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Tag:Joba Chamberlain
Posted on: June 1, 2011 9:52 am
Edited on: June 1, 2011 10:14 am

Pepper: Harper staying in Hagerstown?

By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: Will Ubaldo Jimenez get his first win and help bring the Rockies out of their most recent slide?'s Tony Lee joins's Lauren Shehadi to talk about that and much more. Click on the video above to watch.

STAYING PUT: This season's MLB draft is less than a week away, and last year's No. 1 overall selection is terrorizing Class-A pitching. Bryce Harper -- who is still only 18 -- is hitting .331 with 11 homers, 36 RBI, 14 doubles, 34 runs and a 1.009 OPS through 50 games. He's even stolen 10 bases. Obviously, with this in mind, there's been lots of talk about when Harper will be promoted to Double-A. Davey Johnson, Nationals senior advisor to the general manager, isn't ready for Harper to make that jump just yet, however. "I see him being there probably, for sure, through the half season," Johnson said. "I am not a big believer in moving guys during the season. Let them put the numbers up so they have an idea of what they are probably required to do every year. Sometimes, when you divide up the season, especially a younger guy, then you try too much to try impress the next group of guys and sometimes that can lead to problems." Kudos to the Nats for staying patient with the youngster, even if it might be tempting to move him along quickly. Still, you have to wonder if Harper gets really hot again -- he has cooled in the past few weeks -- will he just get bored? It feels like you need to challenge a guy without rushing him. (

UNFAIR HOT SEAT: Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times defends Ozzie Guillen, who is coming under fire more and more in Chicago for team underperfomance and also for some of his "tirades." Cowley actually compares Guillen to Mike Scioscia of the Angels, saying:
What does a World Series ring won more than five years ago and a career .500-plus record as a manager get you these days?

Well, it gets you a contract extension that runs through 2018 — basically a lifetime scholarship. It earns you the right to be in charge of player-personnel and coaching decisions. And it affords you a payroll that has been over $100 million seven of the last eight years.

At least it does outside of Chicago.

Right, Mike Scioscia?
That's a pretty good point. I don't believe Guillen should be on the hot seat one bit. If management wanted him to shut up, it would have fired him long ago. Plus, a lot of what he says is twisted and misconstrued. Between the lines, I have no idea how you can blame Guillen for the underperfomances of the bullpen (in the early season) and people like Adam Dunn and Alex Rios.

'OVERRATED?' SO WHAT: When Alex Rodriguez and Joba Chamberlain were told they were voted the two most overrated players in baseball by their peers, they weren't exactly bothered. A-Rod: "So the Yankees are popular? That's good. I've been on this list many, many times and I'm sure I'll be there again next summer." Chamberlain: "I don't care. My bills are paid and I still have a job." Another interesting note is Derek Jeter, who checked in at third. He said he wasn't asked to fill out one of those anonymous surverys, but would decline to fill one out if asked. Kind of makes you wonder the sample of players chosen. (NY Times Bats blog)

VELOCITY DOWN FOR MARMOL: Maybe it was tougher to notice when Cubs closer Carlos Marmol entered Tuesday night with a 1.17 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23 innings, but after his terrifying outing against the Astros -- probably the worst of his career, actually -- Harry Pavlidis of The Hardball Times points out that Marmol's velocity has been in decline for quite some time. That's probably why he's fallen in love with throwing his wicked slider. Check out this chart. I'll cop to noticing this earlier in the season and discounting it to myself that the weather was still cold --  meaning maybe he couldn't get as loose. I'll also cop to being a Cubs fan and probably trying really hard to convince myself the dip in velocity was meaningless. So the question: Is Marmol injured, overworked or just losing strength? Oh, while we're here ...

CALM CARLOS: Sure, Carlos Zambrano broke a bat over his leg after striking out at the plate Tuesday night, but after Marmol blew the save and wasted a stellar effort from Zambrano on the hill, the once-fiery hurler consoled his teammate: "It happens to Mariano Rivera. It happens to Joe Nathan. It happens to the best of the best. I told him, just keep your head up, tomorrow's another day." (Chicago Sun-Times)

MUST-SEE GIF: Check out -- via -- Adrian Gonzalez saving his teammates and coaches from possibly getting struck with a line drive. The man can certainly handle the stick.

TOUGH LUCK LOSER? Look at the line for Jeremy Guthrie and you'll see a complete game with zero earned runs in which he took the loss. He even tweeted that very line, saying, "Accomplished something difficult tonight. Pitched a complete game allowing 0 ER & lost." Of course, if you watched the game or look at the play-by-play, you'll see the loss was actually Guthrie's fault. He made an error that allowed the eighth inning to continue before giving up a single and then a three-run home run by Justin Smoak. I will defend Guthrie a bit here, though. He's got a 3.24 ERA this season, yet sports a 2-7 record now. On his career, he's actually been a quality starting pitcher but had awful luck with wins and losses (40-55, 4.08). He's probably just sick of the stat, as well he should be. There are much better ways to measure pitching performance.

A CALL TO THE Mets: Gary Carter should have his number retired with the Mets, says Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post. I'd be fine with the move, especially in light of Carter's health woes, but I think the call-out of the Wilpon family and all of Mets management for not "doing the right thing" for the past 22 years is a bit much. Maybe it's just a convenient time to pile on Mets' management and curry favor with fans, but Carter only had two really good seasons for the Mets. Both were top-10 MVP finishes and one was the 1986 World Series championship season, but the bulk of his Hall of Fame resume was built in Montreal. That said, again, I'm completely fine with the movement. Really, anything that helps Carter and his family find some happiness right now is a bonus.

AWESOME PROPOSAL: Most of the time, ballpark proposals are a bit lame. Not this time, not even close. Check it out and make sure to watch the whole thing. (Hat-tip to Big League Stew)

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:16 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 3:25 pm

Poll: Players say A-Rod most overrated

By Matt Snyder

The most overrated player in baseball is Alex Rodriguez, according to a poll of 185 major leaguers taken by Sports Illustrated. A-Rod received 18 percent of the vote, and was one of three Yankees in the top five. In fact, the three Yankees named were the top three in all of baseball.

Joba Chamberlain checked in second at 12 percent, with Derek Jeter garnering seven percent of the vote. Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon and Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth tied for fourth with four percent of the vote each.

Do the players who voted for Jeter understand "overrated" doesn't mean "overpaid?" I'm trying to figure out how many people actually still think Jeter is an elite player, and judging from everything you see on message boards, Twitter or hear on talk radio, pretty much everyone agrees he's washed up.

Chamberlain is an interesting inclusion because his value has not come anywhere near close to the hype that came with him several years ago, but I don't really think any large group of people thinks he's a great -- or an even good -- pitcher at this point.

On A-Rod, he's polarizing, so it's not shocking he'd get the most votes. Still, you rarely see arguments he's the best player in baseball anymore. He's pretty universally regarded as an All-Star but not elite. With nine home runs, 27 RBI, 30 runs and an .824 OPS, that's exactly what he is this season, too.

Papelbon's a tough call. I believe the closer position in general is overrated, but Papelbon himself is having a fine season. Nothing really jumps out about him specifically. Werth is badly overpaid, but the Nationals were pretty well destroyed for that contract from the get-go.

Don't discount these are all East Coast guys, either. The backlash against "East Coast Bias" appears to be alive and well.

It's hard to blame the major-leaguers for voting like this. They probably don't pay a ton of attention to how guys are perceived nationally and instead see the contract numbers of peers. Plus, the general term "overrated" is pretty broad. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what we're supposed to be using to judge.

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 1:41 pm

Rough early season for Soriano in Bronx

By Matt Snyder

Rafael Soriano is the big topic of discussion Wednesday for Yankees fans and the New York media alike. Not shockingly, considering his line thus far in the season, it ain't pretty.

Soriano blew a four-run lead April 5, nearly blew a three-run lead on April 16 and lost the lead completely Tuesday night to the White Sox on a Paul Konerko two-run homer. He's got a 7.84 ERA, 1.94 WHIP and has walked eight hitters in 10 1/3 innings. This is coming off the heels of a season where he was one of the most dominant closers in baseball, racking up 45 saves on a 1.73 ERA and 0.80 WHIP in 62 1/3 innings. And how about this one? He only walked 14 guys all last season, so he's more than halfway there already.

What's worse is Soriano's attitude doesn't seem to be winning anyone over. He refused to talk to the media after the April 5 debacle, something that infuriated the writers. If you do a Twitter search for Soriano's name, it's chock full of Yankees fans saying he doesn't appear to care.

After Tuesday night's game, Soriano expressed his frustration.

"It has not been easy for me," Soriano said. "I've tried to figure out how to do the same that I did last year. I've been struggling right now, but I'll take it, forget all that tonight, come back and find out." (Metro )

Mike Francesca, famed New York sports-talk radio personality, is letting Soriano have it today, according to many New Yorkers on Twitter, including saying he'll "draw pictures" to help Soriano figure out how to get outs. Which is weird, since Francesca has never recorded a big-league out himself.

There also seem to be problems with Soriano not being a New Yorker, as he's describd an immature "out-of-towner" in one outlet (Staten Island Live ). And there are many who definitely believe Soriano should be removed from the eighth-inning role immediately. (New York Post )

Honestly, I tend to agree with removing Soriano from eighth-inning duties for the time being, just to let him get his head clear and find some success in non-pressure situations. It's no secret some players aren't used to the pressure that comes with playing for the Yankees from both the fans and the press. When he's being piled on in addition to possibly having lost a bit of confidence, the Yankees should find a way to get that back.

Joe Girardi does have an option or two. David Robertson is a very solid back-end of the bullpen pitcher. He's a hard-throwing, high-strikeout guy. He's yet to allow a run in 2011 through 8 1/3 innings. He's struck out 10 and only walked two. Joba Chamberlain has done the role before and has 12 strikeouts to only three walks, though he's been knocked around a few times by opposing hitters. Not as much as Soriano, so he's a better option.

But Robertson seems like the best eighth-inning option for Girardi at this point for everyone involved, most of all Soriano.

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Posted on: April 5, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: April 5, 2011 1:05 pm

Pepper: Kazmir struggling, future in doubt


By Evan Brunell

Scott Kazmir's job could be in danger.

After going through what Kaz termed "boot camp" in the offseason, the hope was that the former top left-hander would move on from his 5.94 ERA from 2010, the highest among pitchers who tossed at least 140 innings. However, the former Rays ace had an awful spring training and imploded in his first start of the season on Sunday against the Royals.

Manager Mike Scioscia was already unhappy with Kazmir's progress, and his outing Sunday only made things worse. One has to seriously wonder if Los Angeles is considering releasing Kazmir and the $14.5 million left on his contract. It's certainly been a long fall from grace for Kazmir and unfortunately it appears as if whatever made him great in the past is gone for good.

The skipper had no easy answers for Kaz's slow start, saying that he has no velocity or command. "Kaz is a little more complicated, a little more baffling," he said. The Angels do have starting pitcher Joel Pineiro on the way back from injury along with reliever Scott Downs, so Kazmir could lose his rotation spot in quick order. 

The only question is: is he moved to the bullpen or do the Angels cut ties entirely? (Los Angeles Times)

GOING YARD: Will Texas' Nelson Cruz go yard again on Tuesday to have homered in five consecutive games? That's a question Eye on Baseball blogger C. Trent Rosecrans attempts to answer in MLB Today. (CBS Sports)

PETE ROSE MANAGING: That's Junior, not the Hit King. The son of Pete Rose is now managing the White Sox's rookie-level squad after long stints as a minor-league and indy-ball player. (Chicago Sun-Times)

KID REPLACING IDOL: Over in Washington, Wilson Ramos has the tough task of replacing his idol behind the plate in Ivan Rodriguez. Pudge has graciously accepted a reduced role, while the Nats are excited about the potential Ramos has. (Washington Times)

TAKING NO LIP: The judge in the upcoming perjury trial for Roger Clemens has had enough of the Rocket and his accuser, Brian MacNamee, taking to the media to spread their own opinions of the trial. Judge Reggie Walton has since reminded the two that they are not allowed to talk about the case. (New York Times)

STEROIDS OUT: Brian Giles' potential use of steroids has been disallowed in a pending palimony trial against his ex-fiance, who is accusing him of owing her over $10 million as well as abusing her. His links to steroids would have been used to attempt to establish that he did, in fact, abuse her. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

BEER VIA TWITTER: A Mariners beer vendor may be onto something here as he will take beer orders via Twitter for the Mariners' home opener on Friday. Seems like it could be abused, but it's hard to imagine anyone sitting at home sending a beer vendor fake orders from fake seats, even in this day and age. This is definitely a service that could end up becoming common in all stadiums depending how well it is executed. (CNBC)

MORE RESTRICTIONS: In light of the abominable beating two Dodgers fans put on a Giants fan, the L.A. County supervisor is calling for additional security at Dodger Stadium as well as more restrictive limits on sales of booze. (Los Angeles Times)

THERE'S ALWAYS HOPE: Austin Kearns' son was diagnosed with autism at 14 months back in 2009. His son is doing well, however, receiving treatment at a Cleveland hospital that was also the main reason why the outfielder returned to the Indians after signing with the team for 2010 and being traded halfway through the year to the Yankees. (

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Of the potential bidders to become minority owner of the Mets, one has the executive producer of Entourage footing the bill. If Doug Ellin ended up with the team, it could mean a jolt of starpower as quite a few of the actors on the show are Mets fans and could show up to games. (New York Daily News)

FREEZE! A rather interesting story that Stan Musial actually froze his appendix inside his body back in 1947. This allowed Stan the Man to stay on the field and finish out the year before having an appendectomy after the year. You don't usually hear about frozen appendixes, so it's quite a fascinating story. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

SEVENTH INNING FOR JOBA: Joba Chamberlain appears to have a lock on the seventh-inning relief gig. 'We love the way he threw the ball in spring training," manager Joe Girardi said. Interesting given GM Brian Cashman and other Yankee brass were displeased with how out-of-shape Chamberlain was in spring training. (

IS BASEBALL DYING? Sobering news -- 43 percent of MLB fans are age 50 or older in a 2009 survey, tops among all big four sports plus MLS and NASCAR, while a low 28 percent of the coveted age 18-34 demographic prefer baseball. Plus, children are leaving baseball in droves. (

NAME THAT TEAM: The Cincinnati Reds' Double-A affiliate is moving into a new stadium in Pensacola, Fla. next season. There's a contest being held to determine the nickname of the club, and you must also include why you think it's a good name. (Pensacola News Journal)

NICKNAMIN': Ever wonder how each baseball team got its nickname? All set. (Delaware County Daily Times)

ON THE WAY BACK: Mat Latos tossed a simulated game on Monday and came through it with flying colors. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday, and it's possible the right-hander could be activated as soon as Friday. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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Posted on: March 16, 2011 3:37 pm

Chamberlain to miss week with oblique strain

By Matt Snyder

Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain underwent an MRI on his oblique muscle and Wednesday it was confirmed he had a strain. He will sit "about a week" while hoping the injury heals.

"Better to deal with it now than to let it linger into the year," Chamberlain noted. (Star-Ledger )

Manager Joe Girardi said Chamberlain would be placed on the disabled list if this was the regular season, as the team could ill-afford to be down a bullpen arm.

Chamberlain was once the Yankees' next great starting pitcher. Then next Mariano Rivera. Then next great starter. Then next Rivera. Now? He's buried behind Rivera and Rafael Soriano in the bullpen -- with the Yankees scrambling to fill out their starting rotation from the likes of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia.

The good news is he's still only 25. It's entirely possible, once he gets healthy, he can regain at least some of his early form -- the form that saw him put together a 0.38 ERA in 19 appearances in 2007.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: March 13, 2011 2:05 pm

Certain Yankees prospects are 'untouchable'

Manny Banuelos

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Despite the franchise's reputation as a mercenary of sort, the Yankees have shown a propensity to hold on to some of their top prospects under general manager Brian Cashman.

Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and even Jesus Montero have been kept instead of dealt in blockbuster deals for veteran players the past couple of years. That strategy is unlikely to change, even though the Yankees would like to upgrade their rotation.

"I have enough [trade] chips," Cashman told Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. "But if people want to demand certain bullets, those certain bullets I'm not going to shoot. … There are untouchables here."

When asked if the team's young pitchers are those untouchables, Cashman didn't exactly confirm it, but he pretty much did.

"You can figure them out," he said. "But there are certain guys. Like Phil Hughes. I said publicly I wouldn't want to trade Phil Hughes. I stopped trade discussion on Hughes on [Johan] Santana because he was a rare, special guy. And he's proven that out. He's helped us win a World Series in the bullpen, he won 18 games last year, and we have certain guys we think are potentially even better than he is. That excites us."

That's not hyperbole. Manny Banuelos (above), the left-hander celebrating his 20th birthday today, has had an incredible camp with the Yankees. In three outings and five innings, Banuelos has allowed just three hits, a walk and a hit batter, while striking out eight.

Despite standing just 5-foot-10, Banuelos can touch 95 on the radar gun and has great control with the pitch, as well as plus pitches in his curveball and changeup.

Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances (left) is nearly a foot taller and 100 pounds heavier than Banuelos and also throws with the other arm. However, the Yankees are just as high on him. A hard-thrower, he doesn't have the command Banuelos has, but throws a bit harder. He also has a hammer of a curveball.

Batances has appeared in three games this spring, going 4 2/3 innings. He's allowed four hits and two runs, walking five and striking out seven.

Don't expect either to wear anything but pinstripes in the future, and if they progress like most believe they can, it would be a surprise to see them in any other uniform for a long, long time.

Those two, along with Andrew Brackman, are the only minor league pitchers left in the team's camp.

Brackman has appeared in one game, pitching an inning, allowing hit and striking out one. The 6-foot-10 Brackman was the team's first-round pick in 2007.

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Posted on: February 16, 2011 1:27 pm

Cashman: Joba 'obviously heavier'

Joba Chamberlain
This is the week where we get countless stories about how "so-and-so says he's in the best shape of his life." That's not the story with Joba Chamberlain, who apparently arrived at camp in more of an oval shape. The New York Times asked general manager Brian Cashman about the noticeable change, and he wouldn't really take the bait.

"He's heavier, we'll just leave it at that," Cashman said.

Told that Chamberlain claims to have packed on muscle, Cashman said: "He's obviously heavier. That's as much as I'll say."

Well, will he be lighter by the time camp ends? "He's heavier."

So, to summarize: Joba Chamberlain is heavier.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 25, 2011 10:38 am
Edited on: January 25, 2011 1:52 pm

Cashman: Jeter likely to become OF

Derek Jeter
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman attended a breakfast Tuesday morning sponsored by a New York radio station, and espnW contributor Amanda Rykoff relayed some of his comments via Twitter.

* Cashman would be "surprised" if Derek Jeter plays shortstop for the four-year duration of his contract, predicting Jeter will move to the outfield. But ... but ... Jeter is the best shortstop in the league! Gold Glove voters said so!

* Asked who was the better team right now, the Yankees or Red Sox, he answered, "Red Sox. But we have a better bullpen." OK, points for candor there, as that probably won't play well in the Bronx.

* No chance of Joba Chamberlain returning to the rotation, because he "hasn't been the same" since the 2008 shoulder injury he suffered in Texas.

* A.J. Burnett "knows he has a problem and he's doing all he can to fix it."

* "We're one starter away from being a World Series contender."

UPDATE: After the Jeter thing predictably caught fire online, Cashman backtracked a bit in a conversation  with the Star-Ledger, saying it was just a hypothetical and not anything that has been discussed as being imminent.

"We'll deal with that if he loses something and forces us to deal with that. That's not where we're at," he said, adding that the casual exchange at a fan breakfast was a "baseball conversation, not a declaration, not an announcement, nothing of that nature."

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or