Bomber Bites With Jumping Joe–Healthy CC Sabathia is Crucial Next Season


With the Yankees apparently staying their hand this off-season and not going after any big name free agents, they will need to get big contributions from internal sources that under performed in 2014.  One individual who, if healthy, can vastly improve on his 2014 campaign and be a possible difference maker is CC Sabathia.

Sabathia showed his age in the beginning of last season as he was ineffecive early before losing the remainder of his season to a knew injury.  The big southpaw was just 3-4 with an ERA over 5 in only 46 innings last season.  With such a disaster season riding on the heels of a lackluster 2013 campaign that saw Sabathia go 14-13 with 4.78 ERA, one justifiaby wonders how much he has left int he tank.  The velocity has seemingly left his fastball and he has thus far been unable to cope with that fact.  He has thrown a ton of innings and is already in his mid-30s so the end is approaching.  But for the Yankees sake, hopefully he has at least a few more productive years left.

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The good news for Sabathia and the Yankees is that his injury last season was not to his left arm or elbow but to his knee.  It is much easier to predict how a pitcher will return from a leg injury than an arm injury.  The other factor the Yankees have going for them is that they don’t need Sabathia to be an ace.  They aren’t looking for him to carry the rotation for a 162 game grind.  Masahiro Tanaka is now the undisputed the ace of the staff.  Michael Pineda is entrenched as the number two guy.  That lets Sabathia slide into the mid to back of the rotation next season.

He won’t be counted on to match up against the toughest starters in the league anymore.  He is not the guy everyone will be looking to help the team avoid long losing streaks.  Instead, he will need to provide innings and give the Yankees a chance to win on a consistent basis.  If he can go out next season and eat up 180-200 innings with double digit wins, then he will have given the Bombers all they could reasonably ask for.  Anything more is pure gravy.

By all accounts, Sabathia’s knee is fully healed and he is ready to go.  He will be coming into spring training with a chipon his shoulder and something to prove for the first time in years.  While the expectations will be low for him entering the season, I wouldn’t be surprised if he reverts to his old dominating habits on the mound next season.  Which is good news for the Bombers, because if  he is back to the old CC then the Yankees could have a dominant pitching staff to contend in the AL East.