Browsing Posts tagged Joba Chamberlain

Many players change hats during the free agency. However, not many former ‘top prospects’ leave their first team at the age of 28. Free agent  RHP Joba Chamberlain agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Detroit Tigers. Detroit also inked closer Joe Nathan in free agency so Joba is expected to compete for a 7th or 8th inning role. Joba was terrible last season, posting a career worst 4.93 ERA in 45 appearances. Still, many wonder what ‘may have been’ if Joba’s role was clearly defined when he first joined the Yankees in 2007. During the second half of the 2007 season, Joba captivated New York with his 100 MPH fastball and devastating slider out of the Yankee bullpen. During his six season in pinstripes, the Yankees weren’t sure whether they wanted to utilize Joba as a starter or reliever and this may have led to his inconsistencies. Randy Levine once called Joba the Yankees ‘answer to Josh Beckett’, which seems comical now. 

Even though he became an afterthought at the end of his Yankee career, I’ll always have fond memories of Joba. Joba’s infamous ‘bug game’ in Cleveland will always have a special spot in baseball history. No one could question his heart or determination as he delivered passionate arm pumps after recording big outs. Don’t forget about ‘Joba Rules’, either. Alike Phil Hughes, maybe a change of scenery will help resurrect Joba’s career. 

Joba wasn’t the only member of the Yankee bullpen to leave. LHP Boone Logan agreed to a three-year, $16.5 million (!) contract with the Colorado Rockies. Logan was known as a lefty specialist with a plus fastball who struck out 202 batters in 176 innings as a Yankee. Despite a high strikeout rate, Logan’s inconsistencies drove Yankee fans insane. Logan also had issues with his left elbow during Spring Training and he had bone spurs removed in October. During his four seasons in pinstripes, Logan’s appearances greatly varied year-to-year. Logan went from 51-to-64-to-80-to-63 appearances which displays erratic usage by Joe Girardi. We don’t know if the Yankees made him a formal offer, but Colorado definitely paid a premium since the allure of left-handed, strikeout artists are rare, regardless of their inconsistencies. 

The Yankees (46-39), winners of four straight games, sit five games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. The 2013 Yankees have been decimated by injuries and continue to rely on mediocre, fill-in players. During this week, the Yankees added shortstop, Luis Cruz and thus far, this addition has not paid off. Cruz has two errors in two games with the Bombers. The Yankees sorely miss the production vacated by Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, and Derek Jeter. While A-Rod, Granderson, and Jeter should return this season, their time tables are unknown. With July 30th trade deadline just three weeks away, should the Yankees look to add help or wait until their stars return?

The Yankees brass keeps insisting that Granderson, A-Rod, and Jeter should all return by the end of the month. This thinking indicates that the Bombers will not buy aggressively at the trade deadline. The Yankee brass can continue to remain optimistic, but even if its star trio does not return by the end of the month, the Yankees may not know which positions they’ll need to fill. The AL East has also been extremely competitive, so the Yankee brass may decide its better to hang onto their prospects and build towards 2014. MLB Futures lines list the Yankees odds as +1,200 to win the AL East, so most people aren’t expecting a big run by the Bombers. We’ll see if the Yankee brass agrees with this sentiment.

Because of the impending future of Michael Pineda, the Yankees are likely to field trade offers for free-agent-to-be, Phil Hughes. Hughes’ fly ball tendencies do not translate well within the small confines of Yankee Stadium, so expect the San Francisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers to make offers. Joba Chamberlain is also slated to hit free agency and a trade to either the Atlanta Braves or Detroit Tigers seems likely.

As the second half unfolds, keep an eye on the Yankees’ record. Their progress over the next two weeks will dictate whether they make any moves. Given the state of the AL East, the Yankees may decide to keep their young pieces and build towards 2014.

For the last few days, people have tried to shoot holes in the Yankees acquisition of Michael Pineda. Some will argue that Pineda, a pitcher who collected 34 percent of his outs via the flyout, will suffer going from spacious Safeco Field to the banbox in Yankee Stadium. Others will argue that Pineda’s second half ERA (5.12) proves he can’t handle a full workload. Instead, critics fail to address Pineda’s lefty-righty splits. Before unpacking the numbers and presenting my argument, Pineda, a fastball-slider pitcher, must develop a reliable third pitch to justify his value and more importantly–solidify his slot behind CC Sabathia

Pineda Needs A Third--AP Photo

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The Yankees have dropped all five home contests against the Red Sox this season and seven of eight overall. Once again, AJ Burnett came up small in a big spot for the Bombers. Burnett lasted only 5.2 innings, giving way to eight Boston runs on seven hits. The Red Sox held a 7-1 advantage after 4 1/2 innings, but the Yankees would make a bit of a rally, cutting the Red Sox lead to 8-5 after six innings. The Sox would put away the game for good in the ninth after Carl Crawford and J.D. Drew homered. With the win, the Red Sox (35-26) move into first place while the Bombers (33-26) slide back to second.

Burnett Giving Up 1 of 3 HRs


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The New York Yankees defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim by a score of 5-3 this afternoon. With the win, the Yankees win the series 2-1 and turn in a great 6-3 record on this West Coast swing.

Nice Hit, Mark! - AP

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The New York Yankees defeated the Oakland Athletics by a score of 4-2 this afternoon. With the win, the Yankees sweep the Athletics (more on their dominance of Oakland later) and move to 31-23 on the season.

Welcome Home, Nick - Erza Shaw, Getty Images

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It’s been a week since the Yankees held that familiar victory gathering in the infield following a win, so their 6-2 win tonight over Tampa Bay made it that much sweeter.

Alex Rodriguez hit a pair of homers and David Robertson pinned the Rays with the bases loaded, leading the way as the Yankees snapped their six-game losing streak. Yankee fans: you no longer have to hold your breath, or grow your beard, or wear the same clothes until the Yankees win.

CC with the Belichick look?

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In the most bizarre Yankee game that I’ve seen, the Yanks blasted five homers, led by Derek Jeter’s first two of the year, and committed four errors in the field in a 12-5 win over the Rangers. Jeter and Curtis Granderson went back-to-back, and Francisco Cervelli hit the first grand slam of his career, leading the way in a barrage of power and slip-ups.
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The New York Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers tonight by a score of 5-3. Bartolo Colon went seven strong innings and outdueled Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander as Mariano Rivera picked up the save. With the win, the Yankees move to 17-9 on the year and 2-0 in the month of May.

Brett the Jet is Back? - Greg Shamus / Getty Images

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The New York Yankees added two home runs to their league leading total of 29 and AJ Burnett went 5.1 innings as the Yankees before Mariano Rivera blew his first save of the season and Ivan Nova took the loss as the Blue Jays beat the Yankees 6-5.

Mark has been visiting his buddy Rob Thomson quite often (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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