The TGP Yankees Award for Biggest Bounce Back Season goes to none other then Joba Chamberlain!!
Who else could this really go to? I guess you could make a case for Ichiro if you look at his Sea/NYY splits or you could make a case for Andy Pettitte after coming back from retirement and then coming back AGAIN from a fractured ankle but no one came back quite like Joba Chamberlain did. Joba not only had Tommy John surgery but also had a freak ankle dislocation injury that was once considered life threatening. His season was ultimately deemed over immediately until Joba continued to work hard and give 120% in his rehab to get back to the majors. He blew threw the minors leagues, showed a little rust in the Majors, and ultimately settled in to have a great last month + of the season and really solidified a shaky and match up heavy bullpen for the Yankees. Let's look at Joba's small sample size of a 2012 season.
Joba came into his age 27 season a lot later then expected after the aforementioned ankle injury that delayed the Tommy John surgery rehab and the rust showed. His numbers do not reflect in any manner just how he looked from late August through the end of the season. Joba's final line looked like a 1-0 W/L record, 4.35 ERA (which got over a 10 point ERA at one point in the season), 20.2 IP, 22 K's to 6 Walks, 1.548 WHIP, and a 9.6 K/9 ratio. He was able to accumulate exactly a 0.0 WAR but it is generally hard to have a positive WAR as a reliever, let alone in 20 IP. At the end of the season he was challenging hitters, locating pitches, getting out both righties and lefties, going multiple innings, and overall he just stayed healthy. Cannot ask for much more then that at this point.
Congratulations to Joba Chamberlain for being the Yankees biggest bounce back player in 2012!