It’s been a rough couple of years for former New York Yankee and now Detroit Tigers reliever Joba Chamberlain. In 2011, Chamberlain announced that he would be having Tommy John surgery to repair ligaments in his elbow. The surgery set Chamberlain back more than a year in rehab, and his numbers after his surgery didn’t improve like many had predicted.
In fact, during the 2012 season, his numbers were actually worse than previous years, owning a 4.35 ERA and a WHIP over 1.5. The numbers continued to decline for him during the 2013 season, and he officially wore out his Yankee stay at the end of last season. This past December, Chamberlain and the Tigers agreed to terms on a one year contract. Since then, Chamberlain has gone on to talk about how excited he was to become a Tiger, along with fellow closer Joe Nathan, who was signed after ending his stint with the Texas Rangers.
Maybe a change of scenery is exactly what Chamberlain needed. After all, the New York media is enough to drive anybody wild, especially when they are against you. During their Spring Training game against the Atlanta Braves today, Chamberlain made his first pitching appearance as a Tiger. He pitched one inning, gave up one hit, and struck out one batter in an easy inning for the righty. He also showed off his smiley face tattoo that he made out of his Tommy John scar.
— Freep Sports (@freepsports) February 27, 2014
Perhaps the smiley face tattoo and change of scenery is exactly what Chamberlain needs. I do know that the Tigers needed to address their bullpen issues, and it looks like they have done just that.
Nathan also pitched today against the Braves, throwing for one inning and striking out two batters en route to the Tigers’ 5-2 win, the team’s second this Spring Training. With a little fun and a lot of work, the Tigers’ bullpen looks primed for success in 2014, a welcomed sight for all Tigers fans.