Baseball Magazine

The Joba Rules

By Tfabp
This past week, Yankee relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain (MillieJupiter’s favorite ballplayer!) developed a sore elbow which upon further review, revealed a torn ligament which will require “Tommy John” ligament transplant surgery. Almost within seconds, cyberspace was awash in complaints and theories regarding his usage several years ago when the Yankees developed what was called the “Joba Rules.” Many disagreed at the time, feeling he needed to build arm strength rather than worrying about pitch or inning count. Others felt he was being babied. With this injury, the skeptics and critics alike have jumped on the bandwagon of “I told you so…”
Allow me a few words.
First of all, as Brian Cashman, GM, has said repeatedly, these were not Joba specific rules but were rules covering all the Yankee minor league pitchers, limiting pitches, innings and frequency of use, as a developmental policy. This whole policy in general has been developed in part as a reaction to what is called the “Verducci Effect.” Tom Vedrducci, a sports writer for Sports Illustrated, has been talking about the misuse or abuse of young pitchers and developed this theory – pitcher under 25 years of age who increased the number of innings pitched more than 30 from the previous year’s total were significantly more likely to be ineffective or injured. A few years ago Verducci started announcing pitchers who has had this significant increase in workload and his theory seems to be playing out very accurately. In the last five years, Verducci has flagged 44 pitchers 25-and-younger who increased their workload by 30 innings or more. Of those 44, only eight of them (less than 20 %) made it through the following season without injury AND lowered their ERA, which he documents as a sure sign of ineffectiveness. A look at the list of pitchers he identified reads like the DL list in MLB’s offices - Josh Johnson, Homer Bailey, Joba Chamberlain, Clayton Kershaw, Jair Jurrjens, . Mat Latos, Cole Hamels, Chad Billingsley, Jon Danks, Francisco Liriano, Fausto Carmona, Dustin McGowan, Gustavo Chacin, Yovani Gallardo, Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes and Anibal Sanchez. What they have in common is they have all experienced injuries, some never returning to the promise of their early careers and Verducci called it. The Verducci Effect isn’t a theory, it is a predictor.
Are major league pitchers babied? Well you know, when players received $6000 a year to play, they were seen as replaceable parts in a baseball business cog. When they cost millions of dollars to be signed, developed and then make it to the majors, you better believe they should be babied. They are a highly trained, specialized athlete who can deliver thunder and lightning with one arm. Why would you chance anything else? You don’t let them participate in “dangerous sports” like motorcycling and sky diving but you’ll over use them and threaten your investment? Not if your smart or competent you won’t.
So now, back to the Yankees. How can you expect them to do anything but protect their investment? Yes, perhaps they had some influence in the injury because of the way he moved from starter to reliever to starter to reliever again but to me, the inning numbers are a more important factor and not to be trifled with. This is just another warning to the Yankees and other MLB teams that injuries, major injuries, career ending injuries can be sometimes prevented and this needs to be fully explored.
Were they protecting their investment? Yes, I think so. Will he get the best medical care he possibly can? Absolutely. Will he return to the major leagues as an effective pitcher? That may take a while to figure out. MillieJupiter and I both hope so!

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Three Rules for Bringing out the Best in Teachers

    Three Rules Bringing Best Teachers

    I received an email from a former student today. She wrote, “I am currently a senior [in college], and have been focusing a lot on political economic theory... Read more

    By  Stevemiranda
  • Play Eats: Etsy Rules

    Play Eats: Etsy Rules

    Of course to finish off Play Eats, Project: Project saves the best for last with Etsy. These awesome felt foods are from DogBoneArt. When Z was tiny tiny,... Read more

    By  Blemon
  • Dutch Court Rules WiFi Hacking Is Now Legal

    Dutch Court Rules WiFi Hacking Legal

    Breaking in to an encrypted router and using the WiFi connection is not an criminal offence, a Dutch court ruled. WiFi hackers can not be prosecuted for... Read more

    By  Gerard
  • Professor Joba of the Institute

    Professor Joba Institute

    Professor Joba came over. Dad says he has hair like Tony Curtis.Here he is looking serious.It is hard to see his expression but I think he thinks a lot.Henry... Read more

    By  Elizabethwix
  • Follow Seven Rules for a Creative Startup Culture

    Follow Seven Rules Creative Startup Culture

    Within the startup realm, there is a big difference between having an innovative product versus an innovative business. Some startups have a new technology,... Read more

    By  Martin Zwilling
  • Rules of Dating?

    Rules Dating?

    I'll admit it, I watch all of the Kardashian shows. They're funny and beautiful people, sort of an entertaining and envy-inducing experience when you watch the... Read more

    By  Nicelise
  • 10 Rules for a Sustainable Architecture in Jamaica

    Rules Sustainable Architecture Jamaica

    Architects have a large responsibility to design sustainable solutions for the built environment that are responsive to the social, economic and environmental... Read more

    By  Architechnophilia