What To Do With Joba

From John Harper:

Except all indications are that he will be back in the bullpen by then, as he has now accumulated 110 innings, which might leave him only a handful of starts before the Yankees put the brakes on him.
And with Chien-Ming Wang officially out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery yesterday, and Phil Hughes locked in as the eighth-inning setup man, the Yankees have few options to replace Chamberlain.

Harper goes on to suggest that Joba has a maximum of 50 innings left, and that the Yankees therefore need Roy Halladay to round out the playoff rotation. While I disagree with Harper on Halladay, as they really need a 3rd starter like Jarrod Washburn or a healthy Justin Duchscherer, he raises a fascinating question. What will the Yankees do with Joba Chamberlain?

I would be extremely shocked if they did not have Joba pitching in the postseason. That leaves two possibilities:

1) Let Joba throw regularly until he is about 15 innings short of his limit. This should take him to the start of September. At that point, replace him in the rotation with either Alfredo Aceves, Phil Hughes, or, if the Yankees make a trade and subsequently remove Mitre from the rotation, reinsert Mitre. Shut Joba down until the final week of the season, and then give him 5 innings out of the bullpen to keep him sharp. Then you have him in the bullpen for the playoffs, and the playoff rotation is CC, AJ, Pettitte, Aceves/Hughes/trade acquisition.

2) Start Joba once more and then move him to the bullpen until late September, replacing him with Hughes/Aceves/trade. Give him 3 starts at the end of the season to stretch out, and then start him i9n game 3 of the ALCS.

I think it depends on who they acquire at the deadline. If they add Washburn, I think they will feel comfortable starting him in a playoff game, and will move Joba to the bullpen once he nears his limit. If they cannot obtain a reliable starter, you may see them do something like option 2.

What do you think the Yankees should do with Joba?

0 thoughts on “What To Do With Joba

  1. Remind me again why he can’t pitch 180-200 innings this year? Assuming 10 more regular season starts and 3 playoff starts (hopefully) with an average of 6 innings would put him at 190.
    I really don’t see the Yankees trading for another top flight pitcher and our playoff rotation with be CC, AJ, Andy and Joba. With Hughes, Aceves, Coke and Mo the only relivers we will see in tight spots. Mitre would be long relief and Bruney, Albie or anyone else would hopefully never see the light of day.

    • The idea is that he can be this good for many years and he’s never thrown anywhere near 180-200 innings in a season. It’s a pretty well known fact that young pitchers who see their innings go up by 30 or more innings from their previous are huge injury risks and are many times never again the pitchers they once were.

  2. they outta skip his starts on offdays if absolute nessasary and limit him to no more than 100 pitches an inning they are making way to big a deal out of this innings dont hurt the arm only long laborous games with 110 in 5 innings do!!!!!!!!

  3. The smartest move is to get a Washburn type and then use him to skip joba’s starts every other time to keep his innings back and use him out of the pen in the playoffs but in a long relief role and not just one and done relief pitcher.
    Joe you can’t have him throw 200 innings this year because he only threw 100 innings total last year which would be an increase of 100 innings over a year period and with Kerry wood and Mark Prior and most recently Scott Kazmir as examples you should have learned your lesson on pushing young starters to hard. Joba has the potential to be another ace on our team to go along with CC and Burnett so making sure he is around for years to come is more important than this year! Kazmir’s velocity has been down this year and his ERA is out of control and last year he was the Rays ace but he pitched way more innings than he ever had before and it clearly hurt him this year. Do you want to trade Joba’s potential for a world series this year? I don’t and if you do I’m glad you aren’t Brian Cashman or Joe Girardi!

    • I see the innings thing now (I thought he threw like 120-130 last year). I think they should have been skipping his turn in the rotation (or push him a few days back) every time there was an off day. Its too late for that now, and I don’t really know what they expected. If they don’t trade for a top flight starter (and I don’t see it happening) I guess their best option is to flip flop Joba and Hughes roles (and maybe re-flip them come playoff time depending on how things pan out in late sept).

      • You don’t screw around with him until he start approaching his innings as you need to make sure he gets there so we don’t end up in this situation again next season.

  4. I would definitely say that you replace him in the rotation when he nears his innings limit with Hughes. At the same time, put Joba in the bullpen. This way, you put yourself in the best situation to win, don’t risk injury to Joba, and get Hughes the innings he needs.

  5. Greg the only way to stretch Hughes out would be to send him to triple and if you do that you lose his innings in the majors and waste him in the minors and if you don’t want to do that there is almost no way to stretch him out in time for the playoffs and not lose a bunch of games in the mean time. Hughes should stay in the pen for the rest of the year besides have you guys forgotten how bad Hughes had been in the rotation what makes you think a guy with a 5 ERA as a starter will be able to win playoff games going from throwing 95 to 89-92?

  6. I don’t understand why no one gets that most likely the playoff rotation will be Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte and whatever starter they trade for will pitch 4th if needed and both Hughes, Aceves and Joba will all be in the pen. Think abut how good a playoff pen that is if Pettitte struggles you can have 3 pitchers come out of the pen that could all throw 2 or 3 innings of scoreless relief and if you use one for 2 or 3 you still have two more the next game who can go 2 or 3 it set up perfect really. So I would totally expect hughes and Chamberlain in the pen come playoff time, on the more conventional side if Pettitte goes 6 then Joba, Hughes and Mo for the 7th, 8th and 9th.


  8. Larry that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard! Wang injured his foot running the bases and then because of his lack of velocity on his sinker ball he started throwing his slider more, however the reason he stopped throwing the slider a lot to begin with was because was constantly injuring his arm. Girardi had nothing to do with it Cashman had nothing to do with it so learn what you are talking about and learn what caps lock is. I don’t want to be rude but seriously that is a dumb statement and things like that make me mad because you have no reason or proof just a half ass idea.

    • Don’t mind him, he’s a 5 year old that likes to start flame wars.

      I don’t think you would have to worry about stretching Joba out before the playoffs start. It’s not like he’d be used to relieving or anything. Just start him every-other time down the stretch.

      Start him the 8th of August against Boston (off day takes care of any rotation juggling). Then start him again on the 18th against Oakland, 28th against the White Sox, 7th of Sept against TB, 19th against Seattle, 25th against Boston. Figure he gets about 6 innings a start and you’d end up having 146 innings pitched. If he’s not quite there, you can give him one of the last starts in the season and he’ll probably be somewhere 150-155. So there you go, you have your 4th starter in the ALCS. If you need him out of the pen during the ALDS you have him but you’d run a rotation of CC, AJ and Pettite. You’d only have to find a starter for about 4 or 5 starts if you skip him like that and most of those will be in September when you can bring a guy like Ivan Nova up for a cup of coffee.

      • Good shot Chris…it makes to much sense not to do something like that.
        I don’t like the thought of bouncing him from starter to BP and back again, as some would have them do…good way to hurt a guys arm.

    • Not at the expense of next season and all his other seasons down the road. If we end up with a postseason rotation of CC, AJ and Pettite with Hughes, Ace, Coke, Joba and Rivera in the bullpen, we’re gonna be looking pretty good.

  9. “Pitching a baseball is an unnatural motion and injury is a predictability with most players.” This statement is a proven fact.
    Over the years I have seen many pitchers go down with arm injuries, some we never hear of because they never made it out of high school/collage or the minors. Changing a pitcher from starter to BP to starter to BP etc., is a good way to exacerbate the problem.
    Let us not get carried away with this Joba thing, if the gods be willing, he has many years to be the go to guy for the Yanks. Let’s not shorten his expectations just to win this year. I have faith in the team making the right choice with him.