The New York Yankees are getting a lot of scary signs as of late from their supposed ace C.C Sabathia, and it might not be too much of a stretch for the Bronx Bombers to start worrying about their pitcher.
Sabathia is coming off, by far, the worst season of his career, in which he barely finished over .500 at 14-13 and had a bloated ERA of 4.78 that was over a run more than his career ERA of 3.60.
He has pitched an extraordinary amount of innings over his career, going more than the 200 innings mark eight times and never pitching less than 180. It’s as if all those miles on his arm caught up to him in 2013, and thus makes his future in the MLB bleak for the big lefty and the Yankees.
Not only should the amount of innings Sabathia has thrown concern New York, but so should his physical frame. Sabathia actually lost weight over the offseason, but by losing pounds, he also lost velocity on his pitches, as his fastball topped out at 88 mph in a recent bullpen session.
An 88 mph fastball is not going to get it done, as seen in New York’s 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals earlier this afternoon. Sabathia was the starter and was shaky at best, giving up four hits, two walks and allowing all of Washington’s runs in only three innings of work.
The ace of the the Yankees should not be allowing two base runners an inning, and he especially should not be doing that in Spring Training when a lot of big league caliber bats are not in the lineup. Five other Yankee pitchers combined to close out the remaining five innings (there was no bottom of the ninth), and none of them surrendered another run to the Nationals. It is a pretty bad sign when relatively unknown relief pitchers can shutdown an offense that an ace of a team could not handle.
Sabathia is absolutely critical to the Yankees’ success in 2014. He has been the ace and workhorse of the staff since arriving on the team in 2009, but if his heavy workload in the past and his recent struggles are indicators of how things are going to be, New York might be in serious trouble this year.