Yes, seriously, Mike Silva asked that question:
If you compare both players in their first full season of just starting it looks like this:
Ponson: 4.71 ERA, 1.5 WHIP, 99 ERA+, and FIP of 5.39
Chamberlain: 4.75 ERA, 1.5 WHIP, 90 ERA+, and FIP of 4.82
To be fair Ponson never had Joba’s success in the minors, but he was also younger than Chamberlain when thrown into the rotation. From a build standpoint they are both around 6?1 and weigh 230 pounds. Big boys that probably could afford to get into better shape. I will leave the off the field troubles out of the comparison.
Well, that is the end of this conversation, as Joba is clearly no better than Ponson and therefore should certainly be included in a Roy Halladay deal. Of course, a look in the comments also found the following:
In his first full season starting, Greg Maddux had a 5.61 ERA in his first full season starting with a 4.50 FIP and a handful peripherals (K/9, K/BB, WHIP) that were worse than Chamberlain’s.
Well, that settles it. Ponson=Joba>Maddux. Or……….Mike Silva is warping information as he usually does to try and fit his point (I really hate coming off so harsh, but Silva has done this for a while now and does not get called out on it enough). You can find plenty of players who had similar first years to Chamberlain and conclude Player X>Joba. The key is to look past those meaningless comparisons and try to analyze whether the player has the underlying talent necessary to succeed. I believe Chamberlain does, and I fully respect those that believe he does not and should be traded. But meaningless comparisons to Sidney Ponson do nothing to further that conversation.