Posts Tagged ‘CC Sabathia’

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

When the Yankees signed C.C. Sabathia prior to the 2009 season they brought him in to be the ace of the pitching staff. C.C. rewarded the Yanks in a big way in that first season not only by winning 19 games, but also by being the MVP of the ALCS and helping the Yankees capture their 27th World Series title.

Let’s fast forward to where we are now. It’s 2014 and C.C. is coming off the worst year of his career. He went 14-13 in 2013 with a 4.78 ERA. The amount of losses and the ERA were both career worsts for C.C. What’s even more troubling than the ERA is the fact that he gave up 224 hits in 211 innings pitched. Also, he gave up 112 earned runs, the most in his career. He hadn’t given up that many runs since he was 21 years old with the Indians when he gave up 102. Besides that age 21 season and last year, the most runs C.C. had given up in his career was when he gave up 88 two times. And the red flags don’t stop there.

When you add those numbers to the drop in his velocity, it’s time for the Yankees to worry. As you can see from FanGraphs, in 2011 C.C.’s fastball sat in the low to mid 90’s and regularly touched the upper 90 plateau. In 2012, he still hung out in the low 90’s but he rarely touched the 95 and up mark. Finally, last season C.C. became an upper 80’s to low 90’s guy. Although fastball velocity isn’t the end all be all when it comes to pitching, when a guy goes from throwing 94-97 on a consistent basis to 87-91, it’s a big deal. Even more of a reason to be worried, in yesterday’s spring training game against the Nationals, he didn’t touch the 90mph mark once. And most concerning to me was the fact that up and down the lineup the Nationals were putting great swings on the ball. I know it’s only spring training, but it wasn’t C.C.’s first outing.

In the majors you can get away with a 95mph fastball once in a while when you miss your spot. But when you miss your spot even at 90mph, damage will be done. C.C. clearly isn’t the pitcher that he once was. The days of being able to power pitch are over and unless he adjusts his game he is going to continue to get hit hard every time he takes the mound. Yankee fans don’t want to believe it, but it’s time to worry about C.C. The Yankees don’t have enough pitching to overcome him having a bad season. If he can’t turn it around, the Yankees will miss out on the postseason once again. ┬áNo matter what anyone wants to believe about their free agent spending spree the Yankees are an old team playing a young man’s game. It’s time to finally be worried about C.C. and therefore, be worried about this season.

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