You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Blog >

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all B-R content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing B-R blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Baseball-Reference.com » Sports Reference

For more from Andy and the gang, check out their new site High Heat Stats.

Worse Than Joba

Posted by Steve Lombardi on July 11, 2010

Joba Chamberlain has been pretty bad for the Yankees out of the bullpen. But, how bad? Has any other relief pitcher, used as often as Joba, been as bad (to date)? Thanks to Play Index, we can run a query to look at some data on that question.

For 2010, requiring ERA+ <=75 and At least 30 games with 100% games in relief sorted by smallest Adjusted ERA+

Rk Player ERA+ G Year Age Tm Lg GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA HR BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Pit Str
1 Chad Qualls 53 37 2010 31 ARI NL 0 0 0 24 1 4 .200 12 30.1 52 35 29 12 31 8.60 4 156 139 12 1 4 1 2 2 3 4 0 0 0 3 .374 .422 .561 .983   577 377
2 George Sherrill 54 34 2010 33 LAD NL 0 0 0 6 0 1 .000 0 19.2 28 17 16 16 11 7.32 2 105 83 9 2 2 1 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .337 .441 .566 1.007   406 250
3 Juan Gutierrez 63 32 2010 26 ARI NL 0 0 0 12 0 5 .000 2 31.1 36 26 25 13 26 7.18 11 140 126 5 0 2 0 1 0 1 5 0 0 0 1 .286 .353 .587 .940   553 345
4 Joba Chamberlain 71 39 2010 24 NYY AL 0 0 0 8 1 4 .200 2 37.1 42 25 24 14 40 5.79 2 164 149 8 1 2 0 0 1 4 3 0 0 0 1 .282 .341 .389 .731   639 406
5 Randy Choate 72 44 2010 34 TBR AL 0 0 0 0 2 2 .500 0 22.1 19 16 15 6 24 6.04 2 92 84 5 0 2 1 0 1 3 1 1 0 0 1 .226 .283 .357 .640   336 214
6 Tony Sipp 73 38 2010 26 CLE AL 0 0 0 11 1 2 .333 0 31.0 29 20 19 24 34 5.52 6 141 112 7 0 1 2 2 1 6 5 2 1 0 4 .259 .396 .482 .878   607 363
7 David Aardsma 74 30 2010 28 SEA AL 0 0 0 23 0 6 .000 16 27.1 25 17 17 13 27 5.60 4 117 98 6 0 4 1 4 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 .255 .345 .439 .784   489 297
8 Bob Howry 74 32 2010 36 TOT NL 0 0 0 8 1 2 .333 0 29.1 33 26 20 10 12 6.14 7 135 121 10 1 2 0 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 .273 .326 .545 .871   506 307
9 Hideki Okajima 75 34 2010 34 BOS AL 0 0 0 4 2 2 .500 0 27.0 38 19 18 13 21 6.00 5 131 115 8 1 2 0 2 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 .330 .395 .548 .943   545 334
10 Brendan Donnelly 75 31 2010 38 PIT NL 0 0 0 13 3 1 .750 0 26.1 25 18 16 21 20 5.47 5 124 97 4 0 1 1 2 3 3 5 0 0 1 1 .258 .385 .454 .839   489 293
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/11/2010.

.

As you can see, Chamberlain has been pretty bad.  And, if you toss out the LOOGY's on this list who sometimes are asked to pitch to more than one batter, there's not of guys left with Joba.  Perhaps it's time for the Yankees to find someone else to step up for Mariano Rivera?

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 11th, 2010 at 10:35 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

28 Responses to “Worse Than Joba”

  1. Yankee hater!

  2. After his performance last night, I was looking at Chamberlain's splits page to see his career stats as a starter vs. a reliever, but what struck me were his career splits against RHB/LHB, which are remarkably similar, with the exception of walking a lot more lefty batters (hopefully this works, first time using the share tool in the blog comments):

    I
    Split
    G
    PA
    AB
    R
    H
    2B
    3B
    HR
    SB
    CS
    BB
    SO
    SO/BB
    BA
    OBP
    SLG
    OPS
    TB
    GDP
    HBP
    SH
    SF
    IBB
    ROE
    BAbip
    tOPS+

    vs RHB as RHP
    125
    671
    605
    77
    154
    29
    1
    15
    3
    1
    50
    164
    3.28
    .255
    .317
    .380
    .697
    230
    12
    7
    5
    4
    2
    6
    .323
    95

    vs LHB as RHP
    126
    710
    610
    70
    154
    24
    5
    14
    2
    1
    85
    161
    1.89
    .252
    .350
    .377
    .727
    230
    11
    8
    4
    3
    5
    4
    .320
    104

    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original TableGenerated 7/11/2010.

  3. Ok, the formatting didn't work there. Here is a link to his platoon stats:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?n1=chambjo03&year=Career&t=p#plato

  4. [...] else matches the unparalleled rise and fall that he’s had; still, some of the names atop the list of plagued pitchers will remind you that these control and dominance issues are relatively common among closers and [...]

  5. Bryan Mueller Says:

    An interesting note about Joba...

    Many people don't know that before he pitched for the Huskers in college, he pitched a year for the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the school I attended. To my knowledge no one has ever been drafted out of UN Kearney. His line at Kearney...3-6 with a 5.23 ERA. Who would have thought he would be pitching for the Yankees just a few years later.

  6. [...] else matches the unparalleled rise and fall that he’s had; still, some of the names atop the list of plagued pitchers will remind you that these control and dominance issues are relatively common among closers and [...]

  7. jay destro Says:

    dude seriously needs some time in a more diminished role or optioned to AAA to work on a more consistent delivery so he can stop missing his spots so much. his biggest problem is missing with location and getting behind. too much confidence that he can throw the slider for strikes and ending up in fastball counts. in other words, he's become kyle farnsworth.

  8. Personally, in a 1-0 game, Joba is most definitely the LAST person I want to see out there. His slider is overrated and his fastball has zip on occasion. I'm not sure why Joe Girardi is so in love with this guy, option him to AAA or put him in mop up, when the games on the line, go with Marte or D-Rob.

  9. Ed Chalupa Says:

    I am glad to see these blogs about Joba aka Slobba chamberlain, I completely agree this is the last guy I want to see in a one run game he's not our 8th inning guy and proved he is utterly inefficient as a starter maybe the Yankees instead of looking for another starter(Cliff Lee) should address our inept bull pen (Chen ho park, Dave Robertson, and last but def not least Justin Loser Chamberlain)

  10. RichardKC Says:

    Haha about the Farnsworth comment. But the Royals have been good at keeping him out of close games and pressure situations this year, and he has a 1.98 ERA!

  11. Who are the LOOGYs on the list? Every one of these pitchers has averaged over 2 batters faced per appearance; everyone but Choate has averaged over 3. Maybe they are LTOGYs.

    I notice that Chamberlain is the youngest on the list, so all is not lost - he still has time to get worse.

    I also notice that Arizona has two of the top three. Must be painful to be a fan.

    Chad Qualls could be on the way to breaking Brad Lidge's record for worst ERA+ by a pitcher with 20 or more saves.

  12. Jonathan Winters or Bob Crane,who does Joba resemble more.I say Jonathan Winters,but my wife says Bob Crane.Some help please.

  13. Gerry -

    "LOOGY's on this list who sometimes are asked to pitch to more than one batter" = George Sherrill, Randy Choate and Hideki Okajima

    BSK - actually, I've been a Yankees fan since 1973.

  14. All u haters need to shut ur pie holes!!!! A.j. is the loser
    ......not my joba juice!!!!!

  15. All u haters need to shut ur pie holes! A.J. sucks not my jobe joba juice! !!

  16. So is everyone here suggesting that the "Joba Rules" should be in effect for all young pitchers?

  17. Steve-

    Sorry, that was a joke. I figured I'd just get it out of the way from the start. My bad!

  18. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Re #16, I'm not going to argue Joba Chamberlain has been handled perfectly. But he did get hurt in August 2008 and has obviously not been the same since. And for years and years and years, most pitchers were able to move from the bullpen to the rotation and back and vice versa without being adversely affected (and without everyone making such a big deal of it). Blaming that for Joba's troubles seems silly. Right now, he knows his role (if that's so important), and he's not performing.

  19. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Moreover, EVERY young pitcher these days is handled with care. The respective "rules" don't get publicized and nobody seems to make such a big deal of it when it's not a Yankee. But I don't think you'll find too many 21-year-olds on any team making lots of 120-pitch starts or throwing 230 IP.

  20. I've seen way too much of Joba this season and I've been begging for them to remove him from the 8th inning slot. My theory is that he has TOO MANY pitches. I have a feeling he might be better off mixing up his two best pitches and concentrating on location, which has been his biggest problem. He doesn't strike me as a thinker so they should just make him a thrower. Basically, when he has dominated in the past, it's been the fastball and slider. He should try making that his full arsenal for a while and see how it pans out.

  21. jay destro Says:

    joba needs to be more "Street"

  22. JT - the "Joba Rules" are null and void in any jurisdiction managed by Dusty Baker.

  23. Joba is posting a K/9 higher than his career average, a BB/9 lower than his career average, and a HR/9 less than his career average. To say he's been "bad" is misleading, unless you're expecting hitters to keep their .380 BABIP against him, or for his left on base percentage to stay at 58.3%. He hasn't been bad; he's been very, very unlucky.

  24. Will S - can those career marks be off a bit because of his short career and his crazy good stats in 2007 and 2008?

  25. If you mean they're a little low because his peripherals in '09 were less stellar, then yes. They're still not that far off from his marks as a reliever, or at least not far enough off that you would expect him to have a 5.79 ERA. I'd like to use the PI to see if anybody with those kind of peripherals has had as bad a season as he's having.

  26. Will S. @23,

    Looking just at his reliever stats, Chamberlain's BB and SO rate stats are worse than his prior years. Looking at SO and BB rates (SO/BF and BB/BF) because SO/9 and BB/9 are going to be skewed by the high BABiP that he is experiencing.

    In 2010 he is striking out 24.39% of batters he faces. As a reliever pre-2010 he struck out 33.33% of the batters he faced.
    In 2010 he is walking 8.54% of the batters he faces. As a reliever pre-2010 we walked 8.46% of the batters he faced.

    So, looking at relief appearances only, he is walking a nominally greater percentage of batters he faces, but is striking out a significantly lower percentage. His SO/9 numbers this year are being artificially inflated by his failure to get batters out when they put the ball in play.

    Note: I didn't deal with his HR data, because he has given up only 4 HR to the 401 BF in relief appearances and I feel the signal-to-noise ratio is a problem here, though I would note that the 2 HR he has given up against 164 BF in relief this year would be higher than previous years.

  27. My main point isn't that he's been as good as his past years as a reliever (it's pretty clear he hasn't), but that he hasn't been bad. He doesn't have to be 07-08 Joba to be valuable. Those rate statistics imply he's been pretty good, and his BABIP and LOB% imply he's been unlucky. I would expect him to be significantly better in the second half, result-wise. His FIP, xFIP, and tERA are all significantly lower than his ERA.

  28. [...] it was even worse than that. Even the official baseball-reference blog posted a chart which showed his ERA+ to be the second worst in all of baseball among pitchers with [...]