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CC Sabathia has lost 30 pounds

Feb 8, 2011, 5:32 PM EDT

CC Sabathia

Buster Olney says that CC Sabathia has lost 30 pounds this winter.  To which I say: wow.

Still, I’m not going to slap with this with “best shape of his life” for a couple of reasons.  Most directly, because I remember when CC was a young Cleveland Indian, and it would probably take more than a 30 pound loss for him to truly be in the best shape of his life.

But more to the point: Sabathia is one of the few guys in baseball who probably didn’t have a big need to lose weight. Oh, this will help — his knee is getting wonky and the less weight on it the better — but if it weren’t for that, he could probably do fine with some extra poundage. So much of Sabathia’s weight is below his waist, and that provides him with some serious stumps for planting.

Or not. Maybe someone who knows a lick about physical fitness and pitching mechanics can tell me I’m wrong.  It just seems that Sabathia has had less of a struggle with stamina or any of the other problems one would think being big would cause than most big guys do. Indeed, he’s had more stamina than most pitchers in the game.

Either way, though, good for him for dropping some pounds.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Feb 8, 2011 at 5:45 PM

    How do we know that they didn’t weigh him after taking a big dump? I bet he lays down 30 pounders as consistently as he finishes games.

  2. uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    I say good for him. Even if he didn’t need to lose weight in the short term for his pitching it’s good for his overall health and that has to be a good thing for the Yankees and the remaining years on his contract.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Feb 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM

      Technically he *CAN* opt out after this year.

      Granted, I think he’d be leaving something like $92 million in guaranteed money to do so, but given the complete lack of top-tier pitching on the market next year, he could parlay a HUGE season in 2011 into another big payday that eclipses the years and money he’s got left on this deal.

      I assume the fine folks in New York will make this some serious front page fodder before the season is over, but it’s always fun to ponder the rationale for a big-body pitcher to suddenly drop so much weight.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2011 at 6:20 PM

        My friend, he might be able to get years added on to his contract but I doubt any team will offer him more money (certainly not as you put it “eclipse”) on a per year basis considering his yearly pay for the remaining 4 years of his contract after 2011 is $23M per. If he chooses to opt out so be it. I’m sure if he has the kind of year you are speculating about and he does opt out the Yankees will be only to happy to add a couple of years on to that contract and take him to roughly 37 years of age.

      • bigxrob - Feb 8, 2011 at 6:21 PM

        The Phillies could use him to replace Oswalt next year if they decline his option…the ninja can be pretty stealthy when it comes to these things

      • seeingwhatsticks - Feb 8, 2011 at 7:11 PM

        Why wouldn’t the Angels be interested? They don’t seem to have a problem throwing money away.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 8, 2011 at 7:34 PM

        To seeingwhatsticks – The Angels have a problem pulling the trigger. They talk a good game but seem to have trouble lately backing up that talk with action.

  3. proudlycanadian - Feb 8, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    I am curious about the wonky knee comment. If Sabathia goes down at some time due to the wonky knee, the Yankees would really be screwed.

  4. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Feb 8, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    When big pitchers lose weight they often get worst not better.

    • scatterbrian - Feb 8, 2011 at 6:54 PM

      Kinda like when musicians get sober or get into a relationship.

  5. Jonny 5 - Feb 8, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Chunky pitchers who deal should never lose weight. Weight can mean power to some. I guess it depends on how and where you carry it.

    • Utley's Hair - Feb 8, 2011 at 6:55 PM

      Trying to pork up Big Joe?

    • tucknrolle - Feb 8, 2011 at 7:17 PM

      Have you ever seen how much C.C is sweating in the first inning. He’s like Shaq at the free throw line or like my mailman in July. A few pound won’t hurt…I hope

    • JBerardi - Feb 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

      His weight obviously hasn’t prevented him from pitching effectively. I suspect that this is motivated almost entirely by his balky knee.

  6. phukyouk - Feb 8, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    i think he just wants to make sure that Anal (colon?) is the fat one.

  7. henryd3rd - Feb 8, 2011 at 7:43 PM

    Let’s go Yankees! That all I am going to say.

  8. cur68 - Feb 8, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Losing weight is best for his long term health. It may affect his pitching power, but not his control. In fact his control might go up as he’ll fatigue slower. What he loses in power he might make up that way. As to losing some power, it depends on if he was using his weight to add to his size’s leverage when he threw. I don’t see the guy often enough to gauge his mechanics on the fly but if, in his delivery, he takes a huge stride then he uses his weight a lot. If his delivery is conservative then his power comes from the muscles around his levers. Now some of this depends on if he worked out to lose the weight or dieted or some combination (this is the likely route, I think). He will have lost some muscle size if he just dieted. Commonly, like with fighters, the true power in your arm swing comes from your butt. The gluteal muscles allow you to explode into the arm swing. So a heavy guy with lots of leg action gets more power. I’d say, based on memory of his delivery, he’ll lose power, especially if that 30lbs was carved off his ass and it was by dieting. If it’s off his stomach (he had a great gut, didn’t he?) then, not so much.

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