Fro Bryan Hoch (MLB):
In Chamberlain’s lone inning of work on Saturday, two Minnesota Twins rounded the bases on three hits, hardly a convincing sales job for those still not believing he is best suited for work as a starting pitcher. But Chamberlain shrugged, knowing that he kept some of his best stuff in the holster.
“It’s Spring Training — that’s what it’s here for,” Chamberlain said. “You establish your fastball early. These guys are good enough that if they see you pitch the same guy twice in a row when you get ahead of them, they’re going to know what’s coming.”
Chamberlain threw 22 pitches, and all but three were four-seam fastballs — he dropped in two changeups and snapped off a lonely slider to make up the rest of the inning. The results weren’t pretty, but the Yankees were OK with it.
“All the guys are trying to build arm strength, so we’re trying to stress to throw a lot of fastballs early,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We saw what we wanted to see. It’s just a step to building a starter.”
Chamberlain’s next start will come on Thursday against the Canada entry in the World Baseball Classic, intended to be a two-inning affair that should allow him to open up the repertoire more. But he still plans to live and die with the fastball until camp goes deep into next month.
“It’s just a mentality,” Chamberlain said. “As a power guy, you’ve got to limit your pitches and try to beat them with fastballs — not try to beat them with the other stuff.”
I know a few folks out there may be worried about today’s outing, simply because it’s the wunderkind, Joba Chamberlain. But, remember, it’s also only spring training — this is all part of the process.