• Joba The New Mo?

    Posted by on September 25th, 2007 · Comments (14)

    From Newsday -

    Yankees manager Joe Torre said yesterday he is planning to pitch Joba Chamberlain in back-to-back games for the first time this week in preparation for the playoffs.

    Torre also voiced the thought that Chamberlain might be a reliever in the future, the first time a member of the Yankees’ braintrust has veered from the party line that says Chamberlain will be a starter in 2008.

    “Mariano [Rivera] was a starter,” Torre said. “He turned into a setup man, then a reliever. Whatever the organization can visualize [Chamberlain] as, there’s no question about it, he certainly has given the organization something to chew on with what he has done here so far.”

    With Rivera a free agent at the end of the season, the Yankees will have to at least entertain the thought of moving on without him, although that seems unfathomable. Chamberlain picked up his first big-league save on Sunday while subbing for Rivera, who had pitched three of the previous four days.

    Of course, Torre will be a free agent, too, after the season, so it may not be up to him.

    Torre being Torre.

    Comments on Joba The New Mo?

    1. mehmattski
      September 25th, 2007 | 10:00 am

      Worst. Idea. Ever.

      Rivera is a reliever because he gave up 99 baserunners in 50 IP (and a 5.94 ERA) as a starter in 1995. This is because Rivera threw one great pitch and two crappy pitches. Joba has two great pitches and his curve looks like it can be good. There is no reason to waste Joba on a reliever role until he has proven he is mediocre as a starter.

      Why don’t people understand that 200 IP at a 3.50 ERA is worth more than 80 IP at 2.00 ERA?

    2. September 25th, 2007 | 10:24 am

      I hear what you’re saying mehmattski – I look at it as a closer being 1/9th part of maybe 50 wins whereas a starter could be 2/3rds of 20 wins…and when you do the math it says a starter has twice the win value of a closer….if they’re both very good in their roles.

      But, then again, finding someone who can shut the door, in New York, in the 9th inning, and do it incredibly well, is not always easy to find…

      Still, I’m pretty sure, if Joba’s in the pen in 2008, Torre will fry his arm, without question.

    3. snowball003
      September 25th, 2007 | 10:43 am

      “Still, I’m pretty sure, if Joba’s in the pen in 2008, Torre will fry his arm, without question.”

      I try not to pretend I know more than Torre since I’m sure I don’t. But I have to say that this thought scares me as well. I kind of want to see Joba as a starter. I haven’t seen it yet.

    4. j
      September 25th, 2007 | 11:26 am

      Mehmattski basically made the end-all be-all argument. You’re an idiot if you think that you can validate an argument that there is such a thing as 70-80 “important” innings relative to 180-200 “not important” innings. What Joba can bring to this team as a starter, in combination with Hughes, Wang and Kennedy, will make this team lethal for the next 10 years.

      Also, don’t forget about JB Cox, Mark Melancon and possibly Humberto Sanchez. Cox would most likely be in the big club’s pen if he hadn’t been hurt this year.

    5. Raf
      September 25th, 2007 | 12:22 pm

      But, then again, finding someone who can shut the door, in New York, in the 9th inning, and do it incredibly well, is not always easy to find…
      =================
      Looking at the Yankees rotations the last few years, I’d say finding a quality starter is harder to find.

      Granted, Mo’s one of a kind, but it wasn’t that long ago that Steve Farr and Steve Howe were closing out Yankees games. I’ll take my chances with Joba in the rotation. If he bombs, or can’t hack it, THEN you make him a reliever/closer.

    6. Andrew
      September 25th, 2007 | 1:06 pm

      I really, really hope people don’t start comparing Mo to Wetteland…what an insult to Sandman.

      Mo had a down year, sure, but does it mean he’s cooked? Does it mean he can’t be a closer anymore? What if San Diego let Trevor Hoffman go at the end of 2005, where he had an ERA of 2.97 and a 1-7 record?

      Please don’t let Mo go because Torre thinks Joba is better. Why limit the amount of innings Joba pitches for the Yankees and let the best closer in history go, when you can just make Joba a starter and still have Mo? Maybe he doesn’t post another year with an under-2 ERA, but he’s still been invaluable to the Yankees, again, this year.

      The “we should just let Mo go and use Joba as closer next year…it worked after ’96!” is one of the stupidest thing I’ve heard in a long time. And I listened to Ahmadenijad talk at Columbia.

    7. baileywalk
      September 25th, 2007 | 1:12 pm

      But, then again, finding someone who can shut the door, in New York, in the 9th inning, and do it incredibly well, is not always easy to find…
      ——

      What happened to –

      “Saves are the product of manager’s descretion. It’s the most over-rated stat in the game”?

      http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2006/12/a_word_of_cauti.html

    8. September 25th, 2007 | 1:38 pm

      baileywalk – that statement is still true – if you want to compare Pitcher A to Pitcher B and say A is better because he has saves and B does not.

      But, that statement does not mean that some pitchers cannot stomach the 9th whereas some can do it. Because it’s true that some cannot handle it – and, if you have one who can, it’s a good thing.

    9. Andrew
      September 25th, 2007 | 1:46 pm

      Just a random thought, but maybe next year, they have Joba start in the rotation…but to limit his innings, he gets put into the bullpen again at the end of the year. That way the Yankees have yet again a dominant bullpen for the playoffs (should they get there), which I think someone proved is one of the most important aspects of a playoff team…and Joba is a starter whose innings have been limited to the organization’s satisfaction. You also give time for guys like Mark Melancon, JB Cox, Kevin Whelan, and Humberto Sanchez…real relievers in the long-term, to either mature or flame out.

    10. Don
      September 25th, 2007 | 2:24 pm

      …….Hughes, Wang and Kennedy, will make this team lethal for the next 10 years.

      ===========================

      Just like the Cubs with Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.

    11. baileywalk
      September 25th, 2007 | 2:29 pm

      Just like the Cubs with Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.
      —-

      At the age of 22, Prior threw 211 innings, after only throwing 116 the year before. I don’t think Hughes, Joba or Kennedy will be doing that.

    12. baileywalk
      September 25th, 2007 | 2:38 pm

      But, that statement does not mean that some pitchers cannot stomach the 9th whereas some can do it. Because it’s true that some cannot handle it – and, if you have one who can, it’s a good thing.
      ———

      I don’t believe that saves are overrated because I continually see non-closers come into games and melt down. My point is that on the one hand you seem to dismiss saves, calling them overrated, but then acknowledge that it’s a skill, mentally, to close out games. That seems contradictory to me.

    13. Raf
      September 25th, 2007 | 2:49 pm

      Just like the Cubs with Kerry Wood and Mark Prior.
      =============
      Or the Braves with Glavine and Smoltz…

    14. September 25th, 2007 | 4:02 pm

      ~~~My point is that on the one hand you seem to dismiss saves, calling them overrated, but then acknowledge that it’s a skill, mentally, to close out games. That seems contradictory to me.~~~

      baileywalk – when I say “Saves are the product of manager’s descretion. It’s the most over-rated stat in the game” this is what I mean…

      Todd Jones has 38 saves now. Rafael Betancourt has 2 saves. By saves, it seems that Jones is the better pitcher this season – but, he’s not.

      Now, yes, saving games is a skill – a mental skill – but, it’s not the best measure of overall pitching effectiveness for a RP – because the MGR decides who gets to pitch the 9th.

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