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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Beanball: Joba Chamberlain is Back, Baby

In baseball, whichever side may call itself the victor, there are no losers, but all are winners!

The mighty fell hard. Despite once being considered Mariano Rivera‘s eventual replacement or at least a top-of-the-rotation mainstay, the Yankees decided against re-signing Chamberlain this offseason. And hoping to find a diamond in the rough, the Detroit Tigers inked the free agent to a one-year, $2.5 million contract.

On the surface, Chamberlain’s 4.02 ERA, park-adjusted 108 ERA+ and 1.40 WHIP thus far in 2014 all seem rather pedestrian. But considering the right-hander is dealing with an astronomical .447 BABIP, Chamberlain’s 1.31 FIP is much more indicative of his performance over his past 15.2 innings.

And while Chamberlain’s 2014 fastball’s average is clocking in at 1.6 mph slower than his career rate, the reliever is still sitting down batters at a 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings ratio—his best career showing.

...His reduction in mid-to-high zone pitches could also be a factor for Chamberlain’s new-found long-ball stinginess. Despite sporting a career 10.6 percent home runs per fly ball rate, Joba has yet to allow a dinger in 2014.

The reliever is also throwing a much more effective curveball this season, as batters are hitting a collective .180 wOBA against (versus his career .255 wOBA against), per FanGraphs’ PITCH/fx.

With Joe Nathan entrenched as the Tigers’ closer (despite an ugly 4.51 FIP), Chamberlain doesn’t appear to be in line for many saves this season. But perhaps for the first time since his 2007 season, Joba can simply concentrate on finding outs—instead of attempting to fulfill unattainable, New York expectations.

 

Repoz Posted: May 17, 2014 at 09:26 AM | 2 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: tigers

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. valuearbitrageur Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4708740)
Wow, 15 innings!
   2. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: May 17, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4708754)
Saw him pitch last night and I thought his slider looked very sharp. One inning and all but I thought he looked very good.

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