Joba Chamberlain Will Dominate in 2009 as a Starter

Sean SerritellaCorrespondent IApril 3, 2009

NEW YORK - APRIL 02:  Joba Chamberlain of the New York Yankees throws some warm up pitches during a Yankees workout at the new Yankee Stadium on April 2, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Joba has a four-pitch arsenal which includes a devastating change-up, a nasty slider, and an improving curveball. Not many pitchers can boast having a four-pitch arsenal.

Joba can also bring the heat, clocking in at 100 mph. He won’t be using that heat as a starter, however; he’ll most likely be in the 94-98 mph range.

There have been concerns about Joba’s velocity this spring, but it was confirmed that Joba hit 96 mph on the radar gun against his start against the Cincinnati Reds on March 31.

Think about this for a second. You’re a batter in the American league. You’re facing Joba Chamberlain and you see a first pitch fastball that hits 96 mph. Then you see another fastball and you foul it off.  

First, I’d be scared as all heck seeing a big dude from Nebraska with his hat covering his eyes bringing that type of heat towards me. Then, the next pitch he hits me with a 12-6 curveball. I’d be all jelly legs.

Joba Chamberlain is a big man. He’s 6'2" and weighs 235. Just his physical presence alone could intimidate a batter. He’s not a guy I would keep stepping out of the batters box from.

He reminds me of Roger Clemens, too. If you hit one of our batters, Clemens would hit your batter right back; Joba is the same way. If you keep hitting Derek Jeter, we’re hitting Jed Lowrie.

I love his mental attitude towards the game. It’s like war out there for Joba, just like it was for Clemens.

In 12 games started last year, he pitched seven quality starts. I expect that ratio to improve because of experience Joba has had as a starter.

This spring, Joba has struck out a batter an inning. Believe it or not, our very own A.J. Burnett lead the American league in strikeouts last year with 231 in 221 innings pitched. Joba had 118 in 100 innings pitched.

Joba had a higher rate per strikeout per inning, but he will most likely be shut down at the end of the year because the Yankees will want to preserve his young arm.

Still, with more quality starts under his belt and with a high scoring Yankee offense behind him, I expect Joba to improve a lot but not win the Cy Young Award. I predict 18 wins 180 strikeouts and a 3.49 era.

Just think, these stats will come from our fifth starter. No other team in the league will have a fifth starter as good as the Yankees.

The future is bright for young Joba Chamberlain. Expect a collection of Cy Young awards in the very near future.

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