New York Yankees: Joba's Second Try A Huge Improvement

Evan KulhawikContributor IJune 8, 2008

Whether moving Joba Chamberlain to the rotation is a good move or not is now a moot point. The Yankees have made their decision, and they stand firm on their belief that Joba will be an ace in the starting rotation.

Joba's first go-round caused a lot of trouble for the Yanks, as it was apparent Joba's arm was not stretched out enough to carry far enough into a ballgame.

Joba was pulled after just 2.1 innings, and the Yankees bullpen felt the effects of his short start. The Yanks had to delve into a Joba-less bullpen early in the game, and the Bronx Bombers were set up for disaster.

Coming into today's tilt with the Royals, Joba was expected to throw between 70-80 pitches. Not only was Joba able to go deeper into the game this time, but he was much more effective.

In Joba's first start, it looked like he was carrying too much adrenaline into the start and was overthrowing. He threw a whopping 38 pitches in the first inning, and according to Joe Girardi, was one base-runner away from being pulled before he even got three outs.

This time around, on a scorching hot day in the Bronx, the mercury wasn't the only thing displaying heat. Joba was able to spot his pitches much better today, yet he still blew Jose Guillen away in the first inning with a 99 mph fastball.

In his first start, he struck out only three and walked four batters in his short stint. His command was on display today, as he struck out five and only walked one. Joba may have only given up one run today, if not for one hanging slider to Guillen (who has become a Yankee killer this series).

Regardless, Joba left with the Yanks trailing 3-2, and even though he could not win the game, he kept the Yankees in it.

He also left little strain on the bullpen, thanks in large part to Dan Giese. Giese was able to eat up 2.2 innings, while shutting down K.C. and picking up the win. The Yankees only had to use three relievers in Giese, Jose Veras, and Mariano Rivera.

Joba was able to do three things today: go deeper into the game, lift some of the stress off the bullpen, and keep the Yankees in the game. The last part is most important, because the Yankees offense eventually came through and led the team to a win.

It was a huge success today for the Yanks in stretching Joba out further, while still winning the game. I do not think stretching Joba out during the season was a good idea, but as long as they can continue winning while he develops, I have no problem watching it unfold.

It looks like the Yankees have a special player on their hands.