Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sad setback in Joba Chamberlain's comeback

I feel really bad for Joba Chamberlain, whose renaissance this season is being disrupted by a surprising stay on the disabled list.

Joba has done a great job setting up Mariano Rivera and making everyone forget about Rafael Soriano's so-far disastrous tenure in pinstripes. Chamberlain is 2-0 in the 2011 baseball season, with a solid 2.83 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. But it’s about more than his numbers. We have been seeing a more mature and confident Joba on the mound this season. He has not reverted to his youthful antics (Chamberlain is only 25, but it feels like he’s been around forever), the antics that I’m convinced fuelled the perception that he is overrated.

David Robertson will now be forced into the 8th inning role, with Boone Logan the main guy in the 7th frame. Robertson has perfected his Houdini act, but I doubt Joe Girardi will be as comfortable going to his bullpen in the 7th inning as he has been with Chamberlain and Robertson as the main set-up guys. Brian Cashman may be forced to pursue outside bullpen help for the New York Yankees.

I hope Joba’s stay on the disabled list is merely a short, temporary setback in what has been an impressive comeback season. But I think these three weeks will prove that Joba is not overrated, but a key cog in the Yankees bullpen.

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