Saturday, September 5, 2009

Joba's Troubles Concerning

The Yankees, as of September 5th 2009, do not have a lot of concerns.

They have the best record in baseball by a decent margin and have had quite a few win streaks of seven games or more. Losses are rare; the team has lost only two series entirely since the All Star Break.

Life, as a Yankees fan, is pretty darned good.

It is not, however, perfect.

There are concerns, and right now there is probably none looming as large as Joba Chamberlain.

It's true that AJ Burnett hasn't won in a month, but some of those non-decisions and losses have more to do with the Yankees giving him no run support than they do Burnett pitching poorly.

Chamberlain, on the other hand, has not pitched well since before that first Boston game of that four-game sweep we remember so fondly.

Since that game, Chamberlain has pitched to an ERA of 7.96, which, even considering ERA's inaccuracies, is really, really bad. Like, Sergio Mitre in that time has been almost twice as good.


Chamberlain's 20-17 strikeouts to walks is nearly identical, which is not something you'd want even from your number five starter, let alone someone that's going to start games for your team in the playoffs.

Opponents are OPSing .923 against Chamberlain--that's better than Mark Teixeira.

Then there's also the fact that Joba is fast (okay, maybe not so fast) approaching the 150 innings gray area, in which the Yankees will begin to risk his long-term health if he keeps going out there.

In short, Joba has about four weeks to show some massive improvement, or else the Yankees might seriously consider starting Mitre, because if the Yankees are in the ALCS, fans will remember easily that a game four win actually matters. At least Mitre can get the occasional out.