So Joba Chamberlain made his second start of the season for the Yankees with similar mixed results to his first start. The last-ditch “savior” of the Yankees’ mismanaged pitching staff threw 78 pitches in 4 2/3 innings and left with his team down 3-2. For his efforts, the home New York crowd gave him a standing ovation. Well, because things have just gotten that bad in the Bronx.
The Kansas City Royals, the Yankees’ opposition that day, weren’t as impressed as the fans. My favorite is the “just a guy throwing hard” blast from David DeJesus. I’m not one to critique a guy making only his second start, but when David DeJesus isn’t blown away by your pitching, you’ve got to wonder about the situation you’re being placed in.
Again, it’s only Joba’s second start and at least he made it out of the third inning this time and his velocity was good all the way through. Plus, he has to learn how to be a starting pitcher at the major league level, which is kind of like trying to teach me the rules/lingo for cricket. Still, it’s not too early to question the logic of grooming him to become a starter while keeping him at the major league level. I think Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy’s general crappiness just might have something to do with moving Chamberlain to the rotation.
DeJesus also said Chamberlain was “nothing like we haven’t faced before” on Sunday. I think I’ve made it clear I don’t want to pile on Joba, but when I was reading the New York Post’s article, I was sure I’d heard something like this before about a Yankees’ pitcher/prospect/savior. Then I did some quick googling and thanked God for internet archives. Read the following quote:
“He doesn’t have anything we haven’t seen before. He’s just a regular pitcher. If his name wasn’t Irabu, we wouldn’t be talking about him. If it was Jaret Wright or somebody, there wouldn’t be this much hoopla about him. But it’s not his fault.”
If you’re a Yankees fan (or a Padres fan) you’re already groaning about who this quote was referring to when David Justice said it about ten years ago. That’s right, the “Japanese Nolan Ryan” Hideki Irabu. Also, take a moment to enjoy the shot at Jaret Wright and how his career has turned out. I wonder if David Justice knew something about Jaret Wright even then and I also can’t believe Wright is only 33 now and already basically out of baseball. Remember when he was god-like for the Indians for one year?
I hate to drop the Irabu Bomb on Joba, but some one has to step in and say something about how insane the expectations for Joba Chamberlain are and how stupid the position he’s been put in is. It’s too late to put the toothpaste back in the tube in his case, but the Yankees clearly have yet to learn how to handle pitching prospects. Two flame-outs/injuries and a move from the bullpen to the rotation already this season and it’s only June 10. Not good, my friends, not good at all.