The New York Yankees activated reliever Joba Chamberlain from the disabled list on Tuesday more than a year after his last appearance in the major leagues.
The 26-year-old was rehabbing with Double-A Trenton and not expected back with the Yankees for at least a few more weeks. But when the Yankees traded fellow reliever Chad Qualls to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday in exchange for Casey McGehee, general manager Brian Cashman thought the team needed another reliever.
Since he last pitched on June 5, 2011 Chamberlain has undergone Tommy John surgery and an appendectomy, dislocated his right ankle and tore his right MCL. Hopefully the Yankees have learned their lesson and will store they bulky righty in bubble wrap when he’s not on the mound.
In seven minor league rehab appearances Chamberlain posted a 0.96 ERA in 9.1 innings. Before being shut down in 2011, the Nebraska product posted a 2-0 record, 2.83 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 28.2 innings over 27 appearances. He seemed to have settled in to a solid relief role after spending the better part of his first four big league seasons not knowing whether he would be a starter or reliever.
It has been a long road back to the majors for Chamberlain who suffered his dislocated ankle on a trampoline while playing with his son. The open dislocation was originally reported to have been life-threatening, but the pitcher later discredited those reports.
Still, some believed Chamberlain wouldn’t be back this season because of how bad the injury was. Now we’ll get to see how he has recovered after all of that bad luck.