Monday, August 31, 2009

The Obligatory Joba Post

Yeah, Joba Rulez!!1!

Apparently the editors at the Daily News aren't capable of calculating that two runs in three innings equates to a 6.00 ERA. That's not good.

Actually, lost in all the discussion about his innings limit is the fact that since throwing 8 shutout frames against the Rays on July 29th, Joba hasn't been good at all. He's allowed four or more runs in every game (with the exception of yesterday of course) and hasn't made it into the 7th inning once. He's watched his ERA rise from 3.58 to 4.38 over that time and even though the Yanks scored an average of 8 runs a game behind him, he only walked away with one victory.

Joba is now at a level of innings pitched that he's never reached before, so perhaps he's running into a natural limit of sorts, without regard the one that the Yanks are placing on him.

Although I was critical of the fact that the Yanks keep changing their plans for Joba, the latest version does seem to make the most sense of the options available. What I didn't know before noting that 35 pitches seemed a little low in last night's recap was that the Yanks plan to start Chamberlain off slowly, and sort of re-stretch him out so that he's ready to go as deep as necessary when the postseason rolls around.

It makes more intuitive sense than having him start on extended rest and still allows him to contribute to the team and be tested against Major Leaguers, as opposed to shutting him down or sending him to the minors. They got away with the tightest restriction in the only start Joba will make before the rosters expand so it's much less risky to the bullpen from here on out.

At this point, Joba is slotted for the 4th game of a postseason series only by default. Everyone is getting worked up about the way the Yankees are handling him (without providing a reasonable alternative), but they should probably be more concerned about the fact that he hasn't been a good pitcher of late. Let's focus not on how many innings he pitches, but how well he pitches in those innings.

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