As part of the grand plan to keep Joba Chamberlain’s arm from falling off, the Yankees are pushing his next start back by a day or two, instead inserting Chad Gaudin into the rotation for a start this weekend against the Mariners. The Daily News’ Tim Smith thinks this is silly:
Leave him alone and let him pitch his regular turn, and stop talking about this top-secret plan that was devised, developed and instituted by GM Brian Cashman and Girardi. Enough already.
I’m all for being careful with young arms — and though he seems like he’s been around a long time, Joba is still young — but one wonders whether this treatment isn’t having some unanticipated side effects. Pitchers are creatures of habit, and based on his quotes in the articles, Chamberlain is always the last to know when he’s pitching. Jorge Posada, who knows a thing or two about pitchers by now, says “It’s tough with what he’s been going through. He doesn’t know when he’s going to pitch, so it’s tough to mentally put it all together. He’s doing everything he can to stay focused, but it’s tough.”
And though I’m venturing a bit out of my bailiwick with this, I wonder if it’s possible that extra rest does Joba some harm, albeit small harm. Perhaps he feels almost too strong when he pitches on extra rest and thus (a) overthrows; and/or (b) doesn’t feel as pressing a need to be efficient and conserve energy?
Worth thinking about. And, hey, given the lead the Yankees have right now, there’s room to experiment a bit.