Friday, September 25, 2009

How do Joba Chamberlain and Jon Lester match up?

To steal a Tug McGraw line, ya gotta believe. This year's Yankee team has finally vanquished the Angels in two games out of three in Anaheim, and now the Bombers are ready to clinch the AL East against the Red Sox this weekend. (Unfortunately, Boston also has a good chance of clinching their Wild Card spot at the Stadium this weekend as well, but I digress.)

Speaking of the wild card, Peter Gammons thinks there should be another round, but I'm totally against it. Read my Faster Times piece here.

Anyhow, if Ian Kennedy could get out of a bases-loaded jam in a one-run game against the Angels, and the Yanks could win that game with such a depleted lineup then the Yanks should be able to win the division this weekend. Unfortunately, I have zero faith at this point in Joba Chamberlain. Maybe he'll surprise me tonight, but I doubt it.

And why is it that Jon Lester, his opponent tonight, has been able to pitch so many more innings at his age despite missing the equivalent of a season with cancer. How does that work, anyway? Lester pitched 81 innings in 2006, his first season in the majors, before getting sick. The next year, he pitched in 12 games (60 innings) after returning to baseball. In 2008, he threw 210 innings, and this year, he is currently at 194, and is set to match his totals from last year. Oh, and he threw 36 innings in the playoffs in 2007-2008 as well.

Meanwhile, back at the Yankee ranch, Joba Chamberlain has all those rules. Yes, Lester has a year of experience on him, but still. Should the Yankees think about moving Joba back into the bullpen? I dunno, but I wish we could have back the guy who challenged hitters, instead of the nibbler we've seen for most of the year. It would be nice to see him make a return tonight!

Coming later today - my predictions for this weekend. But in the meantime, tell us what you think?


The Emperor said...

We probabably really only need to win just one game this series. By doing so, the magic number drops to (3), and we should be able to take care of oruselves with KC coming to town and in TB.

I agree about Joba, and I seriously doubt we'll be winning any game tonight -- although surprises are a big part of baseball sometimes.

If they don't get Joba straightened out, I think he'll just need to go back to the pen. All these rules and trainign wheels are ruining this kid's confidence and lately he's been absolutely abyssmal. I can only pray that he keeps us in the game long enough for us to have a chance to win.

Paul SF said...

MLB innings counts are a little misleading. Total combined innings pitched (including minors and postseason):

2002: 0.2
2003: 106.0
2004: 91.1
2005: 148.1
2006: 128.0
2007: 161.0
2008: 237.0
2009: 220+ (assuming two more regular season and two postseason starts at 6-7 IP per start).

'08 was a big jump, and it led to concern early on about how Lester would do this season, but he wasn't going from 60 to 200, he was going from 160 to 240 -- a much smaller step up.

Paul SF said...

And Joba breaks down this way:

2007: 112.1
2008: 100.1
2009: 146.2

In development, he's about where Lester was in 2005; it's just that Lester's development was entirely in the minor leagues, and then was interrupted by cancer, while Joba's has been almost entirely in the Major Leagues.

Presumably, Chamberlain won't need the better part of two seasons to overcome a horrible disease before he reaches 200 innings, so he'll probably be on a much longer leash next year.

Uncle Mike said...

To hell with the Joba Rules: Do whatever it takes to beat the Red Scum!

Do it for Phil Rizzuto! It's his birthday today, and he's more alive than any Sox fan is from the neck up!

I want this thing clinched on Sunday!

Anonymous said...

Yankees Suck.. GO SOX!!

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

I think there is a matter of injury history that hasn't been considered. Joba had injuries in his college and pro career, while Lester was injury free.
I know, I know, Lester is coming back from cancer, but this is not related to the throwing motion.

chris brown said...

Wow Cool keep on keeping on..

Uncle Mike said...

Looks like the Yankees listened to me: They let Joba pitch like a man and he made monkeys out of the Sox. And we hit them.

And how about A-Rod, getting -- gasp! and in a good way -- clutch hits against the Sox! Good to see that in September. Keep it up for another five weeks, Alex, we only need it for another five weeks.

Oh, by the way, Anonymous... Yankees win! Theeee Yankees win!

Jonmouk71 said...

With regards to the second wild card, the only reason to do it would be to do a one-and-your-done wild card game before the start of the divisional series. If both wild card teams have to use their aces in the one game playoff, they go into the DS at a real disadvantage versus their division winning opponent.

Riddering said...

Borrowed from RAB, here are some breakdowns of pitchers' Minor League innings:

Greinke – 285.2
Wainwright – 793.0
Jurrjens – 502.2
Carpenter – 601.0
Haren – 474.2
Price – 144.0
Kazmir – 251.2
Hughes – 330.0
Lincecum – 62.2
King Felix – 306.1
Doc – 638.0
Verlander – 118.2
CC – 246.2
Beckett – 216.1
Buchholz – 443.1
Jon Lester – 483.2

How many innings did Joba pitch in the minors? 88.1

With the exception of Lincecum, who is always an exception, Joba's innings count is way below the standard--especially Lester's. Joba has done most of his developing in the majors and it's definitely valid for the Yankees to continue to guard against overloading him--especially considering how many stressful innings he has had this year, with high pitch counts.

Lisa Swan said...

Thanks for the info, Paul SF and Riddering, on the minor league innings counts. Good discussion here!

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