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CC Sabathia says he is “hurting the team”

May 26, 2013, 10:25 PM EDT

CC Sabathia

Yankees starter CC Sabathia allowed seven runs in seven innings to the Rays this afternoon, resulting in an 8-3 loss. Though the Yankees had won in Sabathia’s previous three starts, the lefty is winless in the month of May and struggled for the second start in a row. On May 20, Sabathia allowed four runs on 11 hits in 6.1 innings.

Via ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews:

Asked what he thought the problem was, Sabathia said, “It’s just everything. Not being able to make pitches with two strikes, fastball command, location. I just need to work and make certain I can get better and try to help the team.”

Sabathia spoke in a barely audible whisper, and at times his voice seemed to shake.

[...]

Sabathia says his left elbow, surgically cleaned out in the offseason, “feels great,” and insists he has no physical problems that have caused him to lose velocity, and today, command of his fastball.

Sabathia has a 3.96 ERA on the season, but most shockingly, he has allowed 11 home runs in 72.2 innings of work. Comparatively, he allowed 22 home runs in 200 innings last year and between 17-20 in every season prior to that, ranging between 180 and 253 innings.

  1. cur68 - May 26, 2013 at 10:40 PM

    Aww man. I can’t take up for Yankees. I just can’t. But Grandy getting busted up again, now Sabbathia all teary…jeez. I’m too soft hearted for the AL Beast.

    • dirtyharry1971 - May 27, 2013 at 3:48 AM

      really i would worry about the biggest flop in baseball, oh yea the bluejays. So save your tears for a pathetic team that really needs them cur68 cause the 1st place Yanks dont need them.

      • theskinsman - May 27, 2013 at 5:10 AM

        Somebody get CC a tissue. So the years of 200 + innings have worn him down. Time for a 10 year extension. 230 million dollar payrolls should mean no whining,Harry.

      • cur68 - May 27, 2013 at 7:27 AM

        /poo FLUNG

      • bigharold - May 27, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        “So the years of 200 + innings have worn him down.”

        Come the end of the season I’d wager that he’ll have turned in a decent season. Sabathia is an excellent pitcher, .. not merely a thrower. He’s intelligent and dedicated enough to turn it around.

        I don’t know about an extension but to date he’s more than justified the Yankee’s investment and in all likelihood will continue to do so.

    • indaburg - May 27, 2013 at 7:02 AM

      I know, right? CC’s got me feeling all bad for him now in spite of their fans. He’s a good guy too, and does a lot of great for his community. If he’s physically ok, it’s hard not to believe that everything will be all right and he’s just in a slump. He had a rough Sunday, but these aren’t the old Rays. These ones can actually hit. I think he’s being too hard on himself too. Sure, he wasn’t his best, but he pitched a lot of innings nevertheless, and that saves his bullpen. Do you think it may have something to do with the weight loss? Maybe lost too much muscle along with the fat?

      With apologies–it’s a maudlin song, but it’s true, “Everybody hurts/Take comfort in your friends/Everybody hurts/Don’t throw your hand, oh no… everybody hurts, sometimes.” Chin up, CC. You’ll be great again, I can go back to feeling a mixture of envy and bitterness towards the Empire, and all will be well in the Universe again.

      • cur68 - May 27, 2013 at 7:26 AM

        Yeah, ‘burg. W’chooSaid. He’s been so great fro so long, I’m not used to CC losing or looking anything less than overwhelmingly good as a starting pitcher. All this ‘motional stuff is SO un-Empire.

        Big Fella should have a big bowl of ice cream garnished with a steak: he’ll feel better and he can go out there and light up a non-divisional opponent.

      • bigharold - May 27, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        “… have a big bowl of ice cream garnished with a steak: ”

        Well, now I know what I’m having for dinner! Thanks for the idea!

  2. tfbuckfutter - May 26, 2013 at 11:02 PM

    If it makes him feel any better….he is making the rest of the country really really happy.

    • aceshigh11 - May 27, 2013 at 12:23 AM

      Have you no heart, good sir?

  3. slystone111 - May 26, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    Another big contract begins to turn disastrous for the Yankees.

    • dan1111 - May 27, 2013 at 3:30 AM

      Sabathia’s contract has worked out about as well as a big contract for a starting pitcher possibly could: he has been consistently dominant, while missing no time due to injury. Even this season, he had a 123 ERA+ through his first ten starts.

      Sure, he may decline or get injured as he ages, but it is certainly premature to declare a disaster, largely on the basis of one bad start.

    • dirtyharry1971 - May 27, 2013 at 3:49 AM

      really? wanna check his record with the Yanks before saying that? yea i didnt think so, NEXT

      • slystone111 - May 27, 2013 at 4:53 AM

        Uh, I said the process was starting. Sabathia was worth 3.5 WAR last year and was paid $30 million for his trouble. He seems to be headed for a similar season this year, maybe a little worse. At the end of this year, the Yankees will be on the hook for almost $100 million and three seasons more. It could–and probably will–get ugly.

        Don’t you have an empty chair you should be talking to, “dirty harry”?

      • Kevin S. - May 27, 2013 at 7:04 AM

        It was actually $23 million last year, and tbe 4.6 fWAR fangraphs had him at justified his salary.

      • anxovies - May 27, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        78W – 33L 3.28 ERA .703 winning percentage. 1.188 WHIP. Next question?

  4. stephenolszewski - May 27, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    I love CC even if I’m a Indians fan

  5. pisano - May 27, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    He’s no stopper or ace on that staff anymore. When he dropped the body weight he also dropped 3 to 4 mph off his fastball, and his breaking pitches aren’t as sharp. He’s not fooling anyone anymore. I don’t know what the answer for CC is, but I sure wouldn’t count on him in big situations. I hate to sound like the first guy to jump ship, but it is what it is.

    • carpi2 - May 27, 2013 at 2:38 AM

      It’s inevitable that all players eventually decline with age. He is 32 now, he has just passed his prime. Given his physical gifts, he will be an effective pitcher for at least another 3-5 years. However, the slow decay has finally become noticeable. He may never again be the top-tier ace that he used to be. I am not sure how much more time or guaranteed money, but this is the point where his remaining contract will be called into question by the media & fan base.

    • aceshigh11 - May 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      Yeah, it’s really interesting.

      I’ve always said that part of his physical strength came from his weight. People always made fun of him for being fat, but I honestly think he has the sort of build where his power and durability came from that excess weight in his legs and hips.

      Maybe it wouldn’t have been wise to keep that weight for his overall health as he aged, but it definitely changed his pitching for the worse.

      • bigharold - May 27, 2013 at 1:30 PM

        “Maybe it wouldn’t have been wise to keep that weight for his overall health as he aged, but it definitely changed his pitching for the worse.”

        Assuming that is correct, which I’m a bit dubious about, the problem with his not losing the weight is that the weight eventually starts affecting his knees and back.

        Perhaps the lose of weight did take away some of his power but it’s not a direct correlation. He also had off season surgery that likely altered his conditioning for his upper body which I would suggest is more relevant. And, remember that Sabthia has always been a slow starter. Add to the losing a bit off his fast ball due to reasons stated and his usual slow start and I don’t see, .. dare I say it, .. doom here. I see a guy that is just taking a bit longer to get up to speed.

        There is no doubt that all players decline as they age and Sabathia is no exception. But, his losing weight, in the longer run, will likely help him more than hurt by taking the stress off his knees and back. Even if he does eventually lose 3-4 mph off his fastball permanently. Perhaps he will never get back that mid 90s fastball but Andy Pettitte has proven that you don’t need one either if you know how to pitch and can locate. I’m thinking that Sabathis is every bit as smart as Pettitte. A better way to assess Sabathia is not in May but September. If he’s still struggling then perhaps the weight was a bigger issue. I contend, however, by the end of the season Sabthia will regain his form.

  6. uyf1950 - May 27, 2013 at 3:49 AM

    Sabathia has 3 more years guaranteed with a very easy 4th year (2017) vesting option. Sabathia’s option becomes guaranteed unless:
    1) He ends the 2016 season on the disabled list because of a left shoulder injury.
    OR
    2) Spends more than 45 days of 2016 on the DL with a left shoulder injury.
    OR
    3) Makes six or more relief appearances in 2016 because of shoulder issues

    Just a side note to all of this. I honestly believe that this, A-Rods issues and Tex’s decreased performance issues have to have a chilling effect on the length of the deal the Yankees are willing to go with Cano. OR and least lets say I hope they do. Six years is the absolute most I would be willing to go for what will be a 31 year old Cano come the 2014 season. Better the Yankees go a few more dollars per year then more years with a few less dollars. Just my opinion.

    • jolink653 - May 28, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      Couldn’t agree with you more on Cano…6 years is the most I’d offer him, and if he doesn’t take that then unfortunately you have to let him walk to some team who will give him 7+ and regret it later on when he starts to decline in 3-4 years…I hope they learned something from the A-Rod/Tex deals

  7. dirtyharry1971 - May 27, 2013 at 3:51 AM

    can’t wait to see these clowns who posted on this board eat crow when he comesback and wins 15 this year and 22 next year. you wont even find them here. typical haters

    • uyf1950 - May 27, 2013 at 4:53 AM

      My friend relax. I’m probably one of the oldest and most loyal Yankees fans on this board. Most of the posters here are just giving an opinion. And CC’s performance so far has opened up the question about his future abilities and contract going forward. I do want to respond to a couple of your comments.
      1st) The Yankees are not paying CC to win 15 games they are paying him $25MM per +/- to be dominate and that he has not been.
      2nd) As for those 15 wins you mention. Even I have to say that’s not very encouraging. Consider CC usually starts 32 or 33 games per season. He’s only started 11 so far. One third of his usual starts. In theory he should have about 22 starts left. At 4-4 so far that means to win just 15 games he will win only 11 of his remaining 22 starts 50%. Is that something even we as Yankee fans should be satisfied with going forward for a guy the Yankees are paying $25MM to, to be their ace?
      3rd) Yes, if CC wins 22 next year I would be ecstatic, but considering he’s only 21 games once in his entire career that in 2010 when he went 21-7 that for a Yankees team that lead MLB in runs scored by over 40 runs, twenty two wins would seem to be overly optimistic.

      All I’m trying to say is that I don’t think there is anything wrong with questioning CC abilities going forward. Hopefully he proves us wrong.

      • aceshigh11 - May 27, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        Are you REALLY trying to rationalize with dirtyharry?? That’s a waste of time, man.

        Even as a Red Sox fan, I respect Yankees fans like you who don’t just taunt and play up the “rivalry”, but guys like dirtyharry give you guys a bad name.

        He’s an embarrassment to baseball fans, not just Yankees fan. Just my opinion.

    • nbjays - May 27, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Wait… what? Did dirtyharry1971 actually have the gall to call someone else a hater???

      Bwaahahahahahaha!

      Hypocrisy, thy name is harry.

      • aceshigh11 - May 27, 2013 at 9:39 AM

        No kidding. The guy has contributed ZERO to this board in all the time he’s been here.

  8. joeflaccosunibrow - May 27, 2013 at 5:07 AM

    When CC loses control of the buffet line, he will be suicidal.

  9. andreweac - May 27, 2013 at 6:30 AM

    Did he lose the Willingness to Win?

  10. wonderkt - May 27, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Yeah, Harry, all of us “haters” will have to eat crow when Whitey Ford comes back next year to win 22 games, too.

  11. girardisbraces - May 27, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    CC has been a great pitcher throughout his caterer; this cannot be denied. But he is showing signs of change where people are catching up with him and knocking him around.
    I’m a Yankee fan and I think it’s time for CC to stop the pity party and time to start making adjustments. Truly great pitchers adapt to declining abilities.

    • Kevin S. - May 28, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      “CC has been a great pitcher throughout his caterer

      Great typo, or greatest typo ever?

  12. tonyc920 - May 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    You can come back to Milwaukee with opens arms awaiting CC. We need the help.

  13. gibbskins9 - May 27, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    CC please eat, you pitch better when heavier.

  14. dirtydrew - May 28, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Only 100 million left on that train wreck.

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