Tomorrow is a big day for Joba Chamberlain. No, it’s not his birthday, but if it was, his birthday wish would probably be to come through tomorrow’s simulated game pain free.
It’s a big step on Joba’s way back to rejoining the New York Yankees after last year’s devastating, unexpected elbow injury and the fluke trampoline accident that dislocated his ankle. So far, Chamberlain has passed all the tests and reported no lingering pain from either injury (although he has an incredibly high pain tolerance, throwing gas with a torn ligament in that elbow right up until the injury was discovered).
The Yankees bullpen could use a fresh arm. The relievers, with the notable exception of Rafael Soriano, have really struggled of late. I suspect the struggles can be traced back to them being forced to throw too many innings earlier in the baseball season when the Yankees starters were struggling to get past the 5th and 6th innings. If a healthy Joba can help lessen the workload, Joe Girardi can give some of those arms some much needed rest.
I’m rooting to see Joba back in pinstripes as soon as possible, as long as he doesn’t rush through his rehab and reinjure himself. He would make a strength of the Yankees team even stronger. But for me, it’s about more than just making the Yankees a better team. I always root hardest for the homegrown Yankees and Joba is definitely one of those so I would love to see him back on the mound, throwing gas like the Joba of old.