Vs. Minnesota on Feb. 28:
Vs. Team Canada on March 5:
His line this spring: 1 inning, 4 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned runs, 4 walks, 0 strikeouts.
I’m sure this is providing great fodder for those who believe Joba belongs in the bullpen. Or those who think something is wrong with him.
I am not in either of those groups. If I felt like looking it up, I’m sure I could come up with a list of 500 starters who were absolutely dreadful in spring training and then pitched well in the regular season. I don’t think what happens to a pitcher in spring training means a thing as long as he is healthy.
Consider Chien-Ming Wang. He had a 8.43 ERA in spring training last season. Wang couldn’t keep his sinker down if he rolled it to the plate. Then the season started and he was 3-0, 1.23 in his first three starts.
One caveat: Chamberlain is not Wang. Joba is 23 and is unproven as a starter. He also has Phil Hughes banging on the door with both fists behind him. The Yankees got burned last season when they handed Hughes and Ian Kennedy jobs out of spring training. They need to remember that lesson and make Chamberlain earn his way.
For his sake, that probably needs to start tonight against the Reds. If not, the first question Joe Girardi is going to get after the game is whether that final spot in the rotation is up for grabs.