Friday, August 7, 2015

Can CC Sabathia Be Relied On in October?

"Maybe I can try to hit instead?"

The New York Yankees seem like the team is ready to break their long stretch of two consecutive missed postseasons and look primed to at least win one of the two Wild Card spots available in the American League. The plan is obviously to win the American League East Division but for the sake of simplicity let’s say the Yankees simply make it into the playoffs, can the team really afford to rely on CC Sabathia in a five-game or seven-game series?

Sabathia hasn’t been all bad in 2015, it has been close but not all bad, but it seems like when some pitchers are getting stronger and better it feels like CC is beginning to regress again. I don’t have a stat to back that up and I don’t have this long drawn out analytic reason for why I think it, I am just a guy that watches every game and knows what he sees. CC is going deep into games less and less, he’s getting right-handed bats out less and less not that he did much of it at the beginning of the season and now he’s beginning to get left-handed hitters out less and less. Is it fatigue? Is it enough of a sample size to scout and prepare for? Or is it simply CC isn’t as effective and is leaving pitches up and over the plate? Unfortunately, I do not know.

The fact of the matter is in a five-game playoff series the Yankees will need a third starter and maybe even a fourth starter depending on the schedule that has yet to be released. Assuming health is not a factor you have Masahiro Tanaka lined up for a Game One start or a one-game playoff in the Wild Card Round while you have Michael Pineda lined up to take the ball in Game Two. At this point I’m not sure who I would take when it comes to Sabathia and Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi has to be a lock by now though, but I believe New York would rely on the lefty before Nova in the postseason. That could potentially be a disaster for New York, especially if they use Tanaka in a one game playoff.

The good news for New York is that they can make some sort of trade or call up to rectify the situation. Maybe that solution pitched Wednesday night for the Yankees, Luis Severino, but one thing is for certain… CC Sabathia seemingly cannot be relied on anymore. You might get some good starts out of him but on a consistent basis Sabathia is done. Bottom line. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)