"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Harper: CC's workload could be a concern

Well, this didn't take long. CC Sabathia had a bad start yesterday, and the alarmists - particularly John Harper of the Daily News - are out.

Still, Wednesday was a reminder that there are at least a couple of reasons to keep an eye on the $161 million man as he adjusts to life as a Yankee: he's a laid-back Californian who admittedly would have preferred the West Coast, and he's pitched a ton of innings the last two seasons.

Yes, if Yankee fans feel any need to worry about Sabathia, the numbers that matter aren't the six hits and five runs he gave up in 1-2/3 innings here against the Tigers. Instead it's the total of 512 innings, including postseason, that Sabathia pitched over the last two seasons, by far the most of any pitcher in baseball.

Add the stress of pitching on three days' rest in September and October for the Brewers last season, and Sabathia has the potential for a hangover effect that at least some people in baseball believe is inevitable. In fact, according to one Yankee person, Sabathia's workload was a source of some internal discussion before it was decided the combination of talent and toughness was worth investing huge money in him over seven years.
Mr. Harper: relax. It's March 12. Kevin Cash is batting .385. Does that mean he should start at catcher? Angel Berroa is batting .417. Let's cut Derek Jeter!

If there's any reason to be concerned about Sabathia, it should be about his October performances - a 7.92 ERA in 25 innings pitched (small sample size, obviously). A bad spring training outing in mid-March shouldn't throw up any red flags.

Let's all remain calm here, please.


Greg Cohen said...

These writers will take the littlest story, like a bad spring start, and try to turn it into a cause for widespread panic around Yankeeland. It's very annoying.

Andrew Fletcher said...

It's true. But that's what columnists do. It's still fun to call them out on it, though.

Greg Cohen said...


Greg said...

I am not concerned as a Yankee fan. He'll be fine as far as the rubber arm goes. He's huge and that is reason enough not to worry about his arm being tired. His spring performance doesn't bother me. www.gearupforsports.com

"Despite his mediocre spring so far I’m confident in his large build and productive numbers. In his last two seasons he has pitched 241 innings and 252 innings respectively, which is more than any Yankee starter since Melido Perez in 1992 (Andy Pettitte had 240 in ’97).

Now I know those numbers could mean that he has pitched on bad teams or that the teams he has played for lacked a bull pen but it also means the man can last. He’s 6-7” 290lbs and has a nasty cut fastball. It hasn’t started cutting just yet this spring but when it does it’ll be here for as many innings as we need it. He’s a work horse that is disgustingly fun to watch with an explosive third strike pitch, what more could you want out of an ace? He’s never won twenty games, he had 19 in ’07 with the tribe and a combined 17 last year, but I’m thinking at 28 years old on what’s projected to be an explosive Yankee ball club, twenty wins is right around the corner."

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