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Joba Chamberlain's 2009 Innings

Recently a reader pointed out a bold projection from Ron Shandler and company at Baseball HQ: 199 innings for Joba Chamberlain in 2009.  Most forecasters agree that Joba's ERA, WHIP, and K/9 will be very strong in '09, but with that innings total you'd have to consider him a top five fantasy starter.  Mock drafters are taking Chamberlain in the 9th round on average, indicating concern that his innings will be limited by the Yankees, his health, or a midseason move to the 'pen.

I asked eleven of my favorite baseball writers to predict Chamberlain's 2009 regular season Major League innings total.  Here are the results:

The average comes to 142.9 innings.  If Joba pitches 143 innings, I'd rank him 18th among fantasy starters - after Cliff Lee but before Rich Harden.  It's quite conceivable that Chamberlain could have more fantasy value (in just 143 innings) than John Lackey, Felix Hernandez, Scott Kazmir, and Daisuke Matsuzaka, who are all being drafted before him.

As we mentioned in the Max Scherzer post, Chamberlain will probably pitch well if he's healthy and hit the disabled list otherwise.  If he's on the DL, you can take the best available waiver wire arm.   143 innings from Joba plus 50 from the waiver wire probably equals a top ten starter.  Scherzer, Harden, and Randy Johnson may be underrated in a similar fashion.




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