(Joba's rehab has been smooth sailing so far. Courtesy of John Munson/The Star-Ledger)
The question of whether or not Joba Chamberlain would be able to pitch by the end of this season seemed almost out of the question months ago. Questioning whether or not he could come back by the end of July would have seemed certifiable, but that's just the scenario that George King of the NY Post posed this morning:
"The plan is for Chamberlain to throw a bullpen session Monday. The next test will have Chamberlain throw in back-to-back games. If he comes through that exercise with no problems, he could come off the disabled list before the end of July."
Joba's latest rehab outing was last night for High-A Tampa, and it was his first tough one. He gave up a couple hits and an earned run, the first he's allowed since starting his rehab schedule, in 2 innings of work. Reports of mid-to-high 90s speeds on the fastball have been consistent since his first outing, and there have been absolutely no reports of Joba feeling any kind of discomfort in his elbow or ankle, so assuming all goes well in this next week a return by the end of July isn't out of the cards. But Joba does have until August 8th to complete his 30-day rehab assignment, and coming off of 2 serious injuries to his arm and leg is no joke. I'd feel much more comfortable with the Yankees giving him more time than he needs to complete the assignment than just enough, current bullpen situation being what it is.