Joba focuses on command in Tigers debut

Joba focuses on command in Tigers debut

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Joba Chamberlain wasn't looking to light up scouts' radar guns in his first outing as a Tiger. He wasn't looking to strike out the side, either. All he wanted was a little velocity and a lot of command.

In that sense, Chamberlain was generally happy with his inning of work Thursday against the Braves, having recovered from a leadoff single to retire the side in order. He threw first-pitch strikes to all four batters he faced, including to Ryan Doumit before the outfielder lined a single into right-center.

"Just to be able to throw my slider early for a strike, and then to be able to put it where I wanted to at the end of the at-bat [was big]," Chamberlain said. "My fastball command was really good and got some swing and misses and got some ground balls."

Chamberlain's fastball ranged from 90-92 mph, according to a scout in attendance. That's down from last year's average of just under 95, but it's also his first outing of the spring. The goal, he said, is to build velocity as the spring moves along.

"I want to go out and throw 92-93 in my first couple outings," he said. "Every pitch I think was around 92, which for me is great. When I'm younger, you can kind of go out and let your emotions get the best of you, because you're in a game situation. But I've learned to slow the game down and get what I need to get done, which for me is just fastball location and getting my slider to be back where it needs to be. Those two things I really wanted to focus on."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.