Should The Yankees Consider Trading Joba Chamberlain?

May 31, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

We’ve had many talks, debates and discussions on Joba Chamberlain.

Should he be a starter? Should he be a reliever? Is he good enough to be the heir to Mariano Rivera?

Right now, he could be pitching his way right out of New York all together.

Currently, Joba is the Yankees setup man to Mariano Rivera. We’ve seen two sides of Joba pitching in 2010.

The first side is the dominant side, who strikes out the side and looks unhittable. Then there is the other side, the ugly side.

The side that reared its ugly head on Saturday and has reared quite a few times during the season.

Entering the seventh inning, Joba took over the game with a 10-8 lead, pitched only .1 of an inning and proceeded to allow four runs and four hits while surrendering the lead to the Indians and taking the loss in the 13-11 contest.

If this were the first time during the season, I wouldn’t be saying a word about this, but this hasn’t been the first time Joba has surrendered a lead.

On May 16, he took a loss because he couldn’t get people out against the Twins in the eighth inning in a 6-3 loss.

On May 18, just two days later, Joba can’t hold down CC Sabathia’s 5-1 lead and allows the Red Sox to tie the game. Eventually, the Yankees lose 7-6 in a game they should have won if Joba gets those outs in the eighth inning.

And now, Saturday’s game.

This isn’t the performance from some scrub reliever. This is coming from someone who was once one of the top setup men in all of baseball. This is clearly unacceptable and fans are beginning to realize this.

Did the Joba Rules really ruin this guy’s stuff? Because the Joba Chamberlain who was a setup man from late 2007 to mid 2008 and the Joba Chamberlain who is the setup man now are two completely different pitchers, and it hasn’t been for the better.

So here is the million dollar question, what do the Yankees do with Joba now? Because they just can’t keep sending him back out into the eighth innings and allowing him to surrender leads like this.

They could send him down to the minor leagues and let him straighten out his stuff, but you also have to find another reliever to take his place in the eighth inning, and Phil Hughes is doing too good of a job to take over like he did in 2009.

They could just leave him alone, and let him straighten his stuff out on the major league level, but do the Yankees want to take that gamble?

My guess is not really.

There is another option, and it’s a wild and crazy one. A few years ago, people would have said hell no to it, but now, I bet a lot of people might think about it.

What about trading Joba?

He’s got some value left, although some of it may have diminished from last year and this year. He is 1-3 with a 5.82 ERA right now, which isn’t that attractive for teams to deal for, but his potential is still there.

He’s still only 24 years old so it’s not like his career is completely demolished, but the early stages of it sure took a lot of damage. He did help the Yankees en route to the 2009 World Series Championship, but he also got bailed out at times when he folded during that season.

Joba just might not be cut out to pitch in New York, which has happened to a lot of pitchers in the past (Kenny Rogers, Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, Carl Pavano, Kevin Brown, Jeff Weaver, among many others). The way he is going, he could in fact join that long list.

His potential is what could still have teams try and trade for him—teams always need young pitching. Joba still has the potential to be a great pitcher, but right now, his mental capacity is not allowing him to do so.

He gets flustered too much when he loses control, hitters get ahead of him and knock him around. He doesn’t trust his breaking pitches enough to use them more often and then goes back to a fastball that at times, is extremely hittable. He also takes way too much time in between throwing pitches and sometimes thinks too much about his next pitch.

If anything, get Joba a copy of a Mark Buehrle game and watch his approach. He throws a pitch, the ball is back in the glove and he’s ready for his next pitch. No thinking, no mental straining, just throwing the damn ball for strikes. That is one suggestion, and maybe the Yankees could use that, but I don’t know if they go that route.

The whole Yankees bullpen has been struggling in 2010, and the Yankees could use a couple of extra arms, so if they do decide to move Joba now or in the future, and that is a big if, they should consider getting some tough, hard-throwing relievers who could help the Yankees.

Or, the Yankees could use another bat at DH since Nick Johnson is going to be out for a while, maybe even the season, so the Yankees could use Joba to get a decent bat in return.

As of right now, the Yankees will continue to send out Joba for the eighth innings because really, there is nobody else to put there. If he continues to implode, the Yankees will have no choice but to make a move with him and the final move could force one of the youngest and more popular players of recent out of the Bronx.


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