The Joba Chamberlain Era began last night with two shut-out innings of work in the Yankees' blowout of the Toronto Blue Jays. In those two innings of work, Chamberlain allowed two hits and a walk. However, his minor league strikeout totals (135 in 88.1 IP) naturally leads one's eyes to the SO Column in the boxscore. It reads "2".
The question now becomes how Yankees' manager Joe Torre will use the 2006 supplemental first round pick. Will he go the route taken with another Yankees' rookie who had a much more spectacular debut - Edwar Ramirez and his strike-out-the-side, or will Chamberlain's status as the bullpen arm the Yankees "traded for" at the deadline lead to regular use?
Assuming the latter, then Joba's 2007 upside could be Carlos Marmol of the Cubs - 12.3 K/9. If correct, Joba Chamberlain will prove to be more valuable than than the 3rd through 5th starters on most major league teams over the remaining 50 or so games of the season.
The question then shifts to his 2008 role. Starter? Reliever? Closer?