Joba Chamberlain ready to fight for rotation spot

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Joba.jpgJoba Chamberlain told the New York Post that he will arrive in Tampa next week with the mindset of a starting pitcher:

“I’m going to go in and understand a lot of guys are fighting for that spot,” Chamberlain said after an autograph signing in New Rochelle in conjunction with Steiner Sports. “Nothing is guaranteed.”

The team has asked him to go into camp expecting to be a starter, but he’ll compete with Phil Hughes, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre and Alfredo Aceves for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Chamberlain, 24, is a bit of a mystery after finishing 9-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 2009. His season took a turn for the worse after he was faced with the “Joba Rules” in the summer. He found himself in the bullpen during the postseason, posting a 2.84 ERA in 10 appearances while seeing an uptick in velocity. Hughes figures to be his biggest competition for the fifth spot, but we could see a different Joba this season, as those pesky innings limits are expected to be a thing of the past.
 

Indians to sign Tyler Clippard

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Jon Heyman reports that the Indians are signing Tyler Clippard to a minor league deal. He’ll make $1.75 million if he makes the big league roster.

Clippard, a 12-year veteran who just turned 34, pitched in 73 games for the Blue Jays last year, posting a 3.67 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 85/23 in 68.2 innings. It was a nice bounce back year for him after he spent 2017 bouncing among three different teams in the course of a below average campaign.

With the departures of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, and the elevation of Brad Hand to the closer’s role, Terry Francona will be looking for all the mid-innings help he can get in the Indians’ pen. Clippard could fit that bill.