Yes, Joba Chamberlain Could Start In This League

Joba ChamberlainOh noes…”Joba Chamberlain thinks he can start.

I saw this one float around the blogosphere and just knew it was going to draw the idiots out of the woodwork.

Sure enough if you do a quick Google search you get anything and everything under the sun trying to either stir up some sort of faux controversy or flat out acting like he’s nuts to think so.

But here’s the thing…

…Dude really could start in this league if he wanted to.

I Split W L W-L% ERA G SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP SO/9 SO/BB
as Starter 12 7 .632 4.18 43 0 221.2 227 117 103 25 101 206 1.480 8.4 2.04
as Reliever 9 6 .600 3.18 172 4 181.0 159 69 64 14 55 202 1.182 10.0 3.67
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/26/2013.

Poll every GM in baseball if they’d like a guy who could give them 175 Innings Pitched of 4.10-ish ERA baseball with nearly nine strikeouts per nine innings pitched and I am willing to say every last one of them would tell you they’d like to have that guy if the price was right.

People just seem to forget how effective the guy could be when toeing the rubber every fifth day when given the chance.

In the 2008 season that saw the Yankees basically treating him like a human yo-yo (“You’re a starter! No…you’re a reliever! No..you’re a ticket rep!”) in June/July he tore off a 9 start run where he was THE guy anchoring the rotation.

Rk Gcar Gtm Date IP H R ER BB SO ERA
23 42 68 Jun 13 6.0 6 1 1 4 2 2.48
24 43 73 Jun 19 5.2 4 1 1 3 9 2.36
25 44 78 Jun 25 6.2 6 0 0 1 7 2.03
July IP H R ER BB SO ERA
26 45 84 Jul 1 4.0 5 2 2 4 6 2.22
27 46 89 Jul 6 6.0 4 3 3 4 5 2.45
28 47 93 Jul 11 6.2 7 3 3 0 9 2.62
29 48 97 Jul 19 6.0 6 1 1 1 8 2.52
30 49 102 Jul 25 7.0 3 0 0 1 9 2.30
31 50 107 Jul 30 6.0 5 2 1 0 6 2.24
100.1 87 32 29 39 118 2.60
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/26/2013.

That is one hell of a nice stretch for a starter. The most runs he gave up in a start were three (twice) and for every start like that he had one where he gave up nothing.

And that wasn’t the only time in his short career as a starter where he rattled off a solid 10 start run.

Rk Gcar Gtm Date IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
June IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
10 71 51 Jun 1 8.0 4 2 2 2 5 1 3.71
11 72 56 Jun 7 6.0 5 3 3 1 4 0 3.79
12 73 61 Jun 12 4.0 1 2 2 5 3 0 3.84
13 74 66 Jun 18 6.0 7 3 3 4 6 0 3.89
14 75 71 Jun 24 6.1 7 3 2 0 5 1 3.81
15 76 76 Jun 30 5.1 9 3 3 3 4 1 3.89
July IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
16 77 81 Jul 5 3.2 9 8 3 1 1 2 4.04
17 78 86 Jul 10 4.1 9 5 4 1 4 1 4.25
18 79 91 Jul 19 6.2 3 1 1 3 8 1 4.05
19 80 96 Jul 24 7.0 2 1 1 3 6 0 3.86
20 81 101 Jul 29 8.0 3 0 0 2 5 0 3.58
157.1 167 94 83 76 133 21 4.75
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/26/2013.

The only real hiccups in that stretch was a two game stretch where his defense yielded six unearned runs & forced him to hit high pitch counts well before normal.

Shortly thereafter the rest was, as they say, history. Injuries kicked in and he just wasn’t able to catch much of a break.

So while I don’t think he could ever be the stud at the top of the rotation some once thought he was destined to be, I have no doubt that Mr. Chamberlain could land a job in a starting rotation somewhere if he saw fit to do so.

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