Why Joba Chamberlain is being babied

Why Joba Chamberlain is being babied


In our comments section one of our frequent guests/sometime writer Daperman replied with the following comment re: Joba’s debut MLB start:

He can only throw a certain number of pitches. Why not give him three or four starts in AAA. Why not have him leave spring training in the rotation if that is what they wanted. Why is he being babied and not Kennedy or Hughes. What is with Joba that he is treated different?? Can someone please tell me.

I think many feel this way. In my mind its simply a matter of building up arm strength.

Hughes pitched 146 IP in 2006 before his 2007 debut

Between the milb & MLB Ian Kennedy threw 183

Joba’s Stats:


The knock on Joba is his lack of innings pitched. 2007 was his first year of pro-ball and very few expected him to move up the way he did. Between milb & mlb he pitched 114 IP. Joba forced the Yankees hand by striking out 135 in 88 minor league innings. In college he didn’t pitch too never had a heavy workload, with his season high being 119 IP for Nebraska. In his college career Joba has battled weight issues (dropped 25 lbs) and has also had knee surgery. Clearly he needs to be lengthened out slowly and due to his rapid accent to the majors the Yankees haven’t been able to do this in a manner that befits long term longevity. I can bang my chest all day about how men should be men, etc but erring on the side of caution when it comes to young pitchers is a sound strategy in my book. Just look at the career and recent hardships of Mark Prior.

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6 replies on “Why Joba Chamberlain is being babied”
  1. says: Early

    Instead of having him have a 2.1 inning start and yank him when he is pitching well, not option him to SWB or a give him “scheduled” bullpen appearances to build up arm strength?

  2. says: SoxAddict

    @Early: You really think that his performance in that start can be categorized as “pitching well?” Seriously?

    4 walks in 2.X innings and 62 pitches..

  3. says: Kevin Mark

    Even though I am in my 50s I don’t consider myself “old school” in most areas, but this babying of pitchers is one thing that doesn’t make any sense. Pitchers throw 100 pitches in a AAA game and then when called up to the Major Leagues they are limited to 70. Why? If their arm is used to throwing 100 pitches what difference does it make if it in a Major League game or a minor league game?

  4. says: Kman

    Thanks for taking the time out to comment Kevin.

    I don’t think Joba ever threw 100 pitches in a game during his minor league season. Up to AAA he averaged under 6 innings per start, and although his strikeout total was high he didn’t really walk anybody. I’d assume that he’d rarely move much past 80 pitches in any of his starts. He’s certainly a rare case when it comes to pitch counts throughout his short pro career.

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