Joba Chamberlain struck out three batters in 1 1/3 innings of relief work for Double-A Trenton on Sunday. He gave up one hit, and threw 23 of his 30 pitches for strikes.
Chamberlain entered the game with two on and two outs in the seventh and recorded a flyout to escape the situation. In the eighth, after allowing a leadoff single and a stolen base, he struck out the next three batters, two of which went down looking, to end his day. Chamberlain earned the win as the Thunder rallied for the lead in the bottom of the inning.
This marked Chamberlain's seventh minor league appearance,as he had pitched three times each for the Gulf Coast Yankees and Single-A Tampa. Spanning eight innings, Chamberlain has yielded three hits and one earned run while striking out seven. The right-hander said Friday his fastball had been between about 94-100 miles per hour.
The reliever has until Aug. 10 to be promoted or reassigned, although GM Brian Cashman told WFAN that Chamberlain arriving in the first week of August would be the worst-case scenario. Manager Joe Girardi said he would talk to Cashman after Sunday's outing about Chamberlain's schedule and whether he needs another rehab outing.
The Yankees have not been particularly forthcoming about the pitcher's schedule, to allow for variation within the program, if needed.
"Joba hasn't pitched in a while, he hasn't really pitched in a year at this level, so we have to make sure he's prepared," Girardi said. "That way, if we do want to change the schedule or if we feel he's ahead or behind where he should be, we're not always answering questions about red flags. It gives us some leeway to make decisions based somewhat on what we see and how a player feels opposed to just a hard schedule."
Chamberlain is working his way back from a dislocated ankle and a torn right medial collateral ligament. He also underwent Tommy John surgery and had an appendectomy performed last year. He last pitched for the Yankees on June 5, 2011.