Nine hits, four earned runs and two strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched. That's Joba Chamberlain's run down so far in 2012. Assuming he stays healthy, Chamberlain will be a two month regular season pitcher for the Bombers this year—with hope for one spectacular postseason month of October—as he looks to right the ship in his professional career.
This is not the same man that seemed to emerge in the Bronx from the cornfields of Nebraska overnight in 2007 and delivered a scintillating two month stretch that electrified Yankee Stadium crowds and helped the Yankees rally toward an American League East division crown.
Interestingly enough, five years later, Chamberlain is back for the final two months of this season hoping for redemption and a new beginning.
Chamberlain spent the second-half of 2011 and this winter recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent last year. Chamberlain looked like he was well ahead of schedule until a freak accident occurred while he was having fun jumping on a trampoline with his young son.
Chamberlain dislocated his ankle and this once promising prospect suddenly was staring down an even more gruesome injury that threatened to end his big league career. Chamberlain's strong work ethic and conditioning program helped get him ahead of the curve and back in New York competing this summer.
The Yankees are closing in on another division title as they mount their annual run at a World Series title. They stand a much better chance of reaching the Fall Classic if Joba can regain his past magic and overpower hitters with his fastball and devastating slider. Here are five reasons why Yankees and baseball fans alike should not count out Chamberlain.