CC Sabathia Hoping For Injury Free Team In 2015
In an ironic statement, CC Sabathia has said that the key to winning in 2015 is for the Yankees to be healthy. Sabathia, of course, has barely seen the diamond in the last two seasons for various injuries. When he was pitching, he was absolutely awful. His knee injury was so serious last season, there was talk of his needing to retire.
Sabathia is correct in his in depth injury analysis. Carlos Beltran spent nearly the entire season injured with bone spurs in his elbow. Mark Teixeira’s wrist limited both his play and his ability to hit over .220. Masahiro Tanaka was shut down for half the season because of a partial UCL tear. Ivan Nova pitched just four games before going down with a torn UCL that required Tommy John surgery. Michael Pineda started just 13 games with various injuries, pitching to a 1.89 ERA when he was healthy.
When you read that list, it is actually pretty amazing that the Yankees were in playoff contention until the final weeks of the season. These are all injuries that the players can recover from. While Nova will not be ready by opening day, the rest will. Strong comeback seasons from everyone will propel the Yankees back to the top of the division.
Sabathia says that his knee is better. If I am in the Yankees front office, I would make sure that I have five actual rotation starters before even thinking about Sabathia. If he can pitch, and he says he can get back to 200 innings, then the Yankees have an asset that they have missed for two seasons.
The health of Masahiro Tanaka is priority number one. As long as his elbow holds up, the rest of the rotation will be much easier to fill out. If Tanaka needs surgery on his elbow and the Yankees need Sabathia, 2015 will be a major uphill battle.