Remember 2007, prior to the midges, when Joba Chamberlain was the golden boy for the Yankees?
Then, things got Biblical. Bugs attacked the Yankees in Cleveland like something out of the movies, and the untouchable kid, suddenly became very human.
After that, the Yankees moved Joba back and forth for, back and forth. 2008 saw Joba start the season back in the bullpen. A few months later he was a starter, then bullpen, then starter. It was like a soap opera with all the drama.
Fast forward to today. Chamberlain is no longer the lights-out setup man he once was. Now, that is Soriano's role. As of now, Chamberlain is basically splitting time with Roberston as a seventh inning man or a righty-right matchup. Not really what anyone envisioned for the kid a few years back.
On the bright side, he's still a kid. Joba is only 25, he has plenty of years left ahead of him, and he's pretty healthy.
There has been talk for a while about trading Joba away, but right now, he wouldn't bring much back. If the Yankees are going to trade him, the only way it happens is if they get a top-starter in return. That would likely include a package deal, but that's a whole other story.
Either way I see it, whether the Yankees want to keep him or trade him, the only way things are going to improve for him are in the rotation.
What should the Yankees do with Joba?
Assuming Pettitte is still retired, the rotation is currently CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova and ?. A few days ago I was all for trying out one of the young studs in the minors as the fifth starter, but now, I say give it to Joba.
I'd prefer to take the chance with putting Joba back in the rotation over signing Justin Duchsherer. Also, a few possibilities may arise out of Joba back as a starter. 1) He can be pretty good. Not great, but good enough for a back-end starter. 2) He can be showcased to other teams to make him more attractive as a trade piece.
It's funny how things change in a few years. Two years back, I would have thought the Yankees were crazy to even think about trading Joba, but today, it doesn't seem too crazy.
For the meantime, it seems like Joba will be around until at least the trade deadline, until he shows that spark again, or the Yankees include him, Jesus Montero and a few other players in a package for Felix Hernandez.