Monday, April 06, 2009

CC Rider

Yesterday was a good day for me.

I finished my taxes only to find I was getting a big, fat refund, and CC Sabathia looked about how I expected him to.

The Yankees' two big off-season acquisitions for the just north of Manhattan Project - Fat Man (Sabathia), and Little Boy (Mark Teixiera), were ugly in their debuts for the Bronx Bommahs. Fat Man's return to the American League, a place where his career stats have always screamed number two starter, was uninspired. The Yankees would-be-ace failed to get out of the fifth inning, giving up six earned runs in four-and-a-third innings for a rousing 12.46 ERA .

I don't expect that Sabathia will be this bad during the course of the season. But I also don't expect him to be good. He dominated the hitter's B-League, tearing up the NL Central, but has only thrice in his eight seasons had an ERA below 3.60 over the course of a full season. And only twice in the AL has he managed an ERA below that number (last season he was at 3.83 before the trade). Additionally, this is a man coming off the two highest inning total of his career (241 in 2007, and 253 in 2008), and he's not exactly a fitness freak. And I addressed that in a previous post when I wrote -

I look at the Yankees off-season and can't help think that they learned nothing from the Carl Pavano signing. Nor have they learned anything from the history of fat pitchers.

The CC Sabathia signing might work well for them in the regular season for the first year or two, but eight seasons? That's nuts.

Sid Fernandez, who had weight issues, last started more than 20 games at age 29. Former Red Sox reliever Rich "El Guapo/the human zeppelin" Garces was respectable until the age of 30. At 31 he posted a 7.59 ERA and was out of baseball after that season. Once dominant Bartolo Colon had an eight season stretch wherein he pitched fewer than 200 innings only once (188 in 2000) and averaged 32.6 starts per season. When he turned 33 he went away - compiling a total of 35 starts and fewer than 200 combined innings over the final three seasons of his career. Sabathia turns 30 in 2010.

The future is not bright for him.
As for Mark Teixiera, I expect he will likely be in line with his career averages when the smoke clears, but putting up a big donut in four at bats, leaving four men on and only getting on base once - not the start that Hank and Hal were hoping for, I'm sure.