CC Sabathia has been one of the more consistent pitchers on the New York Yankees’ staff in 2017. He’s provided a veteran presence in the clubhouse and has often pitched well enough this year to give the Yanks a chance to win.
So far, Sabathia has compiled a 9-5 record with an ERA of 4.05 and a FIP of 4.58. Decent, but not great numbers. His last couple of starts have been relatively rough, skewing his numbers.
Counting out the rough stretch, he’s been a dependable number three/four starter for the Yankees this year. After a few injury-filled seasons and a bout with alcoholism, expectations for Sabathia were low heading into the 2017 season.
In my opinion, he has exceeded expectations and earned the right to sign a new contract with the Yanks next season.
This was before that unfortunate August 8 start in the Rogers Centre against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Sabathia pitched 3 innings, giving up four runs on two home runs for the second consecutive start. All of a sudden, Sabathia was mysteriously pulled by Joe Girardi with a pitch count of 57.
The Yankees feared the worst. But MRI’s showed no damage, other than right knee inflammation. According to Erik Boland of Newsday, Sabathia said the pain in his knee made him consider retirement.
Wait a minute. Did he say retirement? I know Sabathia is pitching well. He’s a great guy to have as he can share his wealth of knowledge to the Yankees’ younger pitchers.
However, a 37-year old pitcher with a history of knee injuries makes me nervous. A 37-year old pitcher with a history of knee injuries who felt knee pain and briefly considered retirement? That’s downright frightening.
Prior to the injury, I would have pushed for the Yanks to sign him. He’s pitched well enough.
Now, with knee injuries seemingly lurking around the corner again, I don’t see a spot in next year’s rotation for Sabathia. Not resigning him seems even more likely when you consider the fact that the Yankees are committing to getting younger.
Maybe Sabathia takes it upon himself and retires in the offseason. Either way, I think the risk is greater than the reward for the Yankees when it comes to CC Sabathia next year.
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