Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 25 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
Here we are, at the end of our 25 man countdown to spring training. We are finally, and mercifully, going to see some real baseball going down the stretch. But before that can begin, we have sir Joba Chamberlain to review. Joba had a great season last year despite beginning as a reliever and needing to transition to a starting role mid-season. Though it had been speculated that Joba would be sent to the minors to be stretched out for his starting role, the stretching actually occured at the big league level. Joba adapted well to being in the rotation making 12 starts before a sore shoulder landed him on the DL. Joba had some good games in there including a 7 inning shutout of the Red Sox. His final numbers for the season were a 4-3 record with a 2.60 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 100.1 innings. Joba returned in early September, but was used as a reliever. The big question for Joba, who is slated as the 5th starter, is whether he can stay healthy while pitching in the rotation, and how many innings he will be able to pitch next year. The suggestion is 130 innings, but even for a 5th starter, that's pretty low. Will Joba begin in the rotation and then be moved to the bullpen as he nears his limit? Its certainly possible.
My Fearless Prediction:
130 innings, I give him about 18 - 20 starts before he's pitching out of the bullpen. I could see him knocking out a mid-2 ERA again, with about a strikeout per inning pitched, and roughly 10-12 wins.
Little Known Joba Fact:
A man by the name of Ryan Ward impersonated Joba last year to score free bagels and drinks. In response, Joba impersonated Ryan Ward and robbed a bank leaving clues that led to Ward's house. Ward was arrested for the bank robbery and sentenced to 40 years in prison, but he escaped, leaving behind a note vowing revenge against Joba.