Last month, Joba Chamberlain said that he believed he was two to three weeks away from going on a minor-league rehab assignment. (Chamberlain, of course, had Tommy John surgery last year, then suffered a serious ankle injury at a trampoline arena in March.) His timetable was just a bit off — it's been about three and a half weeks since he made those comments — but today Chamberlain made his first rehab appearance, pitching one inning for the Gulf Coast League Yankees against the Gulf Coast League Pirates. This is, as they say, a start.
So how'd he do? Not bad! He threw 23 pitches and didn't allow any walks or hits. He struck out two batters, but thanks to two errors by his third baseman and a passed ball, he was charged with an unearned run. Back in June, when Joba said that he was getting closer to making a rehab start, he wasn't allowed to see his radar gun readings. (All we knew about his velocity was that Joba liked the reaction of his coaches and catcher.) They can't keep his velocity from him anymore, though: He hit 97 on gun today. Said Chamberlain, who saw the first two batters he faced work full counts: "Obviously, my fastball command wasn't where I would like it, but as far as velocity and everything that goes along with that with my arm was great."
Chamberlain is scheduled to make another rookie-league start on Saturday.