Brian Cashman made a startling revelation during a breakfast sponsored by WFAN.
The Yankees’ general manger said that Joba Chamberlain hasn't been the same pitcher since an injury forced him to leave a game against Texas in 2008.
Cashman also said Chamberlain will not return to the starting rotation.
His dramatic remark was interesting on two fronts: First, it was a rare glimpse into what apparently has been a major concern by the organization and second, a strange admission to make if the Yankees ever hope to trade Chamberlain.
Chamberlain started 12 games in 2008. He left his start after 4 2/3 innings on the evening of Aug. 4 in Texas.
"He has a little stiffness. We believe it's muscular," manager Joe Girardi was quoted after that game. "We'll see what the tests reveal. I don't think it's serious. I don't think he'll be shut down a long time."
Chamberlain said, "My strength was fine. My velocity was fine. We'll have tests just so we can rule out everything. It kind of grabbed and it was a little bit tighter in the fifth inning."
Chamberlain went on the disabled list before returning to the bullpen in September of 2008. He pitched 11 1/3 innings and had 14 strikeouts and a 2.38 ERA in the final month.
In 2009, Chamberlain returned to the rotation, making 31 starts, and had a 4.40 ERA.
Last season, Chamberlain appeared in 73 games, all as a reliever, and had a 4.40 ERA. He had 77 strikeouts in 71 /23 innings.
Many fans will say Chamberlain was never the same pitcher after breaking in during the 2007 season. In 19 games, he struck out 34 batters in 24 innings and had a 0.38 ERA