As votes of confidences go, this was a particularly weak one.Watching Joba pitch these days is just depressing and it's clear that he's rusty. At this point, I don't see any other valid option besides sending him down. With the lead in the division down to just four games the Yankees can't afford to be blowing any more games because of Joba.
"I don't anticipate us making any changes tonight," said manager Joe Girardi, under questioning that, when boiled down to its essence, amounted pretty much to this: What are you going to do with Joba Chamberlain?
OK, so maybe not Monday night, not in the immediate aftershock of the New York Yankees' 9-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a three-game series.
But maybe it will be Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or by the end of the week, when, barring a setback, it is expected that CC Sabathia will be reactivated from the disabled list in time to pitch on Friday in Cleveland.
But some day soon, the announcement will come that the return of Joba Chamberlain has been put on hold, and that the 26-year-old right-hander who already is beginning to look and sound as shopworn as Derek Lowe, will be heading back down to the minors in an effort to regain his touch.
In fact, the only thing that seems to be keeping him on the Yankees' roster right now is necessity -- that and a spare roster spot with Sabathia on the DL at least until Thursday.
Since he returned on Aug. 1, he has been consistently hittable and increasingly disappointing. He has made seven appearances and allowed runs in five of them and allowed an inherited runner to score in a sixth. He has surrendered 15 hits in 6 2/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs. His ERA is 9.45.
Obviously, the Yankees didn't allow him to take enough time to get back. They saw his velocity and they saw that he was pain-free and decided he was major league ready. The results so far tell you another story. Their recklessness in this regard is especially shocking when you recall the Joba Rules, in which they treated their 21-year-old phenom as if he were made of porcelain.
Now, he is 26, his best days may well be behind him, and the Yankees need another right-hander in their bullpen.
"I'm not concerned about him long-term," Girardi said. "But short-term, yeah, I am. We've got to try to get him right."
If Joba Chamberlain is ever going to get himself right, it's not going to be on a major league mound getting smacked around by a first-place team.
Girardi must know this, and by his lukewarm vote of confidence Monday night, he seemed to be letting all of us know it, too.
What do you think? Should Joba be sent down?