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Joba Chamberlain: When will he have fantasy baseball value?

Joba Chamberlain, Pitcher, New York YankeesThere’s a lot of talk out there today about Fantasy Baseball Dugout’s favorite Nebraska Cornhusker – New York Yankees reliever JOBA CHAMBERLAIN.

Hank Steinbrenner, Yanks prez and apparently a disgruntled fantasy baseball GM, wants Joba in the Yankees rotation. His logic being that since Joba can throw a 100-mph fastball, he needs to start.

Yankees real-life GM Brian Cashman has stated in response that the current “Joba Plan” will not change, and that Hank is fully aware of that.

Joba has picked up in 2008 right where he left off in 2007. In five appearances this season, Chamberlain is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA, 8 strikeouts, and a 1.11 WHIP in only 6.1 innings of work. For fantasy baseball leagues that include holds in their statistics, Joba does have three of them, giving him high value in leagues that cater to middle relievers.

For now, Joba will remain in the Yanks pen as the primary setup man for the legendary Mariano Rivera, giving him limited value in the fantasy baseball universe.

All the same, when is the best time for Joba to hit the Yankees rotation? Ian Kennedy has dropped his ERA almost four runs over the past week, but it still stands at 9.64 on the season and he has yet to win a start. Phil Hughes is also struggling, with an 0-3 start and an ERA of 8.82.

Placing Joba in the rotation over one of these two (Kennedy probably) would seem to be a good move, but apparently a minor league rehab assignment will be necessary to convert Joba into a starter.

The Yankees will make a rotation change if necessary, and Chamberlain is the most likely player to join the rotation… just don’t expect the change to happen before the All-Star break. His fantasy baseball value is still limited to leagues with holds until he joins the rotation full-time.

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