As you can probably tell from the Fan Poll on the right, I think that Joba Chamberlain's return from Tommy John surgery, could be a major storyline for the Yankees this year. Joba has amazing "stuff" with a lethal slider, and the surgery may have helped him regain some of the speed he lost on his once 100 mph fastball. Reports on Joba have been that's he's looked well pitching from a half-mound so far, and Joba himself is excited about his progress:
So the question here is, when will Joba return to the bullpen? According to Brian Cashman, we won't get a look at his "new" arm until no earlier than June. The following is from Andrew Marchand's blog on ESPNNewYork.com:
Joba Chamberlain's rehab is going so well, he will soon be throwing off a mound, but Brian Cashman will not rush Chamberlain back.
So Joba can talk about April or May or next week, but the GM will not listen.
"We have to really help him with that," Brian Cashman said.
Cashman said that Chamberlain, recovering from Tommy John, will be back around June, at the earliest.
"For all of our sakes, we just have to be careful for him and for us," Cashman said. "It was a huge loss when we lost him last year and it will be a huge gain when we get him this year. We just have to make sure that when we get him back , he is here to stay."
Joba, to his credit, is doing the work to be ready.
"If you want to have a scale from 1-to-10 with 10 being the best with someone fully committed to doing the rehab and not cutting any corners and doing everything done that he needs to do, he checked off at the highest level of that scale," Cashman said. "That still doesn't erase the typical time-frame of this surgery."
While it's a bit disappointing for us fanatics to have to wait so long to see our guy get back out there, I appreciate Cashman making a decision that's probably in the best interest of our young Joba. While I won't go on a rant about it here, we've seen the Yankees make bad decisions in Joba's regard in the past, and it's nice to know that there will be no pressure for him to rush back out on the mound any sooner than he has to. Good looking out, Cash!
Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper