The New York Yankees have made a splash this offseason bringing in multiple big name players like Jacoby Ellsbury and Masahiro Tanaka. However, the key to this upcoming season for the Yankees will be a player they’ve had for years, C.C. Sabathia.
Sabathia has been the Yankees’ Opening Day starter for the last five seasons, and he has been their workhorse in each of those seasons. He has been great for the Yanks. He helped them win a World Series in 2009, and has started in at least 28 games a year since joining the team. Sabathia’s durability has never been in question despite him being nearly 300 pounds.
Sabathia, who is 33 years old, has started to show significant signs of aging. He won at least 19 games in his first three seasons in N.Y., but since has won just 15 in 2012 and 14 in 2013. It’s not just his win-loss record that has been affected by age, Sabathia has lost velocity on his fastball every year. His fastball velocity last year averaged only 91 mph. He may never be able to get his average velocity back up to 95, so he may have to reinvent himself as a pitcher this season.
Last year Sabathia struggled; he went 14-13 with a 4.78 ERA while serving up 28 long balls to his opponents. This offseason, pictures have surfaced of Sabathia looking fit and in shape. It is imperative to the Yankees’ success that the Sabathia of old shows his true colors this season.
The Yankees have added players to both the starting rotation and the batting lineup, and that should allow them to compete for a title this season. But as history shows, you need an ace pitcher, a top gun if you will, in order to reach the ultimate goal of World Series Champions. Sabathia is the guy for the Yankees, and they go as he goes. Hopefully C.C. Sabathia can figure out his woes from last season and be his old dominant self. If he can, this team is going to compete for their 28th World Series title.