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?