New York Yankees‘ ace CC Sabathia has been on a steady decline ever since the 2011 season when he first began his dedication to losing weight. His heavy workload undoubtedly has played a part in his recent struggles on the mound, but the sudden drop in velocity and uncharacteristic loss of control isn’t something typically seen from an ace at just 33 years old.
Sabathia eliminated Cap’n Crunch from his diet after the 2011 season and took off 25 pounds. The six-time All-Star then saw his ERA jump from 3.00 to 3.38 in 2012. This wasn’t a huge red flag, as Sabathia was also coming off of knee surgery and had posted worse numbers in his career.
However, heading into 2013, Sabathia dropped another 20 pounds. The season ended up being the worst of his career, posting a 4.78 ERA while barely finishing above .500 with a record of 14-13. The 28 home runs and 112 runs Sabathia surrendered in 2013 were both the highest of his career. Sabathia himself said his poor production was a big reason his team didn’t make it to the post season, which left Yankee nation asking him to break out the Cap’n Crunch once again.
Sabathia’s response this offseason? Get thinner. However, the once 300 plus pitcher claims he didn’t lose any weight this offseason. Instead, he slimmed down by shedding more weight and putting it back on through strength training, something he hadn’t really focused on in previous years.
The key to Sabathia’s game had always been overpowering hitters. After losing speed off his pitches over the last two seasons, the Yankee’s ace will hope to get back to his old ways by now relying on muscle rather than weight. I believe the new version of Sabathia will be the best one Yankees have seen yet; he looks and feels good. After appearing on ESPN’s First Take on Friday, Sabathia told host and avid Yankees fan Stephen A Smith, “You worry too much,” on the subject of his offseason.
Sabathia’s new frame will allow him not only to regain his velocity, but it will also give him better command of his pitches. Sabathia has stated he thinks he will be a 20-win pitcher for the Bombers once again and I, for one, am buying in.