Can C.C. Sabathia be overworked?

si-cover-cc-sabathia2By nichols33

Owners of C.C. Sabathia are going through another tough April this year as Sabathia is struggling a little bit early in the season. His struggles are not as bad as last year; last year after 5 starts he was 1 and 3 with a 10.13 ERA…this year 1 and 2 with a 4.73 ERA. Will Sabathia turn it around like he did last year and become one of the best pitchers in baseball post-April or are his early season struggles a sign that his past is catching up to him?

In 2007 Sabathia threw 3,581 pitches, good for the 6th most in baseball that year. Last year, including his one playoff start, Sabathia threw 3,814 pitches (106 pitches per start). That was 132 more than any other pitcher in baseball (Lincecum threw 3,682). That included 5 games where he threw over 120 pitches including a 130 pitch complete game on August 18th versus the Astros where the Brewers won 9 to 3.

Now the Yankees just signed Sabathia to a huge contract including a salary of $15 million this season and you would expect them to be cautious with their new investment, right? Through 5 starts Sabathia has thrown 537 pitches or 107.4 pitches per start. He’s on pace to throw more pitches this season than last!?! Well, at least the Yankees may give him a break in October when they are watching the playoffs on TV.

Some may say “hey, C.C. Sabathia is a big man and his body can handle the work,” after all he is listed at 6-7, 290 lbs. The guy is a workhorse, no doubt, but you have to wonder if this work is going to catch up to his prized left arm.

If I owned C.C. Sabathia, I would wait for him to throw his next gem and try and see what I could get for him. His previous pitch counts and fact that the new Yankee Stadium is playing like a little league field all lead me to believe C.C. is in for a disappointing season.

What’s your take?

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6 Comments

Filed under Observations

6 responses to “Can C.C. Sabathia be overworked?

  1. I think if you own CC than you have to expect this horrible time.

  2. Willymakit

    It’s just a matter of when he hits the DL, not if…. He has too many miles on his arm. Add, AJ to the list too. The Yankees will overwork them both, enough said.

  3. mrcane

    Not to mention playing in the AL east leaves much less room for error (every team can hit). I think CC will right the ship and the innings will become more of a problem as he tops 150 innings. With the way the Yankees bullpen has been pitching he will be asked to go deeper into games, not a good thing for wear and tear.

  4. “hey, C.C. Sabathia is a big man and his body can handle the work,”
    Ugh. [eyes rolling] Size doesn’t matter. David West was fat too.

    Pitch counts are a lazy way of evaluating pitchers. Coaches sit in dugouts with counters like they’re cataloging fruit coming in on a truck. Can they tell you if a guy looks arm-weary or has lost something off his fastball? No. They rely on radar guns and pitch numbers, as though the human body counts to 100 and quits.
    It’s nonsense.

    A guy is either in shape or not. He can either pitch or not. It has nothing to do with his size.

  5. “For a dominating power pitcher, Martinez is historically small. There are 16 members of the 3,000-strikeout club and, at 5-foot-11, Martinez is the shortest. Greg Maddux is 6-feet tall, five members are 6-1 and all-time strikeouts leader Nolan Ryan is 6-2. The other eight are at least four inches taller than Martinez, with Randy Johnson – second on the all-time list with 4,789 – standing almost a foot taller than Martinez at 6-10.”

    That article doesn’t sway me one way or the other. All it does is say that some guys are small and other guys aren’t. I don’t think 6’1″ is abnormally large in baseball or any other walk of life. They’re athletes, remember.

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