Every season there are a handful of players who are considered the core of the team’s production. They’re the key cogs who keep the machine rolling on and keep the team well-oiled throughout the season. In 2012, Robinson Cano, Hiroki Kuroda, Derek Jeter, Rafael Soriano were among the key players who thrust the Yankees into the playoffs. However, with each new year, comes a new set of players who will need to step up and play at a whole ‘nother level in order to keep the Yankees on top.
The big southpaw needs to improve after having a “down year” in 2012. It’s always troubling to hear your ace has arm issues, and that it exactly what happened last season with Sabathia. He’s pitched in 200 or more innings in each of the past six seasons, however, he missed a few starts in 2012 due to lingering elbow issues. He still pitched well, all considered, but he certainly didn’t look like himself for most of the season. His ERA (3.38) was well in line with previous years and his xFIP (3.20) was actually better than it has been. His K% and BB% both improved, which is great considering he’s aging and his fastball is losing life. In 2013, Sabathia needs to stay healthy and continue being an ace, a step backward for him could spell trouble for the Yankees not only this year, but over the life of his contract.
- Robinson Cano