Results tagged ‘ Joba Chamberlain ’

A.J. and Posada ready for their new beginning

I actually went back and listened to the audio of A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada breaking down that August 22 start against the Red Sox, which still happened to be on my laptop as in MP3 form. That tells me two things — one, I need to do a better job of backing up my data, and two, the tone of both players is now markedly different.

Having a whole spring to work together doesn’t necessarily mean that Burnett and Posada will work as a lights-out battery tonight against the Red Sox, nor does it mean that Burnett will have a wonderful season against the Red Sox – shades of his ’08. But it is certainly possible that Burnett just got a little too amped up to be part of the rivalry, and as Posada says in this story, it is crucial that the Yankees keep his emotions in check.

Those poor extended spring kids never had a chance. Hughes actually had to keep pitching more than the six innings the Yankees allotted, because he’d thrown too many strikes – 70 of 100 pitches, in fact. Then he dashed to Tampa International Airport and jetted up to Boston, where he’ll get a hotel room to watch two whole games in the bullpen. Then, it’s back to (guess where?) — Tampa, Florida. Yes, it seems like some cosmic joke.

Spin that wild setup bullpen wheel! My take on the picture is that the Yankees would love, adore, relish nothing more, than to have Joba Chamberlain stand tall and morph back into 2007 Joba — right up until the game where he had the midges in his mouth. I’m just not sure where that guy is right now; he seemed to be back in the ’09 playoffs, but is he there in ’10? But as Joe Girardi said in our season-opening Q&A (and I’m sure in other places as well), Chamberlain has a “good chance” to be that eighth-inning guy. Now he’s just got to prove it.  

Joba in the ‘pen for 2010 – and beyond?

Yankees director of pro scouting Billy Eppler appeared on WFAN Saturday with host Evan Roberts and, among other topics, was quizzed on the future of Joba Chamberlain now that he has been restored to the bullpen.

Eppler splashed cold water on the idea of Chamberlain returning to the starting rotation at any point in 2010 and, it would appear, beyond that as well — at least, while he’s wearing a Yankees uniform.

Here is the transcript of the exchange that concerns that topic:

Roberts: “Where do you guys envision Joba Chamberlain now? I mean, he’s going to be the eighth inning guy, and he’s probably gonna be damned good at it. He was so good at it in ’07, he was so good at in ’08. There’s good reason to believe he’ll go there, he’ll be lock-down. Is this his future? As a reliever, and eventually replace Mariano Rivera when he is set to retire?”

Eppler: “Yeah, not to get too ahead of ourselves there. You know, I don’t think Joe has quite anointed him the eighth inning guy right now. I understand that there would be beliefs and that a lot of people would think that he should be in that role. I think, obviously, you know, even with the good outing today he’s got to demonstrate the ability to hold that role. But I think there are some other guys in our ‘pen that are that are capable of that as well. It’s kind of a nice problem to have, for lack of a better word. With Joba though, I do believe he could be a starter. You know, just in the environment that we’re in, you’re trying to break with with the twelve best. That’s not to say the other clubs aren’t trying to do that. I think if we were in a different setting, a different situation, you might see Joba Chamberlain in the rotation.”

Roberts: “Yeah; you know, honestly, I think like every other team maybe besides the Yankees and the Red Sox, he’d probably be in the rotation. I mean, he’s got a great arm, it’s just that you guys are so deep. You know, when you when you can go and have Javier Vazquez as your fourth starter. That’s as deep as anybody. I guess, is there a situation where he starts again this year? I’m under the assumption that he’s the eighth inning guy, and that’s it. The debate is over. I know he could still start, like I mentioned – he could certainly start for the Mets, my team.”

Eppler: “In the here and now, I don’t foresee any situation. Obviously, that’s for Brian and Joe, but I don’t think they foresee a situation where he would go into the rotation. He is going to be a reliever, and obviously we’ve seen what he’s been able to do in that role. He’s been able to be very dominant in that role. I don’t foresee a situation where he would be starting at all.”

Roberts: “Right. But does the question get re-asked next year, in 2011, like, is Joba a starter? Do you think that question will be asked again? Maybe he’ll compete for a rotation spot next year?”

Eppler: “Um… I wouldn’t consider that likely, no.”

Thanks to The Yankees Universe for the find.

Hanging Chad

Thumbnail image for Posada Gaudin.jpgIn case you just haven’t gotten enough of the fifth starter drama in camp, it appears that whoever the Yankees’ “healthy discussions” yield as the top choice, it won’t be Chad Gaudin.

Gaudin has placed on waivers by the Yankees, according to an AOL Fanhouse report. If no one claims him, the Yankees could release him and pay a quarter of his $2.95 million salary ($737,500), or ship him to Triple-A and pay his full salary.

So, it appears that it’s down to four – Alfredo Aceves, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Sergio Mitre. If I had to put on my Carnac hat today and make a decision, I’d say that the Yankees are going to go with Hughes, which would not have been my prediction heading into camp.

I had thought Chamberlain was a near-lock, since they spent three years building him up for this opportunity to pitch without innings restrictions.

But that’s just a guess, anyway. Who’s your pick?

Handicapping the fifth starter race

Joe Girardi is planning on meeting for “healthy discussions” tomorrow about the fifth starter competition, and a decision appears to be coming up for Thursday or Friday at the latest.

“We’re going to discuss it in the next couple of days,” Girardi said. “We’ve got to start to iron some things out because we’re running out of innings and we’ve talked about wanting a decision to get the guys in the bullpen.”

It’s always possible that the Yankees could want to see a more starts from their contenders, especially Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, but it also stands to reason that – at this point – the Yankees know exactly what they have and don’t need any more data to sway their choices.

If that’s the case, then here are the resume bullet points for each of the five pitchers:

Alfredo Aceves, 28, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 1-1, 3.77 ERA in four games (two starts); 14.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 7 SO
  • 2009: Was 10-1 with one save and a 3.54 ERA in 43 appearances (one start).
  • Last outing: Charged with 5 ER in 4 1/3 IP vs. the Astros in Kissimmee.
  • Quote to note: “It’s part of the game. It’s baseball. You always keep
    the bad and the good things. You just fix it to the next game, those
    details. … I don’t want to use that word, ‘happy.’ But so far, it’s been a good Spring Training — for everybody.” – Aceves.

Joba Chamberlain, 24, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-0, 16.20 ERA in three games (one start); 6.2 IP, 10 H, 12 ER, 1 HR, 7 BB, 5 SO.
  • 2009: Was 9-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 32 appearances (31 starts).
  • Last outing: Allowed 2 ER in 5 IP vs. Yankees intrasquad in Tampa
  • Quote to note: “I’ve just been in a routine. It’s just one of
    those questions you’re faced with every day. It’s human nature when you
    get asked every day to think about it, so it’s just something where
    I’ve gone back to having fun. I’m just enjoying being out here, putting
    this uniform on and competing with these guys.”- Chamberlain.

Chad Gaudin, 27, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-3, 8.38 ERA in four games (two starts); 9.1 IP, 16 H, 9 ER, 2 HR, 5 BB, 5 SO. Has been placed on waivers by Yankees, according to a report.
  • 2009: Was 5-10 with a 4.76 ERA as a starter in 2009 with the Padres and Yankees
  • Last outing: Allowed 4 R (3 ER) in 2.1 IP vs. the Rays in Port Charlotte
  • Quote to note: “It’s not that I’m not competing, I’m trying to feel a rhythm. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not. It’s
    inconsistent. But [Friday], I didn’t get the job done. No excuses.”- Gaudin.

Phil Hughes, 23, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-2, 4.15 ERA in four games (one start); 13.0 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 5 HR, 2 BB, 10 SO.
  • 2009: Was 8-3 with three saves and a 3.03 ERA in 51 appearances (seven starts).
  • Last outing: Allowed 4 ER in 4.1 IP vs. the Phillies in Clearwater
  • Quote to note: “I’ve done all I can do. We’ll just have to see where
    they want to go from here. … I’ve kind of learned around here just to
    roll with the punches. What you say isn’t going to affect anything. You
    just have to go out and do the best you can, and see what decisions
    come from it.” – Hughes.

Sergio Mitre, 29, RHP

  • Grapefruit League: 0-0, 3.21 ERA in four games (two starts); 14.0 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 3 BB, 14 SO.
  • 2009: Was 3-3 with a 6.79 ERA in 12 appearances (nine starts)
  • Last outing: Allowed 2 R in 5 IP vs. the Rays in Port Charlotte
  • Quote to note: “I would think he’s probably pretty healed. He had the
    offseason to rest, and I think part of it is just the constant grind.
    Having the offseason, I think he’s probably where he’s going to be.
    It’s probably nice for him to feel much better after every start.” – Girardi.

Joba “back to having fun”

Here are some thoughts from Joba Chamberlain after his four innings of work today:

“I’m back to having fun, just embracing the challenge. That day off was good for me just to think about what I needed to do. I just went back out and attacked the zone and tried to stay positive.”

“That’s me, attacking the strike and being able to work on some things in certain counts. I just felt really aggressive. It’s one of those  things where once you feel it you continue to build from that. I think it’s a good thing from a mental aspect to build on.”

“These other guys are throwing the ball great. Pushing each other in the competition we have is going to make our team better. I’m going to fight with all my heart and everything I’ve got to try to win  that job and try to help this team win. That’s something that I want to do, to get that opportunity to hopefully not have innings restrictions, and we’ll go from there.”

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