In his big league career, to date, here’s how Joba Chamberlain has allowed batters to produce, as a starting pitcher, with 4, 5 and 6+ days rest between starts:
Split G PA AB R HR BB SO SO/BB BA OBP SLG 4 Days 11 243 212 29 7 25 53 2.12 .278 .357 .410 5 Days 7 155 133 11 2 19 52 2.74 .211 .316 .278 6+ Days 3 78 67 6 1 6 15 2.50 .284 .372 .433
According to these numbers, Joba the “Starter” is O.K. with normal rest, great with an extra day’s rest, and so-so with too much rest.
This time, last year, regarding the best way to use Chamberlain, I wrote:
So, it’s safe to project that an “ace” in the rotation, on a winning team, is worth around 19 to 25 Win Shares in a season. And, that’s better than the 12 to 15 that you get from a stellar set-up man (also on a winning team).
Based on all this, it does suggest that the best place for the Yankees to use a talent like Joba Chamberlain is in the starting rotation.
And, I still stand by that…
…if Joba, on normal rest, is going to pitch less like an ace and more like a “an above-average (but not awesome) starting pitcher,” then he would provide the Yankees with equal value if he were to be used in the bullpen and he could perform like “a stellar set-up man.”
Of course, we’re dealing with a small sample size here…and need to see more data on how Chamberlain does, as a starter, with normal rest. But, if his current trend continues…the debate on Joba-Starter versus Joba the Bridge will be one worth having…especially if the Yankees pen continues to show that it needs help.