I noticed this little list in the comments section over at RAB, and thought it provided a solid illustration of why Yankees fans need to have patience with Joba Chamberlain:
Minor League Innings:
Neimann – 372.0
Wade Davis – 767.1
Shields – 554.1
Garza – 307.0
Price – 144.0
Kazmir – 251.2
Joba – 88.1
Hughes – 330.0
Lincecum – 62.2 (FREAK!)
King Felix – 306.1
Doc – 638.0
Verlander – 118.2
CC – 246.2
Beckett – 216.1
Buchholz – 443.1
Lester – 483.2Greinke – 285.2
Wainwright – 793.0
Jurrjens – 502.2
Carpenter – 601.0
Haren – 474.2
Most of these pitchers saw substantial time in the minor leagues, where they honed their craft against increasingly superior hitters and learned the art of pitching. I like the idea of a stellar talent such as Chamberlain learning on the MLB level. However, doing so requires the fans to show patience and understanding, traits that are generally not the hallmarks of your garden variety baseball nut. Chamberlain came to the majors and experienced immediate success, and never really learned how to pitch through adversity. Fans got used to “good Joba,” and have therefore become exceedingly frustrated with “wildly inconsistent Joba.” Yet Joba needs to experience this failure if he is to grow as a pitcher.
Furthermore, there are some positives to take from 2009. He has exceeded his previous career high in innings by a substantial amount and has remained healthy. Until he crossed his previous career high, he had actually been quite effective (ERA of 3.58). Does that mean he should pitch in the playoffs if he does not merit the slot over his last two starts? Certainly not. It does mean that as fans, it would behoove us to show a bit more patience with Joba.
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