Big League Stew

New look Joba Chamberlain gains beard, loses 15 pounds

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

A change of scenery brings a whole new look for Joba Chamberlain.

After moving on from the New York Yankees — who never extended a contract offer — and signing with the Detroit Tigers earlier this winter, the 28-year-old reliever has undergone a transformation of sorts, adding a full beard to his look while dropping a healthy 15 pounds to help get in shape for the 2014 season.

If you recall, Chamberlain was actually sporting a Yankees approved mustache last spring training, but moved on from that look about a week into the season. This year, though, it appears he's committed to the facial hair since the Tigers have no strict rules on the matter. Robinson Cano seems to be going the same route after signing with the Seattle Mariners.

Sticking with Chamberlain, he’s also committed himself to losing weight and getting in better shape this offseason. So far he's dropped the reported 15 pounds — he was listed at 250 pounds last season — but more importantly feels healthy and better understands what he needs to do to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

From The Detroit Free Press:

“You gotta understand what you put in your body is going to fuel your body,” Chamberlain told reporters today at TigerFest at Comerica Park. “Obviously, I’ve had some injuries here and there. You know, it gets frustrating because you feel like you’re doing everything you can but there’s always a little more you can do.”

“I feel great,” he said. “The scale is one thing. It’s how you feel. I just feel healthier. Clothes fit a little bit better. You don’t mind taking them off, looking in the mirror. It’s something you have to take serious.”

A little too much information perhaps, but we get the point. Now the Tigers have to hope feeling better leads to better results for their new bullpen piece.

As for what's helped Chamberlain get his weight under control.

By the way, to lose the weight, the right-handed reliever become a fish eater after having fish “maybe three times in my life” before his new nutrition program began.

“I’m from Nebraska,” he said. “We don’t have fish in Nebraska.”

Rumor has it they do have seafood in New York, but that's neither here nor there. Its just good to hear Joba is feeling good and ready to roll in 2014.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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