Joba playing bigger role in Yankees' bullpen

Joba playing bigger role in Yankees' bullpen

Joba playing bigger role in Yankees' bullpen
BOSTON -- The Yankees see it as more than a bonus that Joba Chamberlain seems to have regained his command, happily elevating him to more important assignments out of their bullpen.

Chamberlain succeeded again on Tuesday, cleaning up a bases-loaded, one-out mess for Boone Logan by inducing a fielder's choice and a popout to end the seventh inning.

"It was kind of our hope that we could lengthen our bullpen," manager Joe Girardi said. "He worked really hard to get where he's at. He seemed to find his command and has been more consistent the last three or four outings. That's what we were hoping for."

Chamberlain was coming off an outing on Sunday in Baltimore that saw him record four strikeouts out of the bullpen for the first time since 2007, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings to earn his first victory of the season.

The Yankees had spoken about trying to find low-leverage situations for Chamberlain to hammer out his adjustments, coming off Tommy John surgery and a gruesome Spring Training ankle injury, but that seems no longer necessary.

"I think it all just came together, being able to get my delivery down, getting the mentality of -- get the ball, here it goes, hit it," Chamberlain said. "It's not necessarily that I had been second-guessing myself, but I'd been gone for so long.

"The catchers do a tremendous job for us, of knowing the hitters. Now it's just we're on the same page with each other. They've worked with me enough now to know what I do, so we're on the same page, which is great."