Results tagged ‘ Joba Chamberlain ’
That was Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes climbing into the bullpen six-pack on Thursday, each throwing 30 fastballs and changeups as they get ready for the competition to be the Yankees’ fifth starter.
And while each one of those pitches met a catcher’s glove under the watchful eye of Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland, you didn’t need to take mental notes from that session. It’s much too early to begin handicapping a race that hasn’t yet begun.
“The ball was coming out of their hands well, and that was encouraging,” Girardi said.
As for Girardi’s presence behind both pitchers, that also shouldn’t have racked the nerves of either right-hander. After all, they both did pitch in the World Series last year, when there were slightly more eyes fixed upon their actions.
There’s still more than a month to figure it all out, but Chamberlain said that he “feels good at this point” and Hughes agreed that everything “feels right about on pace.”
Really, all a guy can do with this session today is prove he can throw a fastball for strikes and pitch inside to a phantom hitter. It makes it pretty hard to read. We could use one of those wooden stand-in batters that Charlie Sheen decapitated in Major League as a reference tool.
Hughes joked that there should be a meter somewhere, with an arrow pointing to the winning player’s name, kind of like a popularity contest. So who’s winning on Feb. 19? Call it even for now.
“I don’t think any jobs are awarded on your bullpens or your BPs,” Hughes said.
- Nick Swisher made another appearance in the clubhouse today – seems like you just can’t keep him away, even though position players don’t have to get to George M. Steinbrenner Field until next week. Swisher says he’s 12 pounds lighter and Girardi believes he can be more productive than he was in ’09, though he was “pretty good” as the right fielder.
- We haven’t talked too much about the bullpen yet, but Girardi did acknowledge today that in a perfect world, he’d like to have two left-handed pitchers to create more options. Of course, there’s right-handers who can get lefties out like Dave Robertson, but Boone Logan will get a serious look during camp. Girardi said that Logan was acquired with the idea that he could do “big things” for the Yankees.
- Guest instructor Yogi Berra arrived today, and I didn’t see his golf clubs on Girardi’s couch. I thought for sure that they’d be safely stored in the building somewhere, but it turns out that Yogi’s saving his strength for the summer. That’ll give him more time to watch BP from behind the batting cage, we guess.
Reporting day for pitchers and catchers is one of those things we all like to circle on the calendar when there’s two feet of snow on the ground and you think the winter is never going to end, but the dirty little secret of it all is that it’s actually pretty anti-climactic once it arrives.
For a date that is so synonymous with baseball — who amongst us hasn’t said something like, “Only 44 days until pitchers and catchers!” — there’s actually very little baseball going on. But you know that the end of winter is just hours away, and we can get back to doing what we’re supposed to.
For the Yankees, the technical definition of the P&C report date is that the players simply need to be within the city limits of Tampa and announce their arrival to the team, so they don’t necessarily even need to come to the stadium. A 30-second cell phone conversation of, “Hey, I’m here, see you tomorrow,” is just fine.
That said, a few guys wandered over to drop bags and check out their locker assignments before departing for one of their remaining days of freedom.
CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain all threw bullpen sessions at George M. Steinbrenner Field, Javier Vazquez said he was excited to be back, and Jorge Posada checked out some fresh shin guards that are destined to be destroyed by blocking drills and bouncing sliders all too soon.
Posada knows better than most that the demand of a World Series repeat will be an uphill charge.
“It’s probably the toughest thing to try to do it again,” Posada said. “Everybody plays you a little different when we come to town. You have to be ready, because they’re trying to get you. You’re the world champions and they’re trying to play a little better. It’s very challenging.”
The offseason was definitely quicker than it usually is, thanks to that little November Fall Classic, and in a strange way it almost felt like we’d never left this little perch overlooking the Dale Mabry Highway.
For the first time, Joe Girardi put on equipment that was marked with No. 28, as sure a sign as any that the new season is upon us.
“That’s basically just a message that we are not complacent,” Girardi said during a 30-plus minute chat with reporters. “We do want to move forward and try to win No. 28 for this organization and the great city of New York. We have a wonderful group here and wonderful fans, and it’s a reminder every day of why we’re out there.”
Back in June, I was working on a long feature about the Joba Chamberlain debate and had the opportunity to interview Mike Francesa of WFAN, who has been steadfastly of the belief that Chamberlain would best serve the Yankees as a setup man and potential future closer.
While talking with Francesa, I remarked that one positive about the never-ending argument is that on slow days, he could always float the starter-or-reliever question out there and know the switchboard would light up with instant responses.
Francesa responded that he doesn’t intentionally try to stir the pot like that, but acknowledged that call volume spikes on hot-button issues, and Chamberlain certainly represents one of those.
Yesterday on Twitter, the discussion came up once again, and it was cool to watch all the responses filter in among our little fishbowl community. By and large, Yankees fans across the board could go to war on this topic for days and not reach any sort of resolution.
My personal opinion is that the Yankees spent almost three years building Chamberlain up for this opportunity to start without rules or restrictions, so they’d be silly not to at least give him a chance to win a rotation spot. But as Joba told me in June, “I could win 20 games and people are still going to think I could save 50.”
He’s probably right. Now I’ll let the fans speak the rest of the way:
He should start. Still so young.
AlexLytwyn Joba is an amped up guy that gives it his all for one inning. when he’s composed for 5-7 innings, he loses his touch imo.
SwiftRead Joba is ahead of Hughes in every pitching category, esp IP & ERA. Hughes limit of 150 innings to Joba’s 200 says it all.
Guitarinsight Wait…didn’t Joba GET a chance? He seemed to do much better coming off the bench than starting.
SimplySmoov Joba could do undefeated in the next three seasons and people will STILL say he should be in the bullpen
dofferdahl Joba will never win 20 in a season, he’s just not that good. he needs to stay in the pen where he’s lethal.
no room at the inn…joba has no limits this year, he pitched great for
what? 110 IP? joba=5. He SHOULD be in aaa instead of pen.
surely they both end up in the rotation eventually. All I know is that it’s a good problem to have.
mikeyjoy87 what are point of Joba rules past 3 yrs if we dont FINALLY see what he
can do when let loose? Joba needs to be in the rotation!!!
dofferdahl both are lousy starters, but are great relievers, Hughes is better setup to be a setup guy, Joba is better setup to close.
I say give Joba no restrictions and a start every fifth day. If it’s
not as good as what he can do coming out of the pen, too bad
Mmedina210 Joba Chamberlain will never approach 20 wins as a starter but as a closer could save 50+. He’s terrible as a starter!
KathyFL1 From what I’ve seen so far he belongs in the pen, but until we see him off the Joba rules we really won’t know will we?
jakelarsen 75 high-leverage 1-2 Inning appearances>30-32 varying inning amount starts
j_sprouse2213 there seems to be more people in the fanbase that think he should relieve than start.
Joba Chamberlain was at the Thurman Munson Awards dinner last night and gave Brian Cashman a resounding thumbs up for his offseason moves, mentioning the transactions that brought in Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez, Nick Johnson and Randy Winn.
“We’ve got different guys coming in who’ve got to fill different roles
and do different things for us, but I think Curtis is going to be great
for us,” Chamberlain said. “He’s going to be in a different role than he was in Detroit.
“Having Javy come back with something to prove, I think that’s going to
be big for us too, knowing that he came in  and probably didn’t
have the best year that he could have, [but] knowing the year that he
came off last year.
“And Nick Johnson being here, a guy who can get on
base for us, and Randy Winn’s been at the game for a long time. I think
it’s just one of those things where guys are going to have to fit in
different ways and we might have to do things differently, but I think
we retooled great.”
Chamberlain also repeated that he is heading into the spring intent upon being a starter, which he also knew last year. The difference this year is that there are no more ‘Joba Rules’ or innings limitations.
“From the get-go last year, I knew that was what I was going to do,” Chamberlain said. “That
peace of mind is great. Going into it now, I know that’s what I’m going
to do, and I know there’s going to be guys fighting for it also. That
makes it even better for me, because I love it.
“I love the competition,
I love the fact that we’ve got to push each other and make each other
better. In turn, it makes our team better. We’re going to get after it
again, hopefully. I made 31 starts last year and I’ll make the same,
but it’ll be about 200 innings this time.”
Phil Hughes is going to be among Chamberlain’s competitors for the No. 5 spot, and while the two hurlers haven’t spoken since the end of the World Series, they’ll have plenty of time to converse and do battle in the weeks coming up.
“I hope he got after it and is ready for Spring Training, because it’s
going to be fun,” Chamberlain said. “I think he has something to prove also. He had a great
year last year in the bullpen, and I think he wants to come out and
prove something again this year. It’s going to be fun for us.”
One more note to share: Chamberlain was asked what changes, for him, between starting and relieving.
“The biggest difference is the fact that you know as a starter you’re going to have to face a guy three, four, maybe five times,” Chamberlain said. “In the bullpen, you’ve only got to face him once. You don’t really have to set him up.
“You don’t have to worry about, ‘OK, I got him out on a curveball his first at-bat.’ They’re too good – you can’t do it two times to them. That’s the biggest difference, the planning and the gameplan of how you’re going to get guys out.”
The Blue Jays’ asking price for Roy Halladay is too rich for the
Yankees to stomach at this moment, and as was widely believed, Toronto
is asking for the cream of New York’s young talent.
reported confirmation on Friday that the Blue Jays’ request of the
Yankees for Halladay is that New York should structure a deal around
either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, plus catcher Jesus Montero and
MLB.com has reported that the Blue Jays are enamored
especially by Montero, a power-hitting prospect whose bat is close to
Major League ready at this time. There is some question if Montero will
physically be able to catch at the big league level, and could become a
first baseman somewhere down the line.
manager Brian Cashman said that he is aware of the request for talent
on the pitching front and called it “pricey.” Cashman is still smarting
somewhat from dealing three young players for Curtis Granderson, but
said he would be willing to dip into the farm again if needed.
hesitant to move certain young players because of what they can do for
us in the future,” Cashman said. “At the same time, for the right
player, I’ll move anybody.”
Scott Boras made the rounds in Chicago yesterday, giving the writers something to chew on with Johnny Damon. Whether you read it frokm Joel Sherman in the New York Post, Mark Feinsand in the Daily News or David Waldstein in the New York Times, here’s the bottom line — Boras is drawing comparisons between his client, Damon, and what the Yankees have done and will do with Derek Jeter.
Boras’ argument, according to Sherman, is that Damon and Jeter worked so well atop the lineup in 2009, they should be viewed as a tandem. He also notes that that Damon has historic durability and that past three seasons equate well for both Damon and Jeter, and so they should be paid similarly. And Boras, of course, does not want Damon to take a pay cut from his $13 million annual salary (no one pays Boras’ commission to take a pay cut).
Here’s the problem, as I see it. The Yankees are going to overpay Derek Jeter. There’s no question about it, they’re going to give him one of those sweetheart deals where they pay him a lot for the future as a thank you for being the captain and leader of past teams, because they don’t want to see him getting his 3,000th hit in another uniform.
That’s fine, we all accept it, and if there’s one guy you’re going to do that to, it’s Jeter. OK, maybe they did it a little to not see Mariano Rivera — and especially Jorge Posada — in other uniforms too.
Point is, Damon doesn’t have that same cache with the Yankees. He was a very good player, a very productive player, over those four years. But he’s no franchise talent. A one or two-year deal is probably all that the Yankees are going to bring to the table with Damon. If Boras is intent on getting more, Damon is likely to be playing elsewhere in 2010 and beyond.
– Sherman also notes the Yankees intend to either pick up Sergio Mitre’s $1.25 million option by next week’s deadline or offer him arbitration, keeping him around as rotation depth. As expected, the Yankees also plan on non-tendering Chien-Ming Wang and then considering offering him a smaller money deal to return.
– Cashman on Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, via Feinsand: “I look at them as starters that can relieve. We haven’t had our meetings, but I would anticipate going to spring training with as much starting depth as possible.”
Cashman also told reporters that he’s not actively shopping Ian Kennedy, but teams have called with interest.
Feeling better about the idea of Joba Chamberlain as the fourth starter in the postseason? The Yankees probably are. Chamberlain appeared back in form on Friday, firing six innings of three-run ball to log his first victory in a span of eight starts.
It must have helped to know that the ‘Joba Rules’ restrictions were finally relaxed and he was free to throw as many as 90 pitches — Chamberlain got to 86 and that was plenty as the Yankees coasted to a 9-5 victory over the Red Sox.
“You’ve just got to challenge yourself,” Chamberlain said. “There come points in your career when you’ve got to look yourself in the mirror and make an adjustment. I was at the point where I needed to do that, and it’s something I’ve had to learn at a young age, to do that quick.”
While the Yankees were in Anaheim, Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland sat down with Chamberlain and looked into his eyes. Girardi said that it wasn’t a reading of the riot act, but the point was made that the Yankees needed to see better results.
“We just had a discussion that we knew he was capable of pitching better and that we need to see him pitch better,” Girardi said.
It doesn’t seem like the outing will make the Yankees want to push Chamberlain into the American League Division Series, but they’ll need him if they get to the next rounds. This should make them feel better about that idea.
Here we go, in the final Yankees vs. Red Sox showdown of 2009 … unless these two clubs have a date to fill in the American League Championship Series. And the way things are going, would you really want to bet against that?
You might think some of the buzz would be erased because the Yankees are already guaranteed to be in the postseason and the Red Sox are very close to it. But the Yankees still have important business to take care of, finishing off the division title, and the fact that they can do that against their fiercest rival adds to the party.
“I think it’s an important weekend because of what we’re trying to accomplish,” Joe Girardi said.
Joba Chamberlain has the ball tonight, and believe it or not, he’s about as close to a fully fledged starter as we’ve seen in a while. Chamberlain is going to be unleashed to throw about 90 pitches against Boston, as far as that gets him, and innings are no longer the concern.
In other updates, Jerry Hairston, Jr. said he was “scared half to death” feeling his left wrist pop on Wednesday in Anaheim, but said that now that he knows he can’t injure his severely sprained wrist any more, he’ll go all-out with it the rest of the season.
“Basically, the best medicine is to sit for four to six weeks, but that ain’t happening,” Hairston said. “I can’t make it any worse. This is my first opportunity to play in the postseason and I’m not going to let this hinder that.”
Dave Robertson came back well after throwing a more aggressive bullpen session on Thursday and is scheduled to face live hitters on Saturday at Yankee Stadium. If Robertson gets through that without setback, Girardi said that he would try to work him into games during the last week of the season as the Yankees attempt to narrow down their bullpen mix for the playoffs.
“I really believe that two [appearances] is a distinct possibility,” Girardi said. “I think it’s important to see him pitching in live conditions.”
If Joba Chamberlain is thinking he has the Yankees’ postseason roster made, Brian Cashman would beg to differ. He told Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record that Chamberlain has nothing assured, while also dropping the nugget that the Yankees will carry 10 pitchers for the American League Division Series:
“He needs to declare himself. He’s no different than anyone else. … Everybody loves his tenacity. But
we’re going to take the best 10 guys. There’s no assumptions there.”
“He’s put himself in a position where the manager has to make a
decision that there’s not one guy ahead of him that he needs to give
the ball to. [Chamberlain] might not realize it, but
he’s in competition with any number of guys to take the ball.”
One of those guys, Chad Gaudin, gets to audition tonight here at Angel Stadium. With Chamberlain struggling and Sergio Mitre having been moved to the bullpen, it’s up to Gaudin to make that decision a very interesting one.
“I can’t control it,” Gaudin said. “You control the controllables. I
feel that if I pitch well and do what I know I can do, hopefully in the
end it will take care of itself. All I can do is worry about tomorrow
and prepare myself to get a win.”
There should be your consolation after last night’s 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays, from the mouth of Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
Not that the Yankees were going to win this one, not with Roy Halladay recapturing his vintage form in a one-hit shutout, but there should be legitimate concerns about Chamberlain’s growth right now in the rotation. He hasn’t been particularly good since that spurt coming out of the All-Star break, and it’s difficult to judge his progress when you’re only seeing it in three-inning stints.
“You treat it like any other start,” Chamberlain said. “You prepare yourself and try to get better. I go in thinking I’m going to go six or seven, because if you try to go in for three, it gets a little more frustrating. You’ve got to go in and take it like a normal start.”
Girardi didn’t want to talk about the possible playoff rotation, not on September 4. But you’d have to think that Chamberlain will be in the bullpen if everything holds for the AL Division Series (against the Tigers?) and then would be one of New York’s four starters if they advance to the League Championship Series.
Bottom line — as they open the roof here at the Rogers Centre — the Yankees have a little bit of time to get things right. But make no mistake, they do need to get it right, preferably back to the way it was coming out of the break.
“He was able to get out of jams in those other starts, and he has not done as good a job at that,” Girardi said. “When a couple of guys got on, he was able to get the big out. He has not done that in those three starts, but I still really believe in him. At the end of September, you’re going to see a guy throwing the ball well.”