My research indicates that rhubarb with short stalks and huge leaves is the result of too much nitrogen (water soluble fertilizer or manure). In such a case, it is recommended to increase the potassium levels by applying sulphate of potash.
For more information about potash, please visit the following link:
I also saw mention that some varieties of rhubarb will send up short stems when they need to be divided (is your rhubarb bed getting too crowded?). Information on dividing rhubarb can be found here: