August 12, 2009

Is an innings limit right for Joba?

Joba Chamberlain is missing his start this Sunday because he is approaching his innings limit (estimated at 150 innings). He is at 121-2/3 right now, leaving him close to five starts until the limit is exceeded.

I’ve always been skeptical of his limit because it was never set in stone publicly, and we don’t know whether it applies to the postseason or not. If it does apply, the Yankees have Sergio Mitre or Chad Gaudin starting the fourth game of the series. Let’s pray it does NOT apply.

I don’t like the idea of an innings limit either. What happens if the Yankees break the limit because the playoffs are on the line? Then everyone scrutinizes the Yankees for not keeping their word.

Also, the purpose of an innings limit would be to “save” a pitcher’s arm. But does it? Stopping a pitcher after 85 pitches in a start could actually hurt a pitcher because then his arm may get used to maxing out at 85, which would be terrible for a career.

If the Yankees continue having Joba skip starts, it will make it even tougher than before for him to find a rhythm. I don’t see the positive in this decision, and am not excited about Joba missing more starts.

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