Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 26th, 2007 at 5:52 pm and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

New York Yankees rookie phenom Joba Chamberlain is now a cult hero in the Bronx, and why wouldn’t he be? In seven games, the 21-year-old flamethower has pitched 9 innings, struck out 15, allowed just 3 hits and has yet to give up a run.

All of this dominance has Yankee fans clamoring for an end to the ‘Joba Rules,’ which were established to keep Manager Joe Torre from overusing Chamberlain.

Even Torre, whose overuse of favored relief pitchers has long been an Achilles heel, is starting to rebel against the rules established by General Manager Brian Cashman and minor league pitching guru Nardi Contreras.

From Pete Abraham’s fine Lohud Yankees Blog.

Torre said that he doesn’t quite understand why Joba Chamberlain needs a day of rest when he throws only 10 pitches as he did last night. It’s something “we’re talking about,” he said.

In case you don’t know the ‘Joba Rules,’ they are as follows. No appearances on consecutive days, at least one day off for each inning pitched, and no appearances of more than 2 innings.

Chamberlain has never pitched in relief before, and with the rules the Yankees are going to an extreme to protect him. He pitched 88 innings in the minors this season, and the organization is also trying to hold him to 130 innings for the season.

By setting the rules they have taken a very un-Yankee like position, something becoming more common with Cashman’s increased power. They see Chamberlain as an anchor of their staff for years to come, and they are telling Torre and everyone else that protecting that future is more important than winning today.

The Yankees, of course, have made the playoffs every year since 1995, and right now find themselves 2 games behind Seattle for the wild-card. I would love to see that streak continue. Even more than that, however, I would love to see Chamberlain and Phil Hughes lead the Yankee staff for the next decade.

Maybe the Joba Rules will be bent a little as the games become more and more important, and I could understand that, but I am hoping the Yankees remain cautious with Chamberlain.

There are so many examples of young pitchers doing too much too soon and getting hurt. Mark Prior, Kerry Wood and Francisco Liriano leap to mind. Cole Hamels, the Phillies prized young lefty, is on the DL right now with an elbow problem.

Remember Gil Patterson? Now a minor league pitching coach with the Yankees he was once a Chamberlain-Hughes level prospect — until he pitched too much, blew out his arm and never amounted to anything as a pitcher.

The Yankees don’t want that to happen to Chamberlain. If it costs them a playoff appearance this season, so be it.

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