It’s no secret that CC Sabathia has struggled in recent years. With six seasons in the Bronx under his belt, he has impressed from 2009-2011, but since then has failed to bring that same fire to his past three seasons on the mound.
With 2014 cut short due to unfortunate injuries. he will be hobbling back to the mound this year, knee brace and all. But the bionic man wasn’t always this struggling hard-throwing Southpaw.
From 2009-2011 he logged in at least 230 innings per season…then downgraded to just 200 innings in 2012, 211 in 2013 and a measly 46 as a he was plagued with injuries last season.
And with his most recent performance in spring training (2 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits), it can be argued that is is looking about time for CC to consider hanging up the cleats.
But the positives of this performance…he recorded four strikeouts and had impressive velocity from the get-go. His velocity surged to the low 90s, which is a far cry from his high 80s velocity in 2014.
Joe Girardi was impressed by this performance and, needless to say, it certainly has added new breath into the Yankees rotation. How many games will he start? Will he last the whole season? It is difficult to tell, but the arm strength is still there…the issue is how his knee will hold out.
Despite the homers, the lefty was able to try out all of his pitches on the Mets and proved that he still has an impressive repertoire (but that was never in question).
So the main questions remains…will he last the whole season? If he does, it will be with less innings then he is used to. But with his arm strength and velocity still on par with some of the impressive younger pitchers in the league, he has a solid two seasons left in him before he even considers retirement.
CC wants to pitch, but more importantly, he wants to win. And he still has time to do that, based on his encouraging performance this spring.