It's been a bad week for Joba Chamberlain. First he was voted the most overrated MLB player in Sports Illustrated's anonymous poll of major leaguers, and now he finds out that his job as the eighth inning set-up guy for legendary closer Mariano Rivera is in jeopardy.
While complimenting right handed reliever David Robertson, who struck out the side against the Rays on Friday night, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the following,
"I'm not saying on a daily basis I am going to change our eighth-inning guy, but you have to earn your roles here, and we evaluate on a daily basis."
Chamberlain, who gave up four runs in Seattle in his last outing before the All-Star break, and has an ERA of 8.71 since May 16, 5.79 for the season.
After posting a 13.50 ERA through May 7, Robertson has gone 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA over his last 22 outings, lowering his mark to 5.28 entering Saturday's game.
Chamberlain's ineffectiveness along with the meltdown of AJ Burnett has had pundits talking about the Yankees adding pitching help before the trade deadline. Losing Andy Pettitte for a month with a strained left groin has both complicated and magnified the Yankees obvious pitching problems and now Girardi's comments have placed the issue front and center.
Early this morning, ESPN's Buster Onley had the following to say over a series of five tweets:
"About the Yankees' pitching needs: They could look to add a starting pitcher, and use the extra body to create a safety net for Joba Chamberlain. For example: They could trade for Brett Myers, use him in the rotation, and then shift him to the 8th inning if needed later down the road. Or they could swap for a Jake Westbrook or Ted Lilly, and then in September and October, they could shift Phil Hughes into the bullpen. There are a lot of starting pitchers available, and it makes sense, for them to add one of them. They have an advantage in that they're one of the few teams willing to take on payroll."
Our own Blake Kearny has some thoughts of his own on this issue.
"One of the players less often spoken about when assessing who is available is Dan Haren. Haren's uncharacteristic subpar year to date has created a scenario where he may be able to be obtained and the Diamondbacks are not in contention. Haren is signed through 2012 and is cheaper than Roy Oswalt at $12.75 million for 2011 and 2012. There is a club option of $15.5 2013 with a $3.5 million buyout."
Haren has been one of the better, more consistent pitchers in baseball the past few years and a change of scenery and just into a pennant race might be just what the doctor ordered. - Mike Cardano
Mike is the founder of Around the Horn Baseball & Xtra Point Football.
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