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25 Chasing 28: The New York Yankees Roster & Joba Chamberlain

Name: Justin Louis Chamberlain

DOB: 9/23/1985

Contract Status: signed a 1-year, $1.4 million contract on 1/18/11, avoiding arbitration

2010 stats: 3-4, 4.40 ERA, 1.4 WAR, 2.98 FIP

2010 in review: Joba was expected to solidify the 8th inning going into 2010, but he struggled in the first half and wound up as the odd man out in Joe Girardi's Bullpen by Numbers game. For this and his shortcomings as a starter in 2009, he's been branded as a failure by many Yankees fans, the vast majority of whom paid little attention to his second half results, which were actually quite good. Joba seems to be a victim of unrealistic expectations and some unlucky peripherals (BABIP and strand rate), but I'm not sure many of us care to hear that anymore. 

The Good: Despite being no longer able to hit tripe digits on the radar gun, he still retains good command of at least three pitches with above average velocity, along with excellent strikeout and walk rates. On most other teams, he's good enough to be a closer or a back end starter.

The Bad: He hasn't proven to be the second coming of Bob Gibson, nor has he established himself as the Heir To Mariano Rivera. He hasn't cured cancer or found world peace, either. 

2011 outlook:  This is probably a make or break year for Chamberlain in pinstripes, as his salary in arbitration is beginning to climb to the point where it is significant and I'm not sure how much patience the fan-base and organization has left with him. He's likely to see very little 8th inning work, which may ease expectations a bit, but he's probably going to have to post numbers similar to those he put up in 2008 to avoid becoming a non-tender candidate for 2012. There's no reason he can't do this, but he doesn't have much a leash.