Joba Chamberlain, a supplemental first-round pick in the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft, spent less than one season in the minor leagues before getting the call to the Majors following his Nebraska career. He learned the news on Monday afternoon and reported to Toronto, where the Yankees are squaring off with the Blue Jays in a four-game series. He was officially activated and added to the Yankees 40-man roster prior to Tuesday's game.
Chamberlain, who was Nebraska's No. 1 starter in both 2005 and 2006, is the 26th former Husker to reach the Majors and the second to make his debut this season. He joins Alex Gordon, who made his MLB debut with Kansas City on Opening Day. Gordon and Chamberlain were teammates on the Huskers' 2005 College World Series team, leading the Huskers to a school-record 57 wins and the program's first CWS win.
Chamberlain also becomes the fifth former Husker to reach the Majors this season, joining Gordon, Darin Erstad (Chicago White Sox), Shane Komine (Oakland Athletics) and Dan Johnson (Oakland Athletics).
This season, Chamberlain is a combined 9-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 18 appearances covering three levels in New York's farm system. He has 135 strikeouts over 88.1 innings, as he is holding foes to a .179 average. Chamberlain dominated at the Triple A level, going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three appearances, striking out 18 and walking one over eight innings. Chamberlain, who was used exclusively as a starter until last week, did not allow a run in his three relief outings, striking out 10 over four innings of work at the Double-A and Triple-A levels.
In his two-year career at Nebraska, he compiled a 16-7 record with a 3.29 ERA in 32 starts, as he ranks fourth with 232 strikeouts in 208.0 career innings. He fanned 10 or more hitters eight times in his career, including four outings during the 2006 campaign.
As a sophomore, Chamberlain earned All-America honors, going 10-2 with a 2.81 ERA, fanning 130 to rank second in the Big 12. A first-team All-Big 12 pick in 2005, he was also the league's newcomer of the year and ranked among the Big 12 leaders in seven categories, including strikeouts (130, second), wins (10, third), innings (118.2, third), strikeouts/nine innings (9.86, fourth), starts (18, fifth), ERA (ninth) and opponent batting average (.218, 10th).
With his selection in the 2006 MLB Draft, Chamberlain was the first Husker pitcher taken in the first round since the 1995 Draft when two-way player Alvie Shepherd was the No. 21 overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles.