Tweaked mechanics treating Joba well

Tweaked mechanics treating Joba well

TAMPA, Fla. -- Joba Chamberlain's velocity has been better than the Yankees expected it would be this early in camp, and he may have a slight mechanical adjustment to thank for it.

Manager Joe Girardi said he believes that Chamberlain's velocity has been helped by moving his hands back to his belt instead of keeping them at his chest for his windup -- back to the form that worked for the right-hander as a phenom when he was called up in 2007.

Chamberlain said that he has been thinking a lot about 2007, when he dominated Major League hitters with a 0.38 ERA over 24 innings. Because of that, he started throwing earlier this winter, hoping to replicate his preparation.

"My first year, when my velocity was good, it was because I never really stopped playing catch," Chamberlain said. "I wanted to take that and try to use that, because it helped."

Chamberlain threw a scoreless fourth inning in Wednesday's 6-5 win over the Astros, pitching around singles by Jason Michaels and Bill Hall by inducing an inning-ending double play from Brett Wallace.

"It was nice to get some runners on, to get out of the stretch and have anxiety," Chamberlain said. "To be able to get down in the zone and get a ground ball, that's always a good sign."