PHOENIX — Karter Chamberlain is a reminder to his dad how rapidly time marches.
A decade after his promising emergence in the New York Yankees bullpen, Joba Chamberlain is a non-roster spring training invitee in Milwaukee’s clubhouse with a good chance to break camp with the young team.
Karter was only a year old when his dad, drafted in 2006 out of Nebraska, emerged as a dominant setup man behind Mariano Rivera in 2007.
Seems like only yesterday, Chamberlain said Monday.
“But at the same, I look over here and see my son, and he’s about as tall as some of these guys in here,” he added. “So that makes it go real fast, but in other times it’s been slow.”
Karter turns 11 next month and is spending time with his dad in spring training. The pair got some unexpected quality time together last summer after Chamberlain was released in early July by the Cleveland Indians. Chamberlain was pitching well with a 2.25 ERA, but following a taxing 19-inning game, Cleveland designated Chamberlain for assignment to summon fresh arms from the minor leagues.
“It’s part of the game, you understand that,” Chamberlain said. “You can’t be bitter about it. Everything happens for a reason. I got to be a father for the first time and be around a summer with my son and get to experience some things I’ve never been able to experience before.”
This March, the 31-year-old right-hander is sharing his big league experiences with a young Brewers’ club. Chamberlain has pitched in 21 postseason games, including three in the 2009 World Series.
“The greatest thing about this game is the relationships you build,” he said. “I played with a couple of these guys, but 98 percent of them I never played with. Never being in the National League, it’s been really different, too. It’s been fun to be around this young group.”
His teammates pick his brain, but it runs both ways.
“If I’m teaching stuff, I’m still learning from them, too, little things they may see that I don’t see,” Chamberlain said.
Chamberlain gave up a run on three hits in an inning Sunday against Cincinnati. In six spring outings, he has a 3.00 ERA, and his fastball velocity is up to 95 mph.
“Spring is going well,” he said. “I’ve got an opportunity to pitch. I feel really good.”
While he had opportunities to sign with other clubs, he called the Brewers’ offer “very inviting” with a chance to pitch late in games.
Besides his 2009 World Series title, Chamberlain also has a ring from 2015 after appearing in six games for the Kansas City Royals. He will add another ring soon from the Indians’ 2016 American League championship.
So where Chamberlain goes, a ring goes?
“I didn’t say it, you said it,” Chamberlain said. “I’ve been fortunate to have been on some good teams. There’s a lot to prove in this clubhouse. They’re a young club, but at the same time there is the talent in here.”