In case you missed last night’s post game (and pregame) Joe Girardi made clear that he’s going to going with match ups for the 8th inning for the foreseeable future. That’s a nice way of saying Joba has been demoted. Here’s the video where he discusses last night’s 8th and his thought process behind it. I transcribed the interview:
Kim Jones-“We talked about the 8th before the game, this was obviously a tight game, Robertson/Logan there, what goes into that?”
Joe Girardi-“Well I knew I was going to go to Logan for Choo, and Cabrera’s had some success off of Javy, even though he did a good job on him tonight. So I thought I would go to Robbie for just one hitter, and then go to Boone, and it worked out.”
Sweeney Murti-“Joe, Joba’s throwing the ball the way you expect him to throw the ball, do you go with match ups there?”
Joe Girardi-“I might. Choo is so dangerous against Right handers. So I might, but it’s just what I decided to do today.”
Mark Fiensand-“Joe, before the game you said that in the 8th inning you would lean towards Joba. Is this a match ups thing going forward?”
Joe Girardi-“I’m going to do both, I’m going to do both. I just wanted to get Robbie for one hitter, I just wanted him to get Cabrera. Then I knew I was going to the Lefty even though their young catcher has had a lot of success in his career off of Lefties, he’s struggled a little bit up here and we haven’t seen a ton of him I was possibly going to let Booney face him as well”
Mark Fiensand-“So Logan was in there for the rest of the inning?”
Joe Girardi-“Yeah, or I had Mo if I needed him”
(unknown)-“Joe, If you were leaning toward Joba for the 8th inning, why did you go to Robbie for the 8th?”
Joe Girardi-“Because I liked the match up. I look at the charts, I look at everything and I liked the match up.”
Having an 8th inning guy means that you go to him in the 8th (or earlier) regardless of match ups. What Joe is telling us is he doesn’t have one, so he’s going to mix and match going forward. The fact that he brought this up in the pregame, before the game even took place or any situations arose, shows just how set in stone this is. Joba’s officially buried in the bullpen. Expect to see him used in lower leverage spots backed up by relievers other than Mo going forward.
This shouldn’t come as much surprise, given the way he’s pitched. A recent piece in the NY Post details just how ugly his numbers have been of late, at a time when he needed to improve in order to keep his job-
In his last five games, totaling six innings, Chamberlain has surrendered 12 hits, eight earned runs and four walks.
In his last 15 appearances dating to June 13, he has had only one clean outing in which he didn’t allow a hit or walk.
From that same article, Joe gave a hint of how little faith he has in Joba after his last performance against the Royals:
Yankee manager Joe Girardi, after watching Chamberlain surrender a walk and then a Scott Podsednik home run to turn a comfortable 7-3 Yankees lead into a 7-5 fret, admitted he was ready to go to David Robertson.
“I was prepared to bring him in if Joba gave up another base-runner,” Girardi said.
It’s over. Saying that you are backing up your 8th inning guy with your 7th inning guy tells me that their roles have been reversed. Joba would need to start absolutely dominating to regain Joe’s trust. With just 2 months left in the season, time is running out and his opportunities to regain that trust will be fewer and further between.
At this stage, I would either trade him or send him down to AAA and let him work as a starter again, either this year or next. I know that’s jerking him around some more, so maybe you tell him to close games for Scranton this year and prepare as a Starter for next year. The whole point of Joba the reliever was to groom him as an heir to Mariano Rivera, to be the guy you go to when all Hell breaks loose. He couldn’t even hold down the role where he has Mo backing him up, so it would be a long road back for him to even be considered as a future Closer ever again. The Yanks have some big decisions to make with him, but as of now he’s just another bad middle reliever. Joba’s had quite the ride in this town, from the hottest pitcher on the planet, to an endless topic of conversation. But now he’s on the edge of being irrelevant, which I must admit was the last thing I thought would ever happen with him.