Monday, March 26, 2012

Joba Chamberlain likley out for 2012 season

Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain's road back to the Bronx made a wrong turn late last week, leading to debate about whether he will play at all this season. In a year when he was coming off Tommy Johns Surgery, Chamberlain did something only a Mets player could conceivably do, get injured while on a trampoline!  It happened Thursday night.

While the image of a 250 pound man bouncing off a trampoline may cause an uninhibited giggle, the story is quiet serious.  Chamberlain dislocated his right ankle, and the bone burst through his skin; reports early on said the Yankees reliever lost a "life-threatening" amount of blood.

Chamberlain was released from the hospital on Sunday after successful surgery and will be in a cast for six weeks. Joe Girardi is optimistic that Chamberlain could see mound-time by June.

However, it is hard to imagine that Chamberlain will return this year. He was coming back from elbow surgery, which cost him the entire 2011 season, and now he has to make a return from surgery on the ankle that he uses to plant his balance on the the rubber when pitching. It will be extremely difficult for a comeback this year.

Nevertheless, the Yankees bullpen is pretty stacked right now with David Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, Cory Wade, and Phil Hughes set to come up to New York in a week and a half. Unless somebody is struggling or gets injured, which is always possible, Chamberlain will have to compete for a job and might lose out even if all is well.

Moreover, Chamberlain would have to spend time coming back from the two injuries in the minor leagues, which means any return may be on hold until July or August, if at all this season. Tough break from a guy who was once the sensation of New York back in 2007.

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