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Joba Chamberlain ready to fight for rotation spot

Jan 31, 2010, 11:40 AM EDT

Joba.jpgJoba Chamberlain told the New York Post that he will arrive in Tampa next week with the mindset of a starting pitcher:

“I’m going to go in and understand a lot of guys are fighting for that spot,” Chamberlain said after an autograph signing in New Rochelle in conjunction with Steiner Sports. “Nothing is guaranteed.”

The team has asked him to go into camp expecting to be a starter, but he’ll compete with Phil Hughes, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Chamberlain, 24, is a bit of a mystery after finishing 9-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 2009. His season took a turn for the worse after he was faced with the “Joba Rules” in the summer. He found himself in the bullpen during the postseason, posting a 2.84 ERA in 10 appearances while seeing an uptick in velocity. Hughes figures to be his biggest competition for the fifth spot, but we could see a different Joba this season, as those pesky innings limits are expected to be a thing of the past.

  1. Ken Perry - Jan 31, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    I think Joba can be an effective starter if given the chance to pitch normal innings which will keep him in a routine. I think all the bruh ha ha last year bred inconsistances.

  2. Char-in-Miami - Jan 31, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    as big a yankee fan as i am, my wish would be that joba be traded.
    he was ineffective during the season – whether or not because of the “joba rules” [which are/were ridiculous from the beginning]) or because he’s overweight or possibly because he’s a one trick pony or because he has an alcohol problem. i wish the yankees had traded him to toronto for halladay when they had the chance.
    i like hughes in the bullpen but would much rather see him in the regular lineup than joba.

  3. YankfanDean - Jan 31, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    I think that spring training is all well and good but real games are a better test.Should Joba win that 5th spot in spring training,they should stick with him,well into the regular season.He’s young,has a strong arm and has shown great promise.All he’s lacking,I believe,is more confidence and one way for him to gain more of it,is for the Yankees to stand behind him and let him stay in that 5th spot…

  4. gfd - Jan 31, 2010 at 2:19 PM

    Joba was rushed to the majors after only 81 innings in triple A. He in effect was training and developing up in the majors these last few yrs. This is his first full season without innings limits. lets see what he can do. Phil hasn’t got enough innings yet, so he’ll have Hughes rules!!
    I’m just thrilled Damon is gone, and Boras was smacked hard by Cashman. Damon was stupid to not see his market was drying up while he/Boeas/wife were talking junk to the press. He stuck to his overrated exalted opinion of himself, and Dsmon still HAS NO TEAM YET.
    For a guy that supposedly loves NY and wanted to stay, he really SHOWED IT WAS ABOUT SHOW ME THE MONEY, and I’ll stay!!

  5. Chris - Jan 31, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    he needs to keep his pitch limit down for starts. I’m not a fan of strict pitch count guidelines, but if he throws 110 pitches in 4 innings, there will be big problems.
    If he pitches to contact more, and picks & chooses points where he needs the strikeout, it might help him, but throwing 25 pitches per inning just doesn’t work.
    Personally, I think Hughes should develop into the 5th starter while Joba gets groomed to be the next closer after Rivera decides to call it a career. Sitting beside Mo for the next 2 or 3 years and learning from him can be invaluable.

  6. Old Gator - Jan 31, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    I don’t get it. I expect to see the Feesh ruin a kid like Andrew Miller by blindfolding him and asking him to cross the Palmetto Expressway at 4PM the way they pretty much did, bringing him up from Double-A as part of their usual strategy to pinch a couple of pennies here and there and avoid bringing in a veteran off the Rule-5 scrapheap for a few dollars more. But I expect the Borg to be a damned sight more sensible. They’ve jerked Joba around to the point that the once-kid doesn’t know which way the plate is anymore.
    Just give him a bottle of Off! and put him out there, and stop jerking with his head.

  7. AJ Gallo - Jan 31, 2010 at 7:32 PM

    I couldn’t agree more on all points. As a life-long and diehard Yankees fan, I too would have preferred that Joba be put in a package for Halladay. But maybe it’s just as well. The crying and whining from around the league would have just been unbelievable. However, having said that, as much as I would probably prefer him as a starter, I also hope Hughes stays in the pen. The whole bullpen came together beautifully last year when Hughes sucessfully took over the setup role. When he did that, the rest of the pen just fell into place. Whenever that sad day finally comes when Mo packs it in, Hughes or Joba could take over the closer role, whomever wins the job, with the other being the setup man.

  8. AJ Gallo - Jan 31, 2010 at 7:45 PM

    With all due respect, they’re paying Joba plenty to know exactly where the plate is no matter what they ask him to do and they’re paying him plenty to throw to whomever’s behind the plate and stop whining about who is the catcher……….like Burnett does……..

  9. Joe - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:41 AM

    OK, Now its coming into a new year. The Yankees should leave both Hughes and Chamberlain in the pen. Keep Hughes in the pen for one more year at least. Keep Chamberlain in the pen for good, he looks like the next closer for the Yankees if Robertson does not take it away from him. The Fifth spot in the rotation should go to Chad Gaudin, the reason he has a live arm and can go deep into the game. The fifth starter is not always used in the rotation and misses some starts. At these times he would get long relief duty. I would not put Hughes or Chamberlain into that as a fact it could throw off either with uneven outings, {see what happened with Chamberlain in the last half of 09′}. The Yankees so far have 3 shut down relievers for the 7th and 8th innings {need one more} and need two for long relief. Now with the starters the Yankees really did not need Halliday from the Jays {way to costly a pickup}. Yankees did very well in picking up Vasquez from the Braves. Although I liked Melky as a player the Yankees were not going to keep him after next year. Yankees are setting up a bid for Carl Crawford of the Rays for left field either this year during spring training {in trade if it can be done} or next year as a free agent. The Yankees and Rays have already talked about this as a trade and are waiting on spring training. The Rays want to see how things look on there team and what players on the Yankees can fill the needs they have. Yankees see it as its better to have the better fielding {pitchers ERA go down}, 15 to 20 homeruns, and 60 plus steals on the team a year early. The Rays see it as if he goes as a free agent, they only get a draft pick back. So why not eat into the Yankees farm system for 4 or 5 players that can come and help out. Outside of that I would have liked the Yankees to sign Jerry Hairston jr. and Mark DeRosa for backup positions. Also it might have been good to pick up Rick Ankiel as extra outfielder and spot lefty relief {one out at a time}. But as you all know, all 3 signed with other teams. I just hope AJ Burnett pitches better this coming year.

  10. Joe - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:57 AM

    Added to #9 above; With Vasquez the Yankees got a pitcher who was 4th in voting for the National League Cy Young vote for 2009. Also by the way during his first tour with the Yankees Vasquez was hurt the second part of the year. First part of year he was an all-star selection.As it stands the Yankees; CC Sabathia, J Vasquez, A Pettitte, AJ Burnett, and Chad Gaudin. Thats a killer line up. Chad Gaudin is a good pitcher and has been for a while on past teams that were not that good at the times. This team has a chance at 114 wins if it gets off to a good start.

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