Aug 22, 2007

In defense of the Joba Laws

Pete Abraham is dead on. That Joba is even helping the Yanks this year is a huge bonus, and therefore should not be abused.

There are a pack of folks who want the “Joba Rules” suspended and for Joba Chamberlain to become the Native American Jeff Nelson and pitch whenever needed.

Two words for you: Cole Hamels. Philadelphia’s prized rookie is headed to the MRI tube tomorrow because of a sore elbow. The Phillies are praying it’s not a torn ligament.

The Phillies deserve no breaks, however. Hamels threw 35 innings in 2005 because of a hand and back injuries. Yet he was allowed to throw 181.1 innings in 2006 and 167.1 this season. Oh, by the way, he’s 23.

Two more words for you: Kerry Wood. Do I need to go on? Research has shown that young pitchers who add more than 30 or 40 innings from one season to the next tend to suffer more arm injuries.

Chamberlain had arm trouble at Nebraska in 2006 that limited him to 89.1 innings. He then signed late and didn’t pitch pro ball until going to the winter league in Hawaii in October, four months after he had last pitched in college. He picked up 37 innings there.

So far this season he has thrown 95.1 innings. The Yankees want to cap him around 130 before the playoffs. This is also the first time in his life that he has been worked as a reliever, so they are making sure he gets enough rest between appearances.

I understand that as fans you want the Yankees to win as many games as they can. But do you want them to have a 22-year-old starter who can win 15 games next season? Because that’s what Chamberlain could well be.

Or you can be waiting for news of his MRI.

Look at Chamberlain this way: any innings he pitches are a bonus. This is a kid who was on the disabled list for Class A Tampa when the season started with a sore hamstring. It’s a great story that he’s blowing away big-league hitters. But it’ll be a better story if he’s starting the third game of the season next April, not chilling in the Legends Field trainers room with Carl Pavano.

By the way, I can't recall a single hitter this year making contact with his slider. I think Kevin Millar grounded out on a curve (it had more 12-6 action and was only 81 mph), so assuming that was not a slider, no batter has has touched his slider. Wow...


Buffalo Sports Dude said...

It's a bonus just to have him throwing an inning every 3rd game? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. He is taking up an important roster spot on a team with a mediocre bullpen in the middle of a division and wildcard race. He is a detriment to the team if he is taking up an important bullpen spot from someone that can pitch 4 or 5 innings a week. Instead of throwing the rookie in the Yanks had to used an important set up man, Vizcaino will he now be available tonight or this weekend? Oh but Joba is riding the pine getting fans excited for next year. They are the Yankees who cares about next year when it is still this year.

Travis G. said...

first off, it's not an inning every 3rd game, it's every other game.

and one of the biggest reasons the pen is mediocre as opposed to bad IS the presence of Joba. that important roster spot you speak of, who would you rather have it? Karstens, Igawa, Bruney, Beam, Veras? The only guy you could make an argument for is Britton, and is if Britton is called up, the two logical choices to go down are Villone and Henn. Are you honestly saying you'd rather have Villone or Henn over Joba?

Who cares about next year? I do, as does Cashman. The dynasty Yanks of 96-01 were built on homegrown talent, e.g. Jeter, Pettitte, Mo, Posada, Bernie, etc. Since then they've focused more on FAs and trades. Hughes and Joba are the future of the franchise. their arms must be protected, and joba is near his innings cap so that's why he became a reliever for the rest of 07. even if we miss the playoffs this year, I'll feel VERY confident about the next 10. would you give that up just to bring up a 'rubber arm' that Torre can burn? Notice this is the first time i've even mentioned Torre's bullpen usage. that in itself has to be restricted from on high with an arm like Joba's. remember quantrill, gordon, sturtze, proctor? joba can be better than any of them.