Results tagged ‘ Joba Chamberlain ’
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.
In case you missed it, this was a major piece of discussion before Friday’s game, when the Yankees outlined several aspects of why a change had to be being made.
So maybe it’s a good time to try and briefly recap what we know of these mysterious Joba Rules, 2009 edition:
– The old way wasn’t working. Giving him extra days of rest to combat this innings limit down the stretch appeared to have some benefits at first, but Chamberlain was 1-2 with a 8.55 ERA in the four starts that followed. The last straw was Tuesday vs. Texas, when he gave back a 4-0 lead and lost.
“It looked like it was working great,” Joe Girardi said. “He came out of
the break and was lights out. But we think that a change needed to be
– It’s the innings, not the starts. While the Yankees continue to keep this plan secretive for their own reasons, what we have established is that Chamberlain’s innings limit for 2009 is somewhere in the ballpark of 160 innings.
Generally speaking, the pitch count isn’t nearly as important, as they think a big league pitcher averages out to a 15-20 pitch inning over the course of a season — you have your quick ones and your long ones.
Girardi said that 180 is a “danger” zone, which is more than they’ve revealed about their thinking all year. Look, the Yankees don’t want Chamberlain to be their blown-out version of Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen and Paul Wilson rolled into one. I can’t blame them for being overly cautious. He’s not disposable goods.
So while the Yankees knew they couldn’t do anything with that innings limit, the way they were going to reach it is adjustable. Instead of giving him extra days, Joba will just have shorter starts for a little bit but start every fifth game.
– What about the bullpen? Is it good to use Alfredo Aceves for three innings and 32 pitches? Well, in the short term, it’s not great. But the Yankees have reinforcements coming on Tuesday as rosters expand to 40 players, and they’ll be getting bullpen help.
Sergio Mitre’s status throws a wrinkle into this that we hadn’t seen before – otherwise, you could also lean on Chad Gaudin for the backup.
If the Yankees were up by 1 1/2 games in the American League East, by the way, they wouldn’t be fooling around with this. That’s one other important point. They have a little luxury here.
- Building back up for October. One of the keys Girardi talked about was that Chamberlain must be built back up to throw 100 to 110 pitches by the end of September, so he can start in the playoffs. That tells you he won’t be turning in these three inning starts for long — not if the Yankees are expecting he’ll be ready to go seven strong innings in the postseason.
It’s a silly exercise to map out starts a month in advance, because the rotation can change, there can be rainouts, injuries, etc. Even though the Yankees didn’t pull Chamberlain because of his 35 pitches today, let’s roughly plot out that you can safely boost a pitcher by 15 or so pitches per start, Spring Training style.
Whatever the case, Sept. 4 at Toronto should give him 50 pitches to play with. If my math is right, four turns through the rotation (65, 80, 95) and Chamberlain can already be up to 110 if needed, which would fall right about the time of the last homestand of the season.
It’s frustrating to Joba; he wants to pitch and be let loose. But he understands and seems to be on board. It might work better than having him pitch on eight days rest.
“I’ve learned to be very patient over the three years that I’ve been
here,” Chamberlain said. “The Joba Rules are still going strong. I
still see the T-shirts every once in a while. But it’s better. It’s
going to make everything better in the long run.”
Chamberlain will now pitch every fifth day in the rotation for the rest of the season but the Yankees will be cutting short his starts on a predetermined basis in the very near future, leaving him unable to qualify for victories in some cases — think four innings — and keeping him under his innings limit (believed to be 160). Having bullpen reinforcements beginning Sept. 1 will help this.
Then, as September comes to a close, his innings will be bumped back up so he will be capable to throw 100 pitches. Chamberlain said that he is happy about the move, which Joe Girardi had been talking about with Dave Eiland and Brian Cashman this week. Chamberlain was told about it this afternoon at the Stadium.
“It’s going to be something that’s good for all of us,” Chamberlain said.
There has been no official announcement yet, but there are indications that Joe Girardi is thinking about shuffling the deck in his pitching rotation and having Joba Chamberlain pitch this weekend after all.
CC Sabathia’s eight innings last night helped give the bullpen a night off and decrease the importance of having both Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin start games in this series.
Girardi is going to meet with the media at 6:30 p.m. ET and we should have word on a decision – if any – shortly after that.
More Joba talk today at the Stadium, where Joe Girardi revealed that Chamberlain will be making his next start Wednesday in Oakland. From there, who knows? Chamberlain will presumably pitch on regular rest at times this season, and on extended rest at other times. He’s already exceeded his professional career high by nine innings, and will end this season — and, presumably, postseason — in dangerous territory no matter how much the Yankees rest him.
Speaking of rest, Mark Teixeira has an off-day in the finale against the Blue Jays. Expect A-Rod and Derek Jeter to get similar treatment over the next few days.
As we talked about yesterday, you can follow along with me during today’s game on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. Bryan Hoch will be back Thursday, live from Seattle.
BLUE JAYS (54-58)
Pitching: Ricky Romero (10-5, 3.66)
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Hideki Matsui DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Eric Hinske RF
Melky Cabrera CF
Pitching: A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.67)
Hey there baseball fans, Anthony DiComo filling in for Bryan Hoch at the Stadium. Great night for a game, with Joba Chamberlain set to start, just like he does once every five days.
Err, yeah, about that. Chamberlain actually won’t be starting Sunday, according to Joe Girardi’s sheepish half-acknowledgment before the game. More than likely, Chad Gaudin will make a spot start in Seattle, giving Chamberlain an extra day or two to keep his innings total down. We’ll probably be seeing this regularly from the Yankees down the stretch until the playoffs, when all bets are off.
If you’d like more updates during the game, feel free to follow along with me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. Or, if you just want the lineups (and who wouldn’t?), check ‘em out below:
BLUE JAYS (54-57)
Pitching: Scott Richmond (6-6, 3.97)
Pitching: Joba Chamberlain (8-3, 3.73)
NOTES: Just a routine day off for Nick Swisher, who should be back in the lineup tomorrow … Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter all have similar off days in the works … the Yankees held their second kangaroo court of the season prior to Tuesday’s game, with Judge Rivera presiding over a three-man jury and handing out fines for a variety of light-hearted transgressions. The Yankees have plans to donate portions of the money collected to charity.
The Yankees had Day 2 of HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere and Excel) on Tuesday, heading to Greenwich Village to meet with Tom Ellenson – a sixth-grader with cerebral palsy who has been named the ‘Most Valuable Person’ of his league champion A’s team.
Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain and Kevin Long all headed to J.J. Walker Field to conduct a rally and clinic. Tom may not be able to take the field during games, but he has been as much a part of the team as anyone. Introducing the Yankees at the clinic, Tom recited his rallying cry: “We play as one, we win as one!”
As the A’s ‘MVP,’ Tom’s responsibilities include keeping score, programming the lineup into his computer for printouts, playing music that would inspire the team to victory and leading the roster onto the field for each game. The story was an inspiration for the Yankees.
“I’m a parent and I’ve got four kids, so my kids have been off to Little League,” Pettitte said. “Just to see him whenever the kids come around him, how excited he gets and how much these kids love him, he’s a part of the team. It’s just a great story. If your heart can’t be touched by something like this, you don’t have a heart.”
Before Tuesday’s game, the A’s handed the ball one by one down from the mound, where Tom delivered it to the Yankees waiting at home plate.
The Yankees have announced that X-rays taken on Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain’s right knee were negative. Officially, he is listed with a bruised right knee.
Chamberlain left his start in the first inning on Thursday after being struck with a line drive. The right-hander started his evening against the Orioles with a strikeout of Brian Roberts before Adam Jones drilled a hard line drive back up the middle, striking him near the right knee.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi and trainer Gene Monahan attended to Chamberlain on the field and initially allowed him to stay in the game after several warmup pitches.
Chamberlain then allowed a single to Nick Markakis and another hit to Aubrey Huff before Girardi and Monahan returned to the field, removing Chamberlain. He was relieved by right-hander Alfredo Aceves, who threw 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Mike Mussina was in the clubhouse as a visitor here today. He’s in Tampa on vacation with his family and very happily retired. He was wearing an ESPN cap and a Ford Mustang t-shirt, and told CC Sabathia to keep his locker. Too bad the Mussina window has disappeared, replaced by a large circle ‘NY’ logo.
A sweaty Andy Pettitte hugged Mussina, and Joe Girardi asked Mussina if he’d get dressed or throw out the first pitch. Mussina said no to both. Phil Coke dropped by and Moose thanked him for the outs he recorded in wins No. 19 and No. 20 last year.
“You guys can keeping moving,” Mussina said. “I’ve got to live in this moment for a while.”
Chris Dickerson CF
Alex Gonzalez SS
Jay Bruce RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Kevin Barker 1B
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Lance Nix LF
Ryan Hanigan C
Wes Bankston DH
Nick Masset RHP
NEW YORK YANKEES
Brett Gardner CF
Johnny Damon LF
Xavier Nady RF
Hideki Matsui DH
Cody Ransom 3B
Jose Molina C
Juan Miranda 1B
Angel Berroa SS
Ramiro Pena 2B
Joba Chamberlain RHP
UPDATE 6:24 p.m.: Yes, it’s early, but the Yankees are watching Chamberlain closely in this start. Girardi said that the fifth starter’s job is Joba’s to lose, but they need to see improvement over his first two starts – especially the aborted five-batter outing against Team Canada. Chamberlain has been working on his mechanics, including one exercise where he threw a ‘dry’ bullpen with a towel.
UPDATE 6:40 p.m.: Brian Cashman said earlier that he is “not optimistic” about trading for a third baseman to fill in for A-Rod. Until further notice, Cody Ransom, it’s yours to lose.
“I’m not going to be proactive in trying to do something,” Cashman said. “If something presents itself that makes sense, which is not realistic, then maybe it will be somebody different. I think our answer is here in camp.”
Final score, Twins 7, Yankees 3. Some short notes for you:
– Alex Rodriguez isn’t talking like a guy who plans to meet with MLB investigators on Sunday. His name remains on the travel roster for the game against the Reds in Sarasota and he said he plans to be on the 9 a.m. bus. We’ll see. Seems likely that A-Rod could be a last-second scratch from that sheet.
– Don’t fret just yet over Joba Chamberlain’s rough inning here today. He was throwing all four-seam fastballs, and when you fire a 2-0 heater down the pipe to Delmon Young, an RBI double is a predictable result. Joba said he threw two changeups and one slider in the whole frame. For Feb. 28, he did enough. Next up for him: Team Canada on March 5.
– CC Sabathia will throw a simulated game tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. I’ll hang back and give it a look – Joe Girardi said he would as well. The Yankees are trying to limit Sabathia’s innings in the spring whenever possible because, you know, he’s thrown a ton.
– Jorge Posada will throw on Monday, Girardi said, and could resume DHing soon after that. I know the panic button needs to be pushed with every Yankees injury, especially a player as significant as Posada. But Posada himself did not seem too worried at all about this, and he’s never been exactly the world’s best actor in masking his true feelings. Brian Cashman told me that they had to have a 4-on-1 discussion just to talk Posada out of playing today.
– Hideki Matsui is running on dirt and anxiously awaiting Gene Monahan’s signal to turn him loose. Matsui needs to just be able to make the turns on the bases without soreness and could be cleared to DH late next week. Girardi said he had to corral Matsui and get him out of the outfield today. (On an unrelated note, I think I may have cut Matsui off today on Boy Scout Boulevard. Oops.)