Friday, March 12, 2010

Joba feeling pressure of 5th starter fight?

It could be the lingering effects of a flu bug that caused Joba Chamberlain to get hammered in his latest spring training outing. But it's still difficult to watch Joba struggle mightily in his quest to become the fifth starter for the 2010 New York Yankees. Perhaps Joba is feeling the pressure of what is the most intense baseball battle of spring training for a team coming off a World Series win.
No better authority than CC Sabathia talked about how the pressure to win a starting job can overcome a young player, recounting how he was moved to tears when he mistakenly thought he failed to make the Cleveland Indians big-league club nearly a decade ago. As a starter, Joba has felt pressure, most notably in his struggles during the second half of 2009 although team officials should take most of the blame for that due to the constantly evolving Joba rules that completely messed up his head.

But he seems immune to the pressure as a reliever, coming out of the bullpen firing bullets and burying opponents. Perhaps Joba's personality just makes him best suited to the bullpen. If that's the case, the Yankees should stop trying to turn him into something he's not and let him focus on being the best set-up man in the big leagues.

Thanks to jcasabona via Wikipedia for the photo.

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