Wilpon sat down with MLB.com to dance around questions of Madoff losses and the potential / imagined sale of the team. Some nice blood-boilers in there.
- Finally, the big news that Johnny Damon finalized his one-year, $8M deal. Does Yankee GM Brian Cashman feel properly squared now? Were his stipulations for de-coupling Damon’s future from the Yankee organization met? Not to these ears; it seemed the Yanks were offering $7M/per year over two years while the Tigers offered just a million more for just a single year. It’s not like the Yankees have been cold to super agent Scott Boras. Questions: does Scott have anything more that the Yankees want, do the Yankees have anything that Scott wants still? Or has that lemon been juiced for all its worth?