LADY AT THE BAT: Gardner & Chamberlain: Too Early To Decide

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gardner & Chamberlain: Too Early To Decide

Joba Chamberlain's first and second start this Spring caused a lot of worry. His velocity was down and he was hit hard. With the strong outing he had last night, he put a lot of those fears to rest. His pitches topped out at 98 MPH. He threw 29 pitches (20 for strikes), striking out three and walking none. Now everyone is breathing a sigh of relief.

At the same time, fans and media alike continue to sing praises for Brett Gardner and the fabulous Spring he's having. He leads the team in home runs with 3, has a .417 AVG and a .462 OBP. Everyone is ready to crown him the Opening Day Centerfielder.

What will happen in Joba's fourth start? What if it's more like his first two starts rather than his third? Will people go back into doomsday mentality? Yes.

What will happen if Gardner goes into a slump this week? Will people pluck the centerfield crown from his head and hand it to Melky Cabrera? Probably.

Joba Chamberlain still has an entire month to work out any problems and get himself ready for the season. Actually, he probably has more than a month, since he's the fifth starter and the fifth starter is often passed over in the early part of the season. Gardner is hitting pitchers who, like Joba, are trying to get their feet firmly planted on the ground. Once those feet are firmly planted, Gardner may or may not continue his hot hitting. In other words, it's early. Too early to decide.

I know what you're saying: Duh!

Yeah. Right.


1 comment:

Jersey Hardball said...

I think Brett will get alot more criticism if he begins to struggle just because he's not the long term answer in CF for the Yanks. If Joba continues to struggle this spring you'll hear people worry and maybe call for him to go back to the pen. I just think Joba is too talented not to succeed though.