Five days later, Joba ready for more ‘Rules’
Joba Chamberlain is on the mound tonight for the Yankees against Roy Halladay, though we don’t know exactly for how long. Seeing as that he went for three innings last time out against the White Sox and threw 35 pitches, it’s safe to say that the Yankees would be OK with him throwing about four innings and 50 pitches.
The pitches really aren’t the main concern – it’s the innings, as the Yankees figure it all averages out over the long run. And yes, there’s a point to this post. It seems like every time we get around to Chamberlain in the rotation, there’s a segment of the fan base that becomes outraged (and then floods my e-mail box).
That’s OK, that’s what it’s there for. But I’ll reply in bulk and say once again, to recap, this is all about protecting the Yankees’ investment for the future in Chamberlain. He’s not a disposable type pitcher – if Chamberlain hurts his arm and goes the route of the Mets’ Big Three in 1996 (the example Chamberlain keeps bringing up), it’ll be a significant setback.
With his body type and injury history, it’s safe to say that there is a serious risk involved with Chamberlain. But this is Year 3 of the Joba Rules and slowly but surely, they are easing off the training wheels, and next year should be a pretty full season for him with 180 or so innings.
The thinking was that 160 innings of him as a MLB starter in 2009 would be more helpful than zero. And with a 7 1/2 game lead in the American League East, the Yankees have the luxury to play with such things. If Chamberlain goes four innings tonight and the Yankees lose, it’s not going to be the end of the world.