Joba the bust?

Just one day before the Yankees flew out to the West Coast for a three-game set at Angels Stadium, YES Network broadcasters David Cone and Ken Singleton had a conversation about a somewhat undervalued pitching statistic while calling a Yankees-Twins game at the Metrodome.

Cone made the point that the earned run average commonly used to measure a pitcher’s effectiveness versus batters can be deceptive in assessing his overall performance unless his unearned average is also factored in over an extended period. If a pitcher shows a tendency  to give up unearned runs after a fielder commits errors behind him, it isn’t reflected in his ERA. But, those runs count nonetheless — as do the losses to which they may lead. Cone added that a high number of unearned runs over a season, or a career, may show a flaw in the pitcher’s makeup

Singleton agreed with Cone, adding that as a player with the Baltimore Orioles, he had a good idea which pitchers on his team’s staff would give up runs after a fielding error, and which ones would hang tough, pick up his team, and get out of the inning without letting the opposition score.

joba325_071109.jpgAs the Yankees veered toward a 10-6 loss to the Angels on Friday night after their starter Joba Chamberlain blew a four-run lead, Singleton recalled that conversation, mentioning that the 23-year-old righty had the highest unearned run average in the Yankees starting rotation.
Chamberlain’s problems began with a thorny 29-pitch second inning in which he issued a walk, wild pitch and allowed two hits to give up his first run of the game. He’d had trouble putting away batters from the beginning of that frame, when the first Angels hitter at the plate, outfielder Juan Rivera, singled to center after a five-pitch at-bat. Joba then managed to induce a flyball out to first baseman Kendry Morales in two pitches. But he would issue a five-pitch walk to the next batter while Rivera took second on the wild pitch. Gary Matthews would then single and score Rivera after an eight-pitch at-bat. Two batters and nine pitches later, Chamberlain would at last notch his third out of the inning and leave the mound relatively unscathed, having given up only the one earned run.

But, his remaining 3 1/3 innings were a struggle against an Angels lineup that was without its key offensive players, the injured Torii Hunter and Vladimir Guerrero. The box score shows Chamberlain went through a scoreless third inning in 14 pitches, allowing only a single to infield Maicer Itsuris. It does not show that his first recorded out came on a hard-hit liner by Chone Figgins that fortunately wound up in Robinson Cano’s glove. It does not show that his second out was a flyball off the bat of Bobby Abreu that nearly went into the stands for a two-run homer. It does not show that the score could easily have been 4-3, or even 4-4 before Chamberlain left the mound.

It also doesn’t reveal that only an exceptional inning-ending play by Cano saved two runs from scoring in the fourth inning.

Of course, box scores are often deceptive. All pitchers rely on solid fielding and a little luck to make their final lines look better than they otherwise might be. But the good ones capitalize on the defensive plays behind them, the line drives that rocket directly into a fielder’s glove. The good ones know how to win.

In the fourth inning of Friday night’s game, Chamberlain crumbled over the course of throwing 26 pitches. After he surrendered a run on a single to Figgins, who would then steal second,  there would be another stolen base behind him, and later a throwing error by Alex Rodriguez that put two men on base with one out.
 
As Kendry Morales prepared to take the mound, manager Joe Girardi left the dugout to encourage Chamberlain.
 
“Just get the hitter,” Girardi said. “Let’s make sure we concentrate on the hitter and not get caught up with anything else.”

Chamberlain’s next pitch was a hanging curveball that left the park to tie the score at 5-5. A volley of celebratory home-run fireworks later, Angels designated hitter Mike Napoli doubled off Chamberlain, who’d fallen behind him 2-0 in the count. That ended Chamberlain’s outing as he was replaced by Scranton call-up Mark Melancon and the Yankees’ night continued to unravel.
 
This is how Chamberlain evaluated his performance after the loss:  “I’ve come up against some good ballclubs. There’s really nothing else to say. I threw all four pitches for strikes. They just hit the mistakes. That’s what they’re supposed to do.”

Chamberlain would contend that he made “great” pitches throughout the game, including the one that Figgins hit for a leadoff single in the fifth. “It was my pitch that he hit, and you gotta tip your cap to him,” he said.

And the pitch Morales knocked out to center for his mammoth home run?

“Kendry swung the bat well. It was a curveball for a strike, a little up, but it was something we felt confident in throwing it, and he put a good swing on it.”

We felt confident? Chamberlain’s use of the first-person plural was presumably meant to refer to himself and his battery mate, catcher Jose Molina. But it wasn’t Molina who left that hanger over the plate.

Asked if he thought his pitching in that disastrous fifth was different than it had been in preceding innings, Chamberlain replied in the negative. “Not at all,” he said, noting only that the slider Abreu nearly hit for a homer in the third was also “a little up.” A moment later, he would insist to reporters that he’d pitched well overall. “Other than that we were in and out all day, up and down, so it was good,” he said.

Chamberlain would talk about putting the game behind him, learning from his mistakes, continuing to grow. It is a familiar run of baseball clichés that he has readily used when pressed about his struggles, even as he’s become visibly ruffled by suggestions that his performance this season has been disappointing.

And as to those mistakes — has he learned from them?

Chamberlain has only one win in April, one in May, and two in June. Chamberlain allowed 12 walks and 24 hits over the 22 1/2 innings he pitched in May, averaging four innings and change per game over his starts. Over his six June starts Chamberlain gave up 15 walks and 33 hits while averaging 5.8 innings per game. In July, as his ERA has climbed above 4.00, he’s not yet gotten past the fifth inning in either of his two starts.
 
More significantly, Chamberlain’s mound appearances have taken on an awful sameness characterized by his falling behind batters to rack up high pitch counts, failing to recover from errors committed behind him, and ultimately leaving games to be decided by the Yankee bullpen while contributing to its depletion.

“At the end of the day, we got the second half to get better,” he said near the conclusion of his post-game interview.

We, again.  The Yankees began Friday night tied with the Red Sox for first place in their division. They had gone 7-2 in the month of July for a .778 winning percentage, and were a season-high 17 games over .500.

That’s a team that’s collectively done pretty darned well of late.

Perhaps, then, Chamberlain ought to start using the singular “I” when speaking of his own failures. There is something insufferable about his inability to take responsibility for them.
 
“This is not a guy that’s been horrible. Going into tonight he had an ERA of around four,” manager Joe Girardi would say in Chamberlain’s defense after the game. Girardi will always take pains to avoid publicly embarrassing his players.

But Chamberlain’s ERA has bee
n a transparent mask for his deficiencies. Simply put, the numbers lie in his case. And lie dramatically.

The equity Chamberlain once gained as a reliever is long since spent with Yankee fans. Gone are the days of Chamberlain throwing at speeds in the high 90 mile-per-hour range. His velocity is now average, his fastballs lack movement, and the speed differential between his fastball and breaking pitches has leveled off to make the latter less effective. For fans, watching him pitch is a nerve-wracking, arduous test of patience. One can only surmise what it must be like for his manager and teammates.

Unfortunately Chien-Ming Wang’s injury, just as he showed signs of a return to his past winning form, has complicated matters for the Yankees. Already short a starter, they cannot now remove Chamberlain from the rotation, even should they be so inclined.
So, what can be done?

For one thing, the Yankee organization, from the front office to his coaches, must hold Chamberlain accountable for his subpar and poor performances. It can only be hoped that Chamberlain’s self-assessments reflect a young ballplayer’s pride and bravado speaking before throngs of reporters and cameras, and not a real and profound blindness to his own shortcomings. If Chamberlain truly believes he’s been getting better, something is disturbingly wrong with his perspective.
 
This should not be considered an indictment of Joba Chamberlain, but a reasoned appeal to the Yankee organization. They must evaluate what they have with him over the long and short term, and then decide how to proceed moving on. Because there are undeniable signs that Chamberlain is not at all what they once thought they had, and may be rapidly turning into something they cannot live with.
 
Which is to say, a liability. 

29 Comments

Amen to all the above Jerome. The kid has to be told his attitude is not helping his pitching at all. He has become nothing but an average pitcher and I for one have taken it for granted that when he pitches it means a loss to the team. Girardi better wake up before it’s too late. That tiresome “he’s only a 23 year old kid” is just that, tiresome! Another thing I can’t understand is why did they get Eric Hinske if they are not playing him? He’s worked all corners of the in and outfield and I’m sure he would be a better 3rd base player than Cody Ransom when A-Rod needs a day off. As much as I like the kid, he is another youngster that’s hurting the team. I spend more time shaking my head in disbelief watching the game yesterday and actually for the first time in a long time I turned the TV off. On an upbeat note, I really enjoy reading your columns. Thanks for sharing.

One thing I don’t understand is Girardi’s attitude toward Wong when he said “He’s got to produce, this is not a developmental league” … yet with Joba he keeps throwing the same old inexperienced line… well, if he’s just 23 maybe he needs some more seasoning in the minors. Unfortunately what Joba needs he’s not going to get, and that is a good Billy Martin @$$ chewing or a catcher of Thurman Munson’s character to straighten him out! By the way, while I am on here… the Yankees need a couple of corner outfielders and there’s one in Oakland (Holliday) that they need to go and get. Surely a good GM could pull it off.

Joba has been a bust as a starter, he usually doesn’t last past the 5th inning. For the most part he is usually pitching with a lead and then proceeds to give it back. He walks too many batters and he doesn’t last through the 5th. inning. His stuff isn’t what is once was as a reliever. It is time to have Huges replace him in the starting rotation. Joba belongs back in the pen. If the Yankees have a problem with Huges not being built as a starting pitcher have him take Joba’s turn pitch up to 5 innings and have Joba relieve him. Eventually Huges will have pitched enough to be a full-time starting pitcher.

The Yankee’s Organization must realized that Chamberlain has become a nuisance to our pitching squad and team. He must be sent back as a middle reliever or better he may be traded with a couple of other players for a good pitcher as long as anyone may think that he someday will be a “good” pitcher. Also, you should put Bruney in the disable list. Bruney is not well. Therefore, with Chien and Bruney in the disable list and Chamberlain going back to the bullpen, you must get two new starters, either by making a negotiation with another club or by bringing one from our minor club like Mitre. I strongly believe that Hughes must stay in the bullpen as he is now. This way we will have the best bullpen in the majors and this system will assure us the championship. GO YANKS!

Joba needs to go back to the bullpen where he can get away with throwing two pitches. Hughes needs to be the fifth starter- unfortunately, he would have to go back to Scranton to get stretched back out, and the yanks can’t afford to loose him for any period of time. Personally, I’ve lost patience with Joba- he doesn’t seem to learn anything from his mistakes.

Joba has shown he’s extremely immature. Too much sucess early has caused a big head. Giradi should stop coddiling this big baby. I think he has the stuff to be good, but if he does’nt mature and stop making excuses for his bad outings, he will fail. Actually a demotion to the minors is probably the right step, although the Yanks wont do that. My words of advice. GROW UP JOBA

JP, I feel this is one of your better pieces with great insight and interpretation of meaningful obscure stats. When you play for the Yankees, on the world’s biggest stage, you are subject to intense scrutiny, especially in light of the expectations Joba brought upon his situation with such an impressive rookie year. Maybe he needs a little Phil Hughes treatment–look how well he has responded.

JP, here’s my take on this. Girardi seems to be managing (if we choose to be that generous in our descriptive terminology) as if the Yankees are an NPO. Uh uh. They are a business, and are in business, to make money. They make the greatest profits, generally speaking, when they win. With where Joba is in his development as a starting pitcher, right now, I would have to say that my most optimistic hope would be that, if he starts turning himself around now, it will take him until the end of the season, to become a dependable, tough pitcher. THE YANKEES CAN’T WAIT THAT LONG. If they give him that much more time, to become the pitcher they need him to be, they will simply be taking too great a risk of missing the playoffs again. To me, the smart business decision here, is to immediately switch Hughes and Joba. Sure, Hughes needs to build his stamina back up – but I’ll bet that right now, he can last as long as Joba has been managing to stay in games. By switching now, Joba is put in a position where, if he screws up, he can more quickly and easily be replaced by someone else in the bullpen. If he gets back to where he once was, we have an asset. If he can’t, that’s life. We trade him, and maybe he succeeds elsewhere, as Kenny Rogers did.

Well said.
I’m confused as to why Girardi and the rest of the Yankee front office are so willing to give Joba a pass when last year, when Ian Kennedy had the same kinds of issues along with the same kinds of responses after his games, was sent down to the minors never to be heard from again for the rest of the season.

Jerome, I have been a huge yankees fan longer than you have manage to show your true colors with obscure logic and distant impartiality…. I am so sad at times of being a part of a core of fans that is so often so unfair and spoil, like my own team’s cirlce of daily cry babies and wimps… The team is being playing phenomenal ball, the bullpen has turn the season around and look pretty good, the starting rotation is beginning to finnally yell… uh, but every time something begins to go a little bad, here comes the circle of crying negative and exasperating yankee fans like you, Jerome… News flash… Not all YANKEE fans are like you boys !!!!! We love to win, we love our tradition, and we absolutely relish in our team’s history. But we don’t think, we have to find scape goats every time things go south… or figure we can fix our imperfections with insinuations and flat out twarted perceptions of the dark crystal ball many of that circle of pesimist always drag our fan base into… this same cirlce of fans that I guarantee you, in high rows, wanted Joe torre out of NY at the end of every year after every fail post season… the EXACT SAME group. I can not say that Joba can not improve and even take a couple of starts off, so he can understand he needs to step it up and maybe rest his arm somewhat… Maybe his personal life is being a little rough on this kid this year… or maybe He is not what WE…. not him… WE made up to be. I am sure this whole group that oppose his getting a shot as a starter from the beginning would have to be happy he is struglling this year. Great group of human beings, try dealing with your personal hard times and not let it affect your life… it isn’t that easy fellows… it is reality. Jerome must know this… But I don’t want to throw dirt on people, I love my yankees. and I am for once I am proud to see of our own get a shot to start for change… Where were all this self righteous circle of whynners when Brian Cashman destroy our farm systems during the last 12 years…. Were has your anger being… Were was it when he backstabbed torre as he departed ???? and how about it, when instead of bringing a general manager who care about building from withing like Stick Michael, the Yankees decided to extend Cashman contract for his “”great talents as a scout” rather than hold him responsable for the sad affair of our farm system success…. dead last in baseball in the last 10 years… now there is some raw fresh meat for all of those of you, circle of insane hiennas… have some fun… and start the feast… Me I will go back to support my team like Jetter, and Gerardi do, not defend them… but support them, maybe just maybe we do not have a superstar in every position…. !!!!OH my GOD… what a concept… Jerome, look deep inside before and maybe you would cut this imperfect kid a little slack… maybe he is not a starter after all, but if He dream to be that and not a set up man, I am willing to give him a shot at the american dream in the greatest american baseball team in history.

Fuego, I’ve probably been a fan as long or longer than you. 1 saw my first Yankee game on tv in 1957. I was 6.
Frankly, I think it’s time that Yankee fans face up to one important fact. This is a rebuilding time. We’re not going to win the World Series for at least 2 to 3 more years, or even get to it. Accept that and we can forego all this ridiculous whining, complaining, yelling for Girardi’s head…etc.
CC and AJ are just now getting accustomed to being Yankees. It tooK Clemens a full year to get to his peak here. Joba has at least a year of seasoning, same with Hughes. They have to be allowed to fail in order to succeed in the end. Aceves, Melencon, Bruney, Coke, are all good players. They need to be able to grow (except for Bruney who needs to rehab in AAA for a while) without being under the strain of having to pitch perfectly every time they go out.
Gardner is doing very well under a lot of pressure. We’ll have Ajax up soon, as well as Romine.
I see another dynasty being built, but if we try to force it’s development by insisting they win now, it’s going to fail.

Beautifully reasoned and oh, so apt. I dread the Joba days and was thankful Wang went back on the DL. Bruney clearly needs to be there,too. That’s too bad because he had worked so hard and came into the season looking and performing GREAT! When Joba started shaking off everything Posada signalled, I knew we had a kid with a head that had gotten so big he couldn’t get his pitching arm past it. Girardi had better come down on him or management may come down on Girardi. He can call Swisher down in front of a baseball stadium for skipping in the outfield; why can’t he call down the Big Baby in the privacy of his office. If the kid is too sensitive, or more likely, bullheaded, to take criticism, he’s not much use. And Hughes in the bullpen has been great, but we’re getting to the point where that’s a luxury with Pettit having his “last year in the BG’s” blues. I’m 70 and hoped to see another Yankees Series winning team but question if this is the year. And I’ve got you beat, 60 year fan. Had to listen on the radio; we couldn’t even get TV out in the sticks of Kansas.

Lots of comments on this, thank you all. For some reason, half have disappeared this morning, which stinks, but I’ll try to address some of the missing as best I can. 60yearfan . . . I love hearing from people who started out listening to baseball on the radio, especially out in far-flung places. There is something magical about that to me . . . Oldschoolyank, I agree strongly with you, and others that Chamberlain appears to be doing worse for being coddled and needs some tough-minded baseball people–i.e. his GM, manager and coaches– to set him straight . . . Crobinson3, you’ve hit it on the head. Can you imagine Billy Martin talking about the young man being only twenty-three and lamenting that everyone’s being tough on him? Or what choice words of advice Munson would have for Joba while he was shaking him off time after time while walking the ballpark? . . . Someone (in one of the presently vanished comments) pointed out the disparity between Girardi’s “this is not a developmental league” comments about Wang vs. his acting as public apologist for Chamberlain, and that’s a very good observation . . . Ladytoni, I hope Hinske forced his way into more playing time in the outfield yesterday, because you are oh so right about him as well as about Joba . . . Fuego1062, I find it interesting how you emphasize that you’re above dishing dirt and then proceed to sling it left and right. That said, I’m not holding any grudges, so here’s my response: First, Chamberlain has at a very young age already achieved the American dream in a way most people never will–he is a member of the New York Yankees. But, I re-emphasize, he is young and raw and at a crossroads in his career, maybe in life. I don’t know what is or isn’t going on with him personally. We’re all human and we all have to get through tough times, but not all of us are accorded the privileges Chamberlain has while struggling through them–but that’s beside the point, I don’t want to conjecture here, so let’s stay focused. The truth is that baseball history is marked with innumerable players who failed to reach their promise for a variety of reasons, and that Chamberlain is, again, at a juncture where people around him who are supposed to have wisdom must see that he doesn’t become one of those failures. Second, and more basically, baseball is a team sport. If Phil Hughes–a high-level prospect before Joba even entered the scene– can uncomplainingly move into the bullpen, and Derek Jeter can bat leadoff, and Johnny Damon relinquish the same leadoff role that made him a star player and valuable commodity his entire career, and Alex Rodriguez play third base when he was formerly the game’s premier shortstop–and the great Mariano Rivera become a closer when he’d dreamed of becoming a starter–then I think Joba Chamberlain can and should do whatever is required of him to help the team win. Finally, you’ll note that I’m not even necessarily advocating putting Chamberlain in the ‘pen at this stage. At this point, I’m not sure what can be done to repair him and maximize his effectiveness– all I know that the current course is quickly leading downhill. And about my “distant impartiality” . . . I kinda doubt anyone whose been reading this column for any length of time would ever accuse me of that.

w

Haven’t we heard this kind of talk before? Let’s see, oh I remember it was Ian Kennedy and where is Ian now? Joba needs to be sent down to SWB asap to get back in the groove hopefully. If not send him down the road, along with Andy. We need pitching not excuses. Giardi needs to start coaching and less looking at his so called play book. Oh Joey, by the way quit coddling these so called hot shot pitchers, as it’s not doing one bit of good. I think YES needs to tell their announcers to just call the game because every time they tell us how great a pitcher is doing he falls flat on his face. Robertson, Coke, Bruney, Andy, etc, etc…..I agree whole heartly with the 60 year Yankee fan as I am also a 60 year Yankee fan. Most of these blogs on this are excellant!!!!

JP, Well said all the way through. I am one to agree that The Yanks have to do something with Joba, weather it is the pen or AAA. Not so much due to his pitching but for his own mind. He is a kid that needs to be dealt that way, like the way Joe benched Cano last year.

fuego, well said comments but the only difference between you and I as far as being Yankee fans is age, as I appear to be a decade or two younger. Other than that it is unfair to devalue the rest of us as fans and how we view our team we love. Joba has the makeup to be a great pitcher, bottom line. He is not however in the right mindset, so yes, people do tend to want to try and fix the issue from the outside. The problem with being Yankee fans is we are used to winning, expect winning and expect the tradition to be upheld by the players that put on pinstripes. Joba has had issues and one has to wonder how much of it is creeping into his head and thus into his game. He continues to not listen to the advice of Jorge shaking off pitches at a rate that would make the richter scale go off the chart. A rookie starting pitcher he has yet to prove he is able to really control his game. I know I am repeating in a sense what you said and have to agree with fl-Yankfan who posted after you. Joba is not the only issue with the team but he is a part of the issue. I think as fans we are ready to pick apart anyone we can because we are the most demanding fans out there. I think part of the issue is not so much against Joba as we all have an idea where he can take his game; it is that he is in the throes of a early pennant race and just is not performing both mentally and physically. What bothers me is that he is still being allowed to struggle in the present role instead of being used where he can actually contribute, learn, work at his game and get his head on straight. it is not as a starter, not this year. This plan has failed and it is high time to move on with him in the pen ASAP and reconsider his starting role next year. His attitude stinks like a lot of other kids his age and as others in this blog and even outside this blog with my own group of friends believe that Billy Martin would have not stood for any of this. I had hoped Joe Girardi would have been more like Billy was but am seeing more and more of Joe Torre than Billy Martin.

JP- Thanks for the blog. As usual great comments by all!

Kevin in Tampa.

Bottom line….Joba is best in the pen by grooming him to be Mo’s replacement. Hughes is a starter – have the same patience you have shown Joba with Hughes and he will produce. Trade for another starter, i.e. Holladay. Give up Jackson, Melky, Cody, Robertson, and some other minor league pitcher. Get this deal done and the Yanks will win the next 4 to 5 World Series just like they did in 90’s….PERIOD!

the real issue is where is the 98 mph fastball. if it’s gone forever, then Joba will never be more than an average pitcher unless he perfects location or gains movement on his fastball. Someone should be working with him to find that fastball. if it turns out it only exists for an inning or so, then that’s the obvious answer. if it lost forever then, he still should be put in the pen to see whether it might come back with rest. Best move however is to ship him with melky or jackson to Toronto for Halladay. Oh and yes, it’s time to stretch Hughes out. Girardi’s continuation of having an “eight inning” guy is just not right. no eighth inning guy is a great pitcher or makes a lot of money. The yankees eight inning guy has to be groomed to replace mariano and that will be a great pitcher with a great attitude about relieving…..and that should have been Chamberlain.

Joba’s pitching problems are not a question of his mindset…, his velocity is going south with no movement; his endurance is not compatible with the one that a starter needs and so on. This is a situation that should be analized by asking ourselves: where Joba can do a better job and one that can help the team win? I’am 100% sure that if Joba comes from the pen he will recover his velocity and his confidence. We can refer to Hughes as an example. This is the only way that Joba will not hurt the team and will help our team to have the best bullpen with Hughes, Mariano etc.. The Yankees need to bring Mitre and go to the market and get another pitcher. There are to many good teams fighting for the wild card position. If don’t move promptly there will be no playoff this year for us. There is no time for whining comments, this is the moment to think and make your movements like in a chess game, yes, think, make your mental movements in advance, foresee the results and act, otherwise it will be to late.

Great article, and many good comments. As much as anyone i blame the Yankees “brainless trust” for the Joba problems. When he first arrived he was an intimidating, fearless, almost unhittable pitcher throwing 96-99 mph, with a nasty slider. First we had the idiot Cashman and his “Joba rules.” What a joke. Has any other franchise had “Nolan (Ryan) rules!” How about “Bob (Gibson)’rules!” Or any of a hundred other guys “rules!” Even if they did, they wouldn’t announce it to their opponents.

They jerked Joba around like a yo yo. We heard the truly ludicrous “Joba will be our Beckett” rhetoric. Beckett was doing quite well at age 23, and his age was not needed as an excuse for his failures. So Joba wants to be a starter. So what, I want to be an astronaut, but understand it ain’t happening for dozens of reasons.

Mariano has been arguably the most valuable Yankee over his Hall of Fame career. He has been instrumental in more than 500 wins, and numerous holds when he set up for Wettland. That means he impacts 30-45 wins a year. If a starter averages 15-18 wins a year he’s near the top of the heap. Joba has started 17 games and and won 4, or one win for every four starts. In those 17 starts he has pitched 89 innings, or a fraction over 5 innings per start. No starter is going to win 15-18 games pitching 5 innings per start!

This year Joba has been more Ian Kennedylike, than Beckett like! I cannot believe that he is respected by many, or most of his team mates. Girardi is his enabler, continuing to make excuses for his continuing failures. The stubborness of Girardi, and Cashman in refusing to use Joba where he belongs, in relief would almost certainly cost both their jobs if anyone in top management was actually a knowledgeable baseball man rather than accountants!

Yankee management insistsin doing everhything backeards. Joba should be in the pen, and Hughes a starter. Pena and Cervelli should be in the bigs, while Cody Ransom with his .170 BA, and iron glove, and the lumbering Molina should be traded (if anyone would want them) or DFA.

I suggested then, and repeat, the debacle against the Red Sox in 2004 would be the start of a longtime slide for this very expensive, old, fragile, overpaid, underperfroming team! You simply do not make the playoffs with Joba and Pettitte in the rotation.

You know folks, you are all right in a sense. His velocity is down, his mind is not where it needs to be, he is acting like a little spoiled kid that needs to have his hand slapped, all the above. I agree something needs ot be done with him. Something more than what the Yankees have done, or not done. If that means not coddling him anymore, demoting him to the pen or AAA, miss a few starts…I do not know. A good talking to is not doing the trick, if the Yankees are even doing that much.

tmoschetti-I love your plan as I agree with the second to last paragraph 100%, but not sure with option and all that if it is even possible. I also do not know who would even want Cody or Molina.

I also think it is time to give Hinskie more playing time over Swisher.

Later!

Great take Jerome.

What the problem is here is that Joba has been coddled since he came up. He CANNOT take criticism, and therefore Girardi doesn’t dish it out. Truth is, this guy should be in the minor leagues to learn how to pitch IF they are going to make him a starter. I can guarantee you this….there isn’t another pitcher who the Yankees would be so patient and nurturing with….not one.

There are a LOT of people who say….(as Girardi does)….’Hey….he’s only 23. Give him time’. OK….so a lot of these people think this kid is a potential ACE of the Yankee staff. Well let’s compare him to Roger Clemens when he came up. Clemens started off as a fireballer and never looked back. That certainly isn’t the road Joba is on. Clemens was throwing 96 to 98 from innning one. Not Joba. Nolan Ryan was the same way. Chamberlain could carry the jock straps of those guys. PERIOD.

When the Yankees took Joba out of the setup man role, they stripped him of his effectiveness….and some of this blame HAS to be laid on the doorstep of Dave Eiland. he’s the guy telling Joba to ease off so he can pace himself. Well, that isn’t how this kid works. When he can let it all hang out, then he is effective. When he comes in late in the game, to get the ball to Mo, he can let it RIP, and THAT is where he is most effective. THEN he can throw 98 to 100. Why? Because he only has to do it for an inning!!

My vote is to send Joba DOWN to the minors and get him prepared to come back as the setup man for Mo. To me, he is the heir apparent to the CLOSER throne that Mariano will someday have to step down from. His ‘starter’ experiment is a BUST. He doesn’t have the makeup to do it, that is clear. The Yankee brass needs to realize that they have made a mistake and correct it. Bring up a worthy starter from AAA, because he can’t do any worse than Chamberlain has so far, and get Chamberlain down to the minors before his confidence is completely ruined and then the Yanks will TRULY have nothing.

Great take Jerome.

What the problem is here is that Joba has been coddled since he came up. He CANNOT take criticism, and therefore Girardi doesn’t dish it out. Truth is, this guy should be in the minor leagues to learn how to pitch IF they are going to make him a starter. I can guarantee you this….there isn’t another pitcher who the Yankees would be so patient and nurturing with….not one.

There are a LOT of people who say….(as Girardi does)….’Hey….he’s only 23. Give him time’. OK….so a lot of these people think this kid is a potential ACE of the Yankee staff. Well let’s compare him to Roger Clemens when he came up. Clemens started off as a fireballer and never looked back. That certainly isn’t the road Joba is on. Clemens was throwing 96 to 98 from innning one. Not Joba. Nolan Ryan was the same way. Chamberlain could carry the jock straps of those guys. PERIOD.

When the Yankees took Joba out of the setup man role, they stripped him of his effectiveness….and some of this blame HAS to be laid on the doorstep of Dave Eiland. he’s the guy telling Joba to ease off so he can pace himself. Well, that isn’t how this kid works. When he can let it all hang out, then he is effective. When he comes in late in the game, to get the ball to Mo, he can let it RIP, and THAT is where he is most effective. THEN he can throw 98 to 100. Why? Because he only has to do it for an inning!!

My vote is to send Joba DOWN to the minors and get him prepared to come back as the setup man for Mo. To me, he is the heir apparent to the CLOSER throne that Mariano will someday have to step down from. His ‘starter’ experiment is a BUST. He doesn’t have the makeup to do it, that is clear. The Yankee brass needs to realize that they have made a mistake and correct it. Bring up a worthy starter from AAA, because he can’t do any worse than Chamberlain has so far, and get Chamberlain down to the minors before his confidence is completely ruined and then the Yanks will TRULY have nothing.

i really cant take Joba pirching anymore. he is a big lug,
super immature, and cant see the forest thru the trees.
he is killing the team, and he is all out for himself. send him down to the minors already, he does not belong in the big
leagues. and waht the hell is DAve Eiland to straighten him
out?? this guy was a medicore pictcher in his day, how the
hell did he land this job as pitching coach??? Giradi needs to go, too. how in the name of God can you win ballgames
with mekly in left, garner in center??? how do you take
posada’s bat out of the lineup??? molina is good, but he sucks at hitting. get me out of here……

Bigz1137, I was surprised not to see Posada in the lineup today, and reading not too deeply between the lines, so was John Flaherty. Molina’s arm aside, I would not have gone without Posada’s bat in a game the Yanks really needed. But that’s done, and so is the series.

Now that the Yanks have kindly left us all in such a wonderful, wonderful mood heading into the All Star break, I’ll try to put and commentary aside, for a few days and try to post a true story here about my wife, a homeless man, and a Yankee cap . . . some things can only happen in New York City . . . .

The Yankees do not have the chance to represent the American League if they don’t make three (3) changes after the all star break.
(1) Joba is not a starter. He is a great set up man in late innings. He must be removed as a starting pitcher.

(2) Joe Giradi must take the bull by the horns when his starter isn’t having a good day and take them out before the game gets out of hand. He sometimes rminds me of Torre in that respect. Francona has the upper hand in this category. He doesn’t wait around just because someone is a big time name.

(3) Either move Acedeves to the starting position or pick up Roy Hallady. If these three areas are not addressed then the Yankees will not beat Boston this year or have a chance to win the American League Pennant.

Hello laddjasper. I don’t think the Yanks can afford to get Halladay. I think it would deplete the team’s blue chippers (like maybe an Austin Jackson and that Montero kid who is the great catching prospect)…not to mention a few front line players. I say the Yanks wait until Halladay becomes a free agent and THEN see what his value is.

I agree with you about Joba. Get him back in the setup role where he has already shown he belongs. He’s a bust as a starter….that is clear as a bell.

I think Aceves is really best suited to the long relief role he has been playing. He’s 5-2 in that role. A lot of it was mopping up for Joba. I think the Yanks could bring up a starter from the minors and he would give them more than what Joba has given. Even Brett Tomko could surpass that.

I say get Hughes back in the minors to stretch him out and then put him back in the rotation….move Joba to the pen…and maybe bring up Kei Igawa for another shot. (7-3 with a 3.65 ERA)…Or Sergio Mitre (3-1 with a 2.40 ERA) Both could give the Yanks more length than Joba is right now.

Let’s face it….Joba is throwing about 100 pitches in less than 5 innings. His games are PAINFUL to watch…we just sit in front of the TV and wait for him to implode, because we KNOW it’s coming. The kid has value, just not as a starter. The Yankee Brass needs to acknowledge the mistake and CORRECT it. Chamberlain is useless in his current role, and the Yanks NEED a starter!!

You would think putting Joba back in the bullpen is a good idea. But I think it may be too late. With half a year as a very unsuccessful starter, Joba has lost his MoJo. The fear of him as a hard throwing pitcher is GONE!!!!!!!!!! He scares no one!!! He should be used as trade bait, perhaps for Doc Halliday, or anyone who can give you some solid innings and a chance to WIN!!!!!! Frankly, I can’t watch the games he pitches, the same goes for Pettite. When they pitch the game never goes smooth, never a 123 inning, just painfully hard baseball to watch. Please Joe Girardi our someone from the Yankees organization listen to your fans, and do something, make some changes. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sick of Joe, saying “I like our team” bla, bla, bla. We can’t beat the Red Sox now or in the playoffs, they have better pitching and clutch hitting, they are just a better team all around!

finally.

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