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Did Joba Chamberlain just lose his job?

Jul 27, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

Joe Girardi has never been a Tony La Russa kind of guy, putting relievers in and yanking them out, playing the matchups and all that jazz. Mariano Rivera is his closer. Joba Chamberlain is his setup guy. Everyone else comes in as needed.

So it seems like a notable thing that Joba Chamberlain didn’t get the call in the eighth inning last night in a close game.  Instead, after Javier Vazquez waked Michael Brantley to lead off the inning, Girardi went with Dave Robertson to face Asdrubal Cabrera and Boone Logan to face Shin-Soo Choo. Robertson induced a double play and Logan struck out Choo.

So, did Joba lose his job as the Yankees’ setup guy?  Girardi isn’t having it:

“I don’t want to start a thing, ‘who’s our eighth inning guy?’ . . . I’m not saying that I’m handing it over to Joba every time we go into the eighth. I’m going to look at things. I mean, that’s my job. I liked the matchup of Robertson against Cabrera. And I liked Boone against Choo.”

Which makes some sense. Simply giving Joba a night off after a series of shaky appearances makes sense too.  But this is New York, kiddos, and nothing is ever this simple, no managers’ explanation ever taken at face value. The Yankees are cruising right now — which is kind of boring — and as soon as A-Rod hits his 600th homer, the beat guys are going to need some red meat on which to chew.

Whether he meant to or not, Joe Girardi just gave them some in the form of Joba Chamberlain.

  1. BC - Jul 27, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    If the Yankees get Soria, you won’t see Joba pitch again. Unless its with Kansas City.

  2. Ditto65 - Jul 27, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Red meat? I hear FAT TOAD tastes like chicken.

  3. aschwartz - Jul 27, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    I hope they keep him in the spot.
    I would love to see Longo smack him around in the 8th if the Rays are down. Hey anything you can get before Mo comes in is big. I can’t believe how good he is at 40….I might hate the Spankees but I have crazy respect for him.

  4. Old Gator - Jul 27, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Maybe the Fat Toad finally met his hog-nosed snake.
    Just trying to keep the herpetological metaphor reasonably consistent, you know?

  5. YankeesfanLen - Jul 27, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Some of this can also be ascribed to Joe Girardi’s growth as a Yankees manager. For example, Nick Johnson was no doubt foisted on the team because “they need a DH”. When he was gone, the mix-and-match could be used to save Posada, since an adequate replacement was on hand, ARod, Jeter, and a periodic walk-in. This has worked extremely well.
    Maybe we really can work around Andy’s 6 to 8 missing starts, granted it would work more smoothly if Aceves can get back. Moseley looked great on Saturday, so he gets the Thursday start.
    When we look at the eighth match-ups make a good degree of sense.
    If someone is left out, it’s business, it’s not personal.
    See? No venom.
    Happy 35th ARod.

  6. kyle s - Jul 27, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    i used to play in a band called boone against choo

  7. YANKEES1996 - Jul 27, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    If Girardi and the Yankees were down on Joba I think offering him for Haren would not have been such a hard decision and Haren would have been pitching for us. Joba has struggled over his last few games but I think Girardi was only resting him and perhaps sending a message. The right starting pitcher coming to the Bronx may see the departure of Joba but I really don’t see it happening, the right starting pitcher is not available.

  8. Nic Geerz - Jul 27, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    JOBA needs to stop drinking all night .. fat cornhusker gotta get his sgit together

  9. Old Gator - Jul 27, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    Charlie Partanna: Ya mean ya wan’ me to whack my own wife?
    Charlie’s dad: It’s business Charlie. Just business.
    ….Prizzi’s Honor

  10. BigBBFan - Jul 27, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    “Joba has struggled over the past few games”. What is your definition of few? If it 25 to 30 games then you are right it is a “few”.

  11. BigBBFan - Jul 27, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    “Joba has struggled over the past few games”. What is your definition of few? If it 25 to 30 games then you are right it is a “few”.

  12. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jul 27, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    which of these numbers stands out to you?
    Chamberlain (’10)
    9.99 K/9
    3.61 BB/9
    .399 BABIP (!)
    61.1 LOB% (left on base %) (!)
    3.01 FIP
    His peripherals look great, but his problem has been an unsustainably high BABIP (his LD%, GB% and FB% are all similar to career norms), an absurd 2.4% IFFB%, and terrible LOB% (i think the average for starters is in the low 70s, and for relievers in the 80s). Essentially hitters are getting very lucky on hits, and when they get on they are scoring.
    let’s give the kid some time.

  13. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Jul 27, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Oh, and I’m trying to find the post but having trouble remembering the exact wording, so if any other RAB guys are reading maybe they can help. But I believe about 3 months into the season, Joba had given up exactly zero IFFB’s, zero! A guy who throws low to mid 90s, occasionally touching high with a great slider couldn’t induce one infield fly ball? Amazing

  14. Md23Rewls - Jul 27, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    You can tell a lot of things from stats these days, but stats still don’t show (as far as I know) the quality of pitches, and when you’re hanging sliders and missing location on fastball, it sort of seems reasonable that your “luck” is going to be worse off, simply because the batter has a better chance of putting the ball somewhere that will hurt you. So yeah, maybe luck plays a part in it, and Chamberlain’s not as bad as his ERA indicates, but he has a tendency to miss on his pitches, and that’s why he’s getting hit. In a sense, he causes his own bad luck.

  15. Pisano - Jul 27, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    I pray to God KC would take that Fat Toad . He’s not fooling anyone anymore . He’s lost the move on his fastball , and his breaking pitches are hanging . It’s time for the Yankees to move him. What good is he to them ? he comes in and immediately gets in trouble . Give KC the Toad , and a blue chip minor leaguer for Soria. You can kill two birds with one stone. One you get rid of the Toad , and two you have Mo’s replacement in a couple years . Think about it !

  16. Cantankerous - Jul 27, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Jerry Manuel has been desperate for an 8th inning guy, pleading with management to get him one. Because, you know, that’s why they’re not winning games.

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