Today could very well be the start of the final season in pinstripes for Carsten Charles Sabathia, Jr. With his contract expiring at the end of the year, I can easily see the Yankees opting to pay a cost-controlled young pitcher to take Sabathia’s spot in the rotation as opposed to shelling out the $10 million or so that it will take to re-sign the soon-to-be 37-year-old Sabathia.
CC has been one of the most revered members of the Yankees clubhouse and he’s made his mark on a franchise that will ensure he’s invited to many future Old Timer’s Days.
CC was an undisputed ace when he originally signed with the Yankees prior to the 2009 season. His arrival, along with A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira, helped power the Yankees to their last World Championship.
Credit: Andrew Theodorakis, New York Daily News
The first four years of CC’s contract were good. He had records of 19-8, 21-7, 19-8, and 15-6, respectively. Then age and injuries hit. In the last three years combined, CC has won less games than he did in any single year between 2009 and 2011.
Until last year, CC had never won his first start of the season. I took a look back at his first starts and the results are ugly. In his first seasonal starts covering eight years, CC is 1-4, with 3 no decisions. It doesn’t bode well for today but like last year, he could surprise or at least I hope he does.
April 6, 2009
Baltimore Orioles 10, New York Yankees 5
4 1/3 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 0 SO (Loss)
April 4, 2010
Boston Red Sox 9, New York Yankees 7
5 1/3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO (No Decision)
March 31, 2011
New York Yankees 6, Detroit Tigers 3
6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO (No Decision)
April 6, 2012
Tampa Bay Rays 7, New York Yankees 6
6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO (No Decision)
April 1, 2013
Boston Red Sox 8, New York Yankees 2
5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 SO (Loss)
April 1, 2014
Houston Astros 6, New York Yankees 2
6 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO (Loss)
April 9, 2015
Toronto Blue Jays 6, New York Yankees 3
5 2/3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO (Loss)
April 9, 2016
New York Yankees 8, Detroit Tigers 4
6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO (Win)
If CC plays true to form, he’ll go about 6 innings and give up approximately 8 hits and 5 or 6 runs.
I hope Gary Sanchez has better results waiting in his bat than an 0-for-5 performance like Opening Day. We’ll need the offense.
Given this may be CC’s last year, I am hopeful that he provides one of his best season opening starts for his time with the Yankees. I know that Mark Spitz once said “Past performance speaks a tremendous amount about one’s ability and likelihood for success”, but it doesn’t have to be. I prefer the quote “Do not give your past the power to define your future.” If this is indeed CC’s farewell season in Pinstripes, here’s hoping that he provides us with some vintage Sabathia (just not the 'first start of the season' variety).
Turn back the clock, and let’s go.
Have a great Tuesday! A winning Tuesday works for me.