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Joba Chamberlain thinks he can start

Feb 26, 2013, 3:35 PM EDT

New York Yankees Photo Day Getty Images

A couple of years back one of the hottest controversies around was whether Joba Chamberlain should be a starter or a reliever. The thinking of many was that he had amazing stuff and a history of starting in the minors so why not make him a starter?  Others, enamored with his initial callup as a lights-out reliever in 2007 thought that you had to make him a reliever and maybe, eventually, the heir to Mariano Rivera‘s job as closer.

The Yankees went back and forth on the matter. Which is a nice way of saying Chamberlain was jerked around. Eventually, however, injuries and inconsistency left him in the pen, seemingly to stay. And seemingly to everyone’s contentment.

But maybe not Chamberlain’s. Because today he told Mark Feinsand of the Daily News that he would like to start:

“This is probably going to spark a bunch of stuff and (Yankees PR director Jason) Zillo is going to be mad at me, but it’s one of those things where it’s like, do you think you have the capability to start? Yes. Do I have four pitches that I can throw for a strike? Yes. Do I have two plus pitches in the bullpen that I can throw at any time? Yes.

Chamberlain says he feel he can start and that he could do it “somewhere — wherever that’s at.” Which you figure is a signal to teams who may be interested when he hits free agency after this season.

This being the Yankees this will likely cause a stir for a couple of days.

  1. Kevin S. - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    Joba is more than welcome to start in Trenton or SWB. I’d love to see him finally get a chance to see if he can make it through a season unmolested as a starter, but that’s unlikely to happen at the big-league level right now.

    • cur68 - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:46 PM

      “Unmolested”? With that moustache? If anything’s molesting Joba its that thing on his face.

      • bigharold - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        That’s messed up. Funny but messed up.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        That there is natural birth control. They show that in middle school health classes as a warning. It’s part of the Shut That Whole Thing Down Abstinance program.

      • coloradostupid - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        Mustache or not, he’s still the goofiest looking player in the majors. Maybe it’s the goofy look and the pinstripe contrast that bothers me. Maybe it’s the flat brim. Whatever, it’s goofy.

  2. chacochicken - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    I doubt he can start a pull cord lawn mower without straining an oblique.

    • mlblogspauly - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      funny. He’s not bright enough to use anything mechanical. He just uses his big mouth.

  3. kjericho43 - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    The Derek Holland stache. Hot.

  4. El Bravo - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    He can’t start, but I bet he’d be extremely successful at making parents and teachers nervous every time he drives by a school or playground.

  5. Darkoestrada - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    At least he’s confident in his abilities. 4 pitches that he can throw for strikes? Really? Although I guess he didn’t say anything about doing it consistently so he could be right

    • mlblogspauly - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      He’s delusional. He is so erratic, with both his pitches and his mouth.

  6. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    The Yankees went back and forth on the matter. Which is a nice way of saying Chamberlain was jerked around. Eventually, however, injuries and inconsistency left him in the pen, seemingly to stay. And seemingly to everyone’s contentment.

    And I’ll take Craig doesn’t know wtf he’s talking about, for $400 Alex.

    In case you don’t want to do a 3 min search on bref, here’s Chamberlain’s background:

    ’07 – Called up after reaching his pre-determined innings limit in the minors, pitched out of the bullpen because the Yanks needed help. Joba Rules instituted b/c Torre loves blowing out arms.
    ’08 – Started in the bullpen but eventually transitioned to starting. Starting Pitching was the ultimate goal of the organization. Hurt shoulder in August, returned from the DL and was put in the bullpen to try and prevent another injury
    ’09- Started entire year
    ’10 – “Competition” between Hughes and Chamberlain for final starting spot. Joba loses. Yanks convinced shoulder injury will keep Joba from starting again.
    ’11/’12 – Bullpen full time

    Only one year did he transition back and forth and that was ’08. So, for the final time, can we knock this shit off? It’s incredibly lazy reporting.

    • Kevin S. - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:09 PM

      You’ve got a very narrow definition of being jerked around.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        Outside of ’08, how was he jerked around? And even including ’08 it was the shoulder injury that precipitated the move back to the bullpen.

        Unfortunately took many, like caught looking, don’t realize he was a starter in college, and a starter in the minors. The yanks feel like his shoulder won’t hold up for an entire season of starting. It’s been known for years. So how are they/did they jerk him around?

  7. Caught Looking - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    He should have a talk with Daniel Bard. Amazing stuff as a set up guy/closer, may not always translate as a starter.

  8. uyf1950 - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    It wasn’t enough last season that Joba broke his foot, now he has to stick it in his mouth.

    • mlblogspauly - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      He has always stuck his foot and everything else in his mouth. Now if he could only pitch with his foot in his mouth.

  9. sportsdrenched - Feb 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Is that his 2013 Official Photo? I quit reading the post when I realized it was about Yankee drama and not the pornstache

  10. bigharold - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Since TJ surgery it’s like starting over for Chamberlain. Anyone would be hard pressed to say with any certainty where he’s best suited until he gets through the season. I think the important take away here is he’s clearly floating the notion that he can start to broaden his appeal to potential suitors. As if he’s already can’t wait to get out of the Bronx.

    Personally, I think he’s best in the pen. And, of all the internal options he best suited to eventually taking Rivera’s place as closer. I think he’s got the best attitude for it. I love Robertson but his regular Houdini routine, putting guys on then striking out the side, is a bit nerve racking and causes him to use too many pitches. Unless he can get more efficient he’ll have a hard time being a closer. In that way, he reminds my a lot of John Wetland.

    But, again it remains to be seen just how Chamberlain be affected by TJ surgery so it’s hard to tell where he should be playing. Apparently he is at least open to it not being in the Bronx.

    • mlblogspauly - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Thank god, he’ll finally be gone. Good riddance

      • dwdahlin - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        Let us hope he will be gone. I get irked seeing him warmup much less come into a game and lose it for us. He needs a new venue pure and simple. Send him to the Pirates with AJ!

  11. cackalackyank - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Joba, Joba, Joba… How can you not get that saying stuff like that is going to be like gasoline poured on a bonfire? On the other hand you do seem to have a flare for living on the edge of self destruction. I do love the irony…Youk and Joba not the best history…Youk comes to NYY and shaves….that same year Joba grows that miserable attempt at a stache…great stuff.

  12. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:19 PM

    Frankly, he is exactly correct. He has a decent record as a starter, and he did it as a 21/22 y.o. in the bigs. I hope some team like the Astros signs him next year and lets him have a real shot at the rotation. He can be one of the many pitchers who flourishes once he gets away from the NYY machine.

    • oldyankee7 - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Good job sabathia——-
      The only 2 things keeping Joba from being a starter before was: Out of shape and his shoulder.
      4 pitches he can throw for strikes is the truth, he is the guy to replace Mo…no doubt in my mind at all. He has the attitude, the pitches and aptitude for the job. He has proven himself as a BP pitcher and a starter but, the shoulder takes a big beating the way he pitches.

      It seems, to many on the blogs today read and (poor souls) believe, everything they read as gospel! Most, if not 98% of those writing on the blogs and for the press write with their own thoughts as a start and go from there…if they have a reason for not liking a player that is the way the tilt the story.

      Use your own head and check things out before making yourself look bad by saying things that aren’t fact, just ones opinion.

      If one has an opinion feel free to expound on it as much as you wish but, don’t jump on someone else that has a different opinion!

  13. pisano - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:20 PM

    Joba, don’t kid yourself, you really haven’t proven yourself in the bullpen let alone trying to be a starter. just be thankful they didn’t trade you in off-season. Personally I was hoping they would.

    • jwbiii - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      Why should he be thankful he wasn’t traded? There are several teams that would give him a chance to do the job he wants.

      • chuckleberry1974 - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        because pisano is an arrogant Yankees fan, certainly. or if not, he buys into the whole arrogance of the evil empire. being in MLB anywhere is a privilege. It is not a greater one to be on the Death Star

  14. sleepyirv - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    First you grow a proper mustache then you can start.
    I’m glad Hot Rod has started a new trend in mustaches.

  15. mrbiz8505 - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:46 PM

    He can Start and finish a buffett…

  16. jaysjunkie - Feb 26, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    Good God, if there were ever a better advertisement for how idiotic the Yankees’ facial hair policy is then it’s gotta be that picture.

  17. bengalguy - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    He should START by shaving his upper lip….Tool!!!

  18. tfbuckfutter - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Guys, stop making fun of his mustache and think back to how proud you were when you first started sprouting pubes.

    • nbjays - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:40 PM

      Yeah, but I didn’t sprout pubes on my face…

      • tfbuckfutter - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:03 PM

        Well apparently he’s proud of his face pubes.

        Just like any 15 year old high school freshman whose dad eventually holds him down and shaves him. (True story. My friend Danny.)

      • dirtyharry1971 - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:17 PM

        no but your girlfriend did

  19. Jonny 5 - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Misquote: he thinks he can’t fart. He said fart.

  20. luxlamf - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    This would be the topping on the cake of the season that’s about to begin, this Loser even still wearing pinstripes shows just how horrid this organization has become, He is a BUM. An Embarrassment every time he is out there, the entire season of “Joba Rules” embarrassed anyone who ever cheered for a Yankee. Get rid of this Mess Once and For ALL!!!!

  21. 51yanks - Feb 28, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Keep the ‘stache and lose the fantasy about being a starter. With your penchant for injury, why would you want to further embarrass yourself and the franchise by returning to a failed project ? You are a set up/closer. DEAL WITH IT and master that craft. Your stuff is better suited for late inning critical innings NOT getting bombed by the fifth inning as a starter.
    You lack the stamina, mental toughness and adaptability for a starting pitcher.
    The choice is simple, try being a starter, lose a bunch of critical games to massage your ego for either Scranton or the big club, opt out as a free agent when the time comes and find out how few teams are interested in you as a starter or GROW UP and accept the reality.

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