Showing Patience With Joba

I noticed this little list in the comments section over at RAB, and thought it provided a solid illustration of why Yankees fans need to have patience with Joba Chamberlain:

Minor League Innings:
Neimann – 372.0
Wade Davis – 767.1
Shields – 554.1
Garza – 307.0
Price – 144.0
Kazmir – 251.2
Joba – 88.1
Hughes – 330.0
Lincecum – 62.2 (FREAK!)
King Felix – 306.1
Doc – 638.0
Verlander – 118.2
CC – 246.2
Beckett – 216.1
Buchholz – 443.1
Lester – 483.2Greinke – 285.2
Wainwright – 793.0
Jurrjens – 502.2
Carpenter – 601.0
Haren – 474.2

Most of these pitchers saw substantial time in the minor leagues, where they honed their craft against increasingly superior hitters and learned the art of pitching. I like the idea of a stellar talent such as Chamberlain learning on the MLB level. However, doing so requires the fans to show patience and understanding, traits that are generally not the hallmarks of your garden variety baseball nut. Chamberlain came to the majors and experienced immediate success, and never really learned how to pitch through adversity. Fans got used to “good Joba,” and have therefore become exceedingly frustrated with “wildly inconsistent Joba.” Yet Joba needs to experience this failure if he is to grow as a pitcher.

Furthermore, there are some positives to take from 2009. He has exceeded his previous career high in innings by a substantial amount and has remained healthy. Until he crossed his previous career high, he had actually been quite effective (ERA of 3.58). Does that mean he should pitch in the playoffs if he does not merit the slot over his last two starts? Certainly not. It does mean that as fans, it would behoove us to show a bit more patience with Joba.

0 thoughts on “Showing Patience With Joba

  1. Tampa Yankee

    Moshe, I am honored that you used this. I always enjoy reading your posts. Keep up the good work…

    • Moshe Mandel

      It was a great bit of info, really puts things in perspective. Thanks for compiling it.

  2. PagsRagsSaxFan

    Excellent piece of info. I wonder how the Texas Ranger staff stacks up against this list as well. Clearly the Yanks could have kept Joba in the Minors a lot longer but think of the wealth of experience he is getting in the Big Leagues. Also from Joba’s perspective his “Fee AgentClock” has started sooner than it would have if the Yanks took the same route as the Rays with Price (Start the Season in the Minors). In the long run it will be a Win Win for all involved (except for Yankee Fandom who can’t wait to see Joba dominate as a starter). Keep up the good work!

    • The other Chris H

      Well it actually could be a lose lose if he is never able to get back to a dominate performer because his growth was stunted and/or he loses confidence in himself.

  3. Jon

    Interesting. Maybe it also explains some of his off the field immaturity as well.

    • The other Chris H

      That can be explained by being 22 years old…

  4. [...] know many are turned off by Joba’s inconsistencies, however, as Moshe over at TYU reminds us, we often forget about Joba’s youth and lack of experience. The development process should [...]

  5. Byron

    Thanks for putting things into perspective.

    ..though, the skeptic in me would want to see some innings counts of young pitchers who started out strong, and then flamed out. i believe joba will be great for years to come, and I think this is a good way to look at things, i’m just wondering how strong an indicator it really is.

  6. The other Chris H

    It’s amazing Doc got so many innings so young, and he actually says that he believes it had nothing to do with him getting injured and in fact believes he was healthier because of his minor league innings. He blamed his problems on his “off the field activities”.