Count Him Out: Are “Joba Rules” Becoming a Problem for Yankees and Chamberlain?

August 26, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

So, Yankees Universe might have a small problem on their way to October baseball.

This is a problem the Yankees thought they were done with at the end of July, but in the month of August, it’s reared its ugly head again.

This would be the recent pitching problems of Joba Chamberlain.

The first time it was noticed was on Aug. 6, when the Yankees destroyed the Red Sox 13-6. The Yankees spotted Joba a 9-3 lead, but he nearly gave it right back when he walked the bases loaded in the top of the fifth.

Joba escaped with giving up only one run and struck out two to ensure he still got a victory.

That win on Aug. 6 was Joba’s eighth of the season. He hasn’t won since.

Joba got a no decision on Aug. 11 against the Blue Jays after pitching six innings, allowing five hits and four runs. The Yankees ended up winning the game in later innings.

Because of the innings limit placed on Joba, his start for Aug. 16 in Safeco Field against the Mariners was going to be taken by Chad Gaudin. Instead, Joba was back to making the scheduled start. He only went five innings and allowed seven hits and four runs, walked three, and struck out two in the Yankees’ 10-3 loss.

After this start, Joba had a nine-day layoff between starts and didn’t make his next one until Tuesday against the Rangers. If Joba had rust, it showed, because something was not right with the 23-year-old.

Joba only pitched four innings, allowed nine hits and seven runs, walked three, struck out five, and left the game losing 7-4. The Yankees fought back in the ninth inning to nearly get Joba off the hook, but they lost 10-9, and Joba ended up taking the loss.

Joba is now 8-4, and in the month of August, he is 1-2 with an 8.55 ERA in four starts and 20 innings pitched. He’s allowed 19 runs and 15 walks while striking out 17.

Not exactly the overpowering numbers Yankees fans saw back in July, where he looked dominant. In the month of August, Joba’s ERA went from 3.73 to 4.34.

If it’s the “Joba Rules” inning limit that is causing Joba to pitch like this, because of inconsistency and not getting a feel for repeating a delivery, this needs to stop.

Why the Yankees continue babying a 23-year-old who is 6’2″ and 230 pounds in prime physical shape is beyond me. It’s not like when the Yankees had Roger Clemens in 2007 at 44 years old with hamstring problems and old age.

The Yankees still have Joba scheduled to pitch his next start on Sunday at Yankee Stadium against the White Sox. The Yankees need to continue pitching Joba on his scheduled five days and not skipping his starts to give him rest, because Joba has been hurting from the layoffs.

Joba is still trying to find his command and feel for a repetitive and effective delivery that he can continue his pitching career with, but limiting his starts will not allow him to do so.

As of right now, the Yankees are going to keep Joba in the rotation for the playoffs, as he would either be the No. 3 or No. 4 starter. Joba’s level of effectiveness will be important come October, when the games are more important and the pressure increases.

It’s safe to say the “Joba Rules” need to end. Let Joba pitch his game. The Yankees and Joba will be better off for it.

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