Just in case there wasn’t enough standing in the way of Joba Chamberlain ever living up to the enormous expectations placed on him when he first came into the league, it appears as though the right handed reliever has shown up at the Yankees Spring Training facilities a tad over his listed weight of 230 pounds.
Ben Shpigel of the New York Times describes this hilarious exchange:
Asked Wednesday morning for his impression of Chamberlain, General Manager Brian Cashman said: “He’s heavier. Let’s just leave it at that.”
Told that Chamberlain has said he packed on muscle, Cashman said: “He’s obviously heavier. That’s as much as I’ll say.”
Asked if he expected Chamberlain to lose weight by opening day, Cashman only repeated, “He’s heavier.”
How much more fun is Brian Cashman in the last year of his contract after he was overruled by ownership with the Rafael Soriano signing? First there was the Soriano press conference where the Yankees GM made it awkwardly clear that he didn’t want to sign Soriano, then the great breakfast reveal where he spoke far too candidly than he likely should have, then there was the celebrity bartender gig, and now his comments or lack thereof on Chamberlain’s weight.
Cashman is either incredibly confident in his job security or has completely given up on trying to please the Steinbrenners to stay employed.
It’s a shame that there’s so much scorn directed at Chamberlain, who in his first season as a full-time reliever delivered much better than average results.
71.2 IP, 3.50 K/BB, 0.75 HR/9, 1.30 WHIP, 2.98 FIP.
Despite a 4.40 ERA, no reliever in the American League who pitched more than 70 innings had a better FIP last season than Chamberlain, suggesting that his higher ERA is more the result of bad luck rather than bad pitching.
Nonetheless, part of playing for the Yankees is tolerating headlines like: Joba The Gut, while performing well in his bullpen sessions to date. But as the Yankees blog River Avenue Blues asks, “If Chamberlain is throwing well, how concerned can the Yankees be about his weight?”