Monday, April 21, 2008

The great Joba debate


To start or not to start? That is the question the New York Yankees are facing regarding prized prospect Joba Chamberlain. The Steinbrenner's (whichever one feels like chiming in on any given day) want him in the rotation. Understandable, as Mike Mussina has faltered and both Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are experiencing growing pains. On the flip side, General Manager Brian Cashman wants to wait, which is also understandable considering how dominant Chamberlain has been in relief. But let me run a few numbers by you, and let's see where you stand on the issue...

His current career strike out per nine innings (K:9) ratio is approximately 12.46, meaning for every nine innings he pitches he strikes out just over 12 batters. Now I'll stretch out those numbers over a whole season. Chamberlain is so dominating he obviously would throw complete games every time out, making his season strike out totals (assuming 35 starts) 436 for each year. This assumes production will be consistent to what he's doing now. Since he'll likely grow even more dominant with age, this number is probably on the low side. Also, assuming a 15 year career (he's only 22, so there's no reason he can't pitch until he's 37), this will give him around 6,540 career strike outs - 826 more than current all-time leader Nolan Ryan (who has 5,714); pretty damn good.

One more stat: Joba is averaging only one earned run per year! So 15 more seasons, combined with 07 and 08 (no chance he gives up another run this year), and that's 17 earned runs total for his career.

So you tell me why Cashman wants to leave the greatest pitcher ever in the bullpen.

In other Bad Baseball news from Monday night...
San Diego Padres starter Justin Germano pulled off a rare box score triple-double; three stats in double digits that shouldn't be for a pitcher. In just 3.1 innings he allowed 10 hits and 10 runs, all 10 of which were earned. Nice!

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