The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Joba Chamberlain's arm and full beard fitting with Tigers in his 1st season away from Yankees

  • Print

DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers have gotten a good return on their short-term investment in right-hander Joba Chamberlain.

"He's been the one piece that has been consistent all year," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Chamberlain leads the American League in holds heading into Detroit's road trip this week against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Angels.

He pitched the eighth — the inning that has become his to pitch — in Sunday's sweep-avoiding win for the AL Central-leading Tigers against Cleveland. He held opponents scoreless for the 13th time in 14 games and 25th time in 27 appearances since mid-May.

"Every time he comes into the game, I feel like he goes 1-2-3 pretty easily," teammate Drew Smyly said after earning the win against the second-place Indians. "He's been pretty amazing. I don't know if he's one bad game all season. That's hard to do out of the bullpen when you're pitching the eighth inning every game."

The Tigers hoped Chamberlain would bolster their bullpen when they signed the former New York Yankees player to a one-year, $2.5 million contract. With a new team and no rules about facial hair to worry about, he has been letting his beard grow for six-plus months.

"I save a lot of money on razors," Chamberlain joked. "And, spend a little bit more on shampoo and conditioner."

Chamberlain is pitching so well, and so often, he earned $200,000 for pitching in a 35th and 40th game. If he pitches twice on this week's road trip, he'll pick up another $100,000 and he can keep the checks coming by appearing in a 50th and 55th game.

In his seventh season with the Yankees last year, he was limited to 45 games because of a strained right oblique and perhaps because he was not a trusted option with a career-high 4.93 ERA. The previous two years, he pitched in a total of 49 games because of right elbow and right ankle operations.

Now, Chamberlain is relatively healthy — saying he deals with "stiffness" in his ankle — and very happy.

"It's a great fit all around," Chamberlain said. "I faced these guys enough. I'm just glad I don't have to face them anymore."

Chamberlain came into the majors with a bang, averaging more than a strikeout per inning in 2007 as a reliever and in 2008 as a pitcher who took turns in the rotation and was used out of the bullpen. After going 9-6 in 31 starts in 2009, he pitched a career-high 73 games the next year as a reliever.

Injuries, though, took a toll and led to his departure from the Yankees and an opportunity in Detroit.

"I knew what I was capable of," Chamberlain said, shrugging off any sense of surprise at his comeback. "I've had the opportunity to pitch in every situation in baseball, as a starter as a reliever and everything in between. I knew I had to prove it in spring training, get better and go from there."

___

Follow Larry Lage on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/larrylage

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Reimagining Winnipeg as the big city of the future

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young gosling flaps his wings after taking a bath in the duck pond at St Vital Park Tuesday morning- - Day 21– June 12, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How many goals do you think Evander Kane will score this year?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google