First Pitch: Joba's 'I told ya so' moment

July, 27, 2012
7/27/12
6:02
AM ET
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesJoba Chamberlain is looking forward to proving his doubters wrong.
Joba Chamberlain first favorited this post on Twitter. He then thanked me for it because he said it motivated him.

“Reading your article was definitely a motivator,” Chamberlain said five months and five days ago in the Yankees' spring training clubhouse in Tampa. “All I can do is thank you. That’s all I can say about that.”

He thought I said he was "irrelevant," a charge I hadn't made, but I had written in the offseason that Chamberlain was a "non-factor" and the only way he probably could become important again is if there were an injury to one of the top three relievers (Mariano Rivera, David Robertson or Rafael Soriano). Well, you know the rest of that story.

Now, Chamberlain is on the verge of coming back and all reports say he looked great during his minor league rehab, dialing back to 2007, hitting 97 and 98 on the gun. In Brian Cashman's mind, Chamberlain is the trade deadline addition to the bullpen. He very well could be the seventh-inning guy.

He won't be the next Roger Clemens as a starter. He is not Rivera's heir apparent. But Chamberlain, real or imagined, is on the verge of an "I told ya so" moment. Good for him.

UP NOW: Wallace Matthews says the Red Sox are done, taking the excitement out of this weekend.

ON DECK: Mark Simon with an Ichiro Suzuki What2Watch4 for his home debut. Look for it at 10:30 a.m. Wally, Ian Begley and I will be on the blog all day and at the Stadium later.

IN THE HOLE: The pitching matchups starting Friday night against the Red Sox: Phil Hughes (9-8, 4.09) vs. Aaron Cook (2-3, 3.50). On Saturday, CC Sabathia (10-3, 3.30 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (5-8, 5.46). And Sunday night, Hiroki Kuroda (10-7, 3.34) vs. Felix Doubrant (10-5, 4.54 ERA). Doubrant isn't yet official.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: What do you expect from Joba the last three months?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.362 0 3 6
OTHER LEADERS
HRC. Beltran 3
RBIC. Beltran 8
RC. Beltran 7
OPSC. Beltran .969
WH. Kuroda 2
ERAM. Tanaka 3.21
SOC. Sabathia 21

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