Results tagged ‘ Joba Chamberlain ’
Curtis Granderson got to exchange hugs and pleasantries with his old Tigers teammates yesterday, and Johnny Damon quipped about his old Yankees buddies secretly missing him as New York and Detroit met for the first time this spring.
It was all feel-good in the sunshine, except for Joba Chamberlain, who may be slipping a touch in the race to be the Yankees’ No. 5 starter. Perhaps Chamberlain is still battling the after-effects of a nasty case of the flu, which he spoke about after the game, but in any event the numbers didn’t look pretty in our writeup:
Chamberlain’s Spring Training ERA sits at 27.00 after he gave up six
runs on five hits and three walks over 2 1/3 innings on Wednesday, but Hughes stepped in and allowed a solo home run among three hits, striking out two and walking none over 2 2/3 innings.
Just for comparison, the New York Post declared that Joba will be facing the biggest Spring Training game of his young career when he faces the Astros on Tuesday.
The positive spin from the Yankees’ perspective is that there is still time for Chamberlain, Hughes and even the other competitors to make their ultimate impression. Girardi said early in camp that he wanted to have a fifth starter picked out by about March 25 or so, making this the official two-week warning for the races.
- Love this quote from Granderson -“On my iPhone, one of my bookmarks is still the Tigers’ Web site. There’s no reason for me to delete it.” I need to ask him if he’s reading Yankees.com too.
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.
Some closing thoughts from Bright House Field, where the Phillies defeated the Yankees with two runs in the ninth inning off Wilkins Arias…
- Nick Johnson is well aware of what the public perception is of his injury problems, and he grinned widely when somebody brought up how – no matter how trivial this back tweak might be – the bottom scroll on the TV news is still going to say that Johnson was scratched with a stiff lower back, and someone will inevitably say, ‘Here we go again.’
“It won’t be too long,” he said. “I’m not really worried about that.”
- Joe Girardi was mentioning how under conditions on a day like today, sometimes the ball can feel a little bit slick – perhaps a hint to not put all that much stock in the pitching. This may not get much sympathy from those of you up north, but some of the Yankees were feeling the chill out in that left-field bullpen. Put it this way – at first pitch, it was 49 degrees. Phillies.com’s Todd Zolecki checked the weather for Philadelphia at the same time and it was 40 degrees. So basically we could have played this one at Citizens Bank Park, as long as they cleared the snow.
- Girardi mentioned Zach McAllister (scoreless fourth), Ivan Nova (scoreless fifth) and Boone Logan (scoreless 1 1/3 innings) under the heading of “a lot of good things.”
- Roy Halladay should wind up being a pretty good deal for the Phillies. 24 pitches, 21 strikes. Girardi said, “He doesn’t change much, that’s for sure.” The Yankees saw him five times out of 18 games against the Blue Jays in 2009 and should be doing handsprings now that the good Doc has departed the American League East.
- Girardi’s message for tomorrow, when Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain will both pitch against the Rays: “No one’s going to be our fifth starter the first time through the rotation. It doesn’t happen that way. They’re going to be competitive, there’s no doubt about it. We’ll watch them closely, but all these guys need to get their arm strength back. Just try not to overthrow tomorrow. Try to stay within yourself.”
Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes offered a group of eight Yankees batters a combined 64 pitches to look at on Friday, and while that wasn’t enough for either of them to gain a percentage point in this great little battle we’re calling a fifth-starter’s race, it certainly gave you something to watch about on a sunny but cool afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Both pitchers are working on the usual stuff like command, secondary pitches and strength at this point in the campaign, but the Grapefruit League is already upon us next week and it’s certainly not too early to begin looking at human beings in the box.
“It’s still just preparation,” Joe Girardi said. “We don’t want them to try to do too much right now. They’re just preparing for their starts.”
What was Jorge Posada looking at? Well, against Chamberlain he watched a nasty slider buzz his back ankle, and in catching Hughes he saw a pitcher who is developing his own mound presence. Either way, Posada liked what he saw.
“Obviously, right now it’s too early,” Posada said. “But you still want to see all that, how they handle themselves. … They have grown in a good way, both of them. Both of them, you saw it in ’07 with Joba and Phil last year, the way they have grown. You see a lot of good things. You see what the scouts were talking about, how they handle themselves.”
Posada said that Hughes stepped up in the second half last year and showed a lot of maturity in adjusting to being bounced to the bullpen, and offered raves for Chamberlain’s mental approach in tackling the last year of the Joba Rules.
“Joba had no idea what was going to happen with him,” Posada said. “It’s tough to deal with that, it really is. He has handled it real well, not knowing what’s going to happen with the Joba Rules. The pitching coach telling him, ‘You’ve got 20 pitches,’ before an inning starts.
“That’s tough to do, it really is. You can’t pitch like that – ask any of the veterans. He has handled it real well.”
- Confirmed by Dave Eiland – CC Sabathia throws a bullpen tomorrow, with A.J. Burnett throwing Monday, Andy Pettitte Tuesday and Javier Vazquez on Wednesday. Mariano Rivera and Damaso Marte throw their first sides on Monday.
- The Yankees will use the DH rule on March 4, March 12, March 17 and March 20.
- Saw Hector Noesi shyly walk up to Derek Jeter and ask him to sign a baseball in the clubhouse. Noesi tucked it on the top shelf of his locker for safe-keeping.
- Bombers bits: The Yankees plan to use both Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson in left field and center field when Grapefruit League games begin on March 3, looking to evaluate comfort levels. They do not anticipate a scenario where Granderson would not be in center field when Gardner is not playing. … Girardi said that outfielder Jamie Hoffmann’s Rule 5 status will not affect his chances to make the team. “Maybe in some other camps, it might work one way or another, but here we’re going to take what we feel gives us the best team,” he said. …The Yankees will have a team outing on March 2, similar to last year’s billiards tournament.