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Cashman: Joba's not the same pitcher

Ken Davidoff's offseason plan for the Yankees calls

Ken Davidoff's offseason plan for the Yankees calls for them cutting the cord on Joba Chamberlain, whose inconsistent efforts set off alarms throughout 2010. (Oct. 21, 2010) Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

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

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