Yankees need to cut ties with Joba Chamberlain

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

Enough is enough. The migraine that is Joba Chamberlain needs to end. The Yankees would be wise to part ways with their once star pitcher who is now anything but.

This drum, this dead horse, this whatever you want to call it, has been beaten for months, and I don't care. Last night's loss further proved Joba Chamberlain does not belong on this team, and if they want to see October, they must immediately release him and move on.

Joba burst onto the scene back in 2007 and captured everyone's hearts, pitching to a spectacular 0.38 ERA and 1.82 FIP in 19 relief appearances and 24 innings. Everyone, including myself, believed he was going to be the next big thing. He was ranked near the very top of every prospect list you could imagine. He was supposed to be the next ace, the next big time pitcher in New York. Not only has that not happened, he has not even salvaged his career as a reliever. Somehow, the Yankees have failed to realize this.

On the year, Chamberlain has pitched to a 4.38 ERA. Not horrible by any standards, but pretty "meh" nonetheless. But, as Mason Stark wrote a little while ago, ERA isn't a very reliable stat, and we should look beyond that metric. Joba has posted a 5.12 FIP and 1.56 WHIP, suggesting that he is, surprise surprise, worse than his ERA indicates. He sports a fastball and slider, as you know, and opponents are hitting .217/.337 (BA/SLG) against his heater, which he throws 55.5% of the time. His slider, which is used 34% of the time, has been hit to the tune of .289/.500. Maybe he should stop throwing the slider, or better yet, stop throwing pitches altogether for the Yankees.

Shawn Kelley was unavailable last night due to a triceps issue, so I guess that's your reason why Joba was used in a tie game in the 10th. Kelley will be out until next week. Double that with how the bullpen was heavily worked last night, the Yankees will surely add another reliever from the farm, and there are options:

  • Chase Whitley: Whitley has pitched to a 3.06 ERA and 3.05 FIP in 29 games and 67.2 innings for Sranton. In fact, in mid-August, he was stretched out to be a starter, where he pitched to a 1.42 ERA and held opposing batters to a .512 OPS against, so he can give you some length.
  • Chris Bootcheck: Remember him? He appeared in one game against the Los Angeles Angels on June 14 after not appearing in the big leagues since 2009. He allowed one run in one inning in that game. On the year for the RailRiders, he has started and has pitched to a 3.69 ERA and 4.20 FIP in 23 starts.
  • Jim Miller: Miller has had some success in the Majors, albeit sparingly, pitching to a 2.42 ERA and 4.42 FIP spanning 2008, 2011-2012 with the Orioles, Rockies, and A's. For Scranton, Miller has been solid, posting ERAs and FIPs of 3.55 and 3.22, respectively, in 43 games and 63.1 innings.
  • David Herndon: Herndon, coming off Tommy John Surgery, posted a 1.74 ERA and 2.81 ERA down in Scranton. He had prior success in the Majors with Philadelphia, pitching to a 3.85 ERA and 4.27 FIP in 97 appearances, while inducing ground balls at a pretty high rate (55.3%).

There are other options down in Scranton that could be deserving of a look, but I'll stop there. All four of those pitchers listed above, however, aren't on the 40-man, which means a move will have to be made to get them onto the 40-man. The obvious move would be to just DFA Joba and move on, but, spoiler alert, that will not happen. Despite his outing last night, and despite his outings all season, I fully expect the Yankees to keep faith in Joba, which may potentially cost them more games as we head closer to the end of the season.

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