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Joba Chamberlain is closing in on a rehab assignment

Jul 7, 2012, 2:01 PM EDT

Joba Chamberlain Reuters Reuters

When Joba Chamberlain first dislocated his right ankle back in March, he was considered a long shot to pitch this season. However, it’s now a realistic possibility that he could rejoin the Yankees’ bullpen within the next few weeks.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger yesterday that Chamberlain could begin a minor league rehab assignment as soon as Tuesday. The 26-year-old right-hander threw a simulated game yesterday and should be cleared for a rehab stint if he makes it through a bullpen session tomorrow with no issues.

Chamberlain would likely need most of his 30-day rehab window to get tuned up for a return to the majors, but Girardi hasn’t dismissed the possibility that he could be activated sooner. He hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery last June.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 7, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    At 26, he has not fulfilled the great expectations placed on him. Now he is possible trade bait.

    • bigharold - Jul 7, 2012 at 3:44 PM

      Or, he could be Rivera’s replacement.

      Chamberlain’s reputation seems to be held against him more than any other player I can think of. Him being over hyped isn’t his fault and as you point out he’s 26, .. way too early to throw him overboard.

      If there is a player the Yankees really need I’d get it but that doesn’t seem to be the case. trading away young pitchers is never a good idea. And, if Chamberlain comes back to near where he was before he got hurt he better than most of the guys currently in the Yankee pen. If he comes back to as good or better than could well be Rivera’s replacement in a coupe of years. He has the talent and the make up for it.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 7, 2012 at 4:18 PM

      speak for your own team proudly, guy has been solid coming out of the bullpen and will be a much welcome addition to what already is a solid bullpen. Hope you are enjoying your team sitting in last place as i predicted, at least i know im loving it

  2. deathmonkey41 - Jul 7, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Nee Joba no badda.

  3. pisano - Jul 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    The problem with Joba’s return is what are the Yankees going to get. I don’t ever see him as a closer, as he’s never had that consistent command that a closer has to have. A seventh or eighth inning man, yes I can see that.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 7, 2012 at 8:11 PM

      How about a decent mid-rotation starter? Because that’s what he was for the two years the Yankees let him start, even with being jerked all over the place by the Rules. Use him to lengthen the bullpen in September/October, sure, but next year option him to AA/AAA, stretch him out and let him focus on being a starter without any distractions. By leaving him in the minors you’d be pushing back his third year of arbitration to 2014. His raise over the $1.675M he’s making this year is going to be very modest given that he’ll have barely pitched in two and a half years in the majors. Suddenly, you’re looking at filling a rotation spot for $2-3 million, pretty important when you’re trying to sneak under the luxury tax threshold.

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