Marc Carig of the New Jersey Star-Ledger has the story:
OAKLAND, Calif. – Joba Chamberlain escaped during the All-Star break, returning home to Nebraska and blocking out all talk about baseball. It worked so well for the talented right-hander, who emerged from the hiatus and pitched perhaps his three best consecutive starts of the season.
But Chamberlain’s last three starts have yielded in a 6.75 ERA during that span, which is why Yankees manager Joe Girardi ordered the pitcher to relax with his extra time. As part of the Joba Rules, the pitcher will have eight days’ rest heading into his next scheduled start, Tuesday against the Rangers.
Instead of using the extra days off to throw, Chamberlain has laid low.
“We told him during this extra stretch to just take a couple of days off,” Girardi said. “You don’t necessarily have to pick up a ball, just take a couple of days off then we’ll get you on your five-man schedule. I just told him to relax.”
Makes sense to me, and you wonder why it was ever done any differently. Although Joba and the Yanks may have wanted to stay on the exact same schedule as he did when he was pitching every 5 days, but clearly that wasn’t working for him. This is them recreating what happened during the All Star break, total rest followed by his regular routine. The extra days of total rest should add some giddy up to his fastball, and getting back to the usual starter’s routine should help him stay in better rhythm. I’m just glad they’re figuring it out now, as opposed to having it take them by surprise come October, when he would almost certainly be working on extra rest.
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