Weakened Joba can’t stomach start

That definitely wasn’t Joba Chamberlain’s best out there this afternoon, and there was a reason for it. After spending two days this week laid up in bed with flu-like symptoms, Chamberlain guessed he was at 60 percent when he took the mound today against the Rays. The results weren’t pretty, as he was rapped for five runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings.

Chamberlain said that he had barely eaten in three days and almost felt “scared to eat” – yesterday he choked down a Subway sandwich; tonight he planned to dine on mostly Gatorade. It’s a drastic change after being on a daily weightlifting regimen since last month. In all, he said he’s lost eight pounds since this ordeal started, but skipping the start wasn’t an option in his mind.

“You’d probably have to chop my legs off,” he said. “I’m going to take the ball as much as I can and try to get better. I felt strong enough and I felt like I did enough inbetween to try and get ready.”

  • Phil Hughes thought he was “OK” in his two innings of one-run ball. That homer he served up to Sean Rodriguez might have been wind-blown a little, and Hughes thought Curtis Granderson had it lined up until it carried over the wall.

“It was all right,” Hughes said. “It was nice to finally get out there in real game situations. My fastball command was all over the place, but I felt like I threw some good changeups. They were swinging early and often, which was good. I got a read on some things.”

  • Joe Girardi said that he’ll probably give Nick Johnson until Monday now to rest his stiff lower back. He didn’t want to play Johnson tomorrow vs. the Blue Jays and he definitely doesn’t want him making the long bus ride to Fort Myers for the Twins on Sunday. So, Monday it is.
  • Girardi said that he thought Curtis Granderson had “two really good at-bats” vs. left-handed pitching. No hits yet for him, though. … Nick Swisher (wrist) is fine after hitting the ground running the bases.


STILL not convinced that Joba is a starter. Based on today’s appearance it is Hughes’ job. But I would NOT rule out Aceves or someone else.


Why would Girardi put Chamberlain into a game, especially a big hitting team like Tampa Bay, with having been sick a a few days and hadn’t eaten? Doesn’t make sense to me. He got nicked for 5 runs which won’t do much for his confidence. Let’s see how he pitches when he’s not sick! I never thought Joba should have been a starter last season. I hope it’s not deja vu from last year with Joba’s inconsistency. He’s better out of the pen as a set up and reliever. Probably Hughes is better there as well and hopefully one of the other pitchers the Yanks have acquired will have a good spring training and take the #5 spot. I know it’s spring training but hope we don’t have a start like last year even though we won the world series. It was shaky going for quite a while before the team finally got its act together and started winning consistently. I know it’s still spring training and early days so won’t panic yet.


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