For most of his career, CC Sabathia has been the epitome of an ace – a big, strong power pitcher whose aim is not just to retire hitters, but dominate them. For much of this season, Sabathia hasn’t been that pitcher.
“I feel like I can’t stop the bleeding,” Sabathia said. “If something gets going, it’s hard for me to make a pitch. Having to go down like this, it sucks.”
This month, Sabathia’s New York Yankees have been struggling to stay in the AL playoff picture. His numbers have been mediocre with over 13 losses and an Earned Run Average close to 5.00. Interestingly, he was expected to have a big season in 2013.
Over the winter, Sabathia had an elbow clean-out to alleviate pain. He shed roughly 25 pounds and, unlike other seasons, kept it off. Sabathia usually weighs in at about 315 pounds but has stayed around 289 pounds. Yet, the Yankees have been average and Sabathia is well aware of his failings.
“This year has felt like one big inning. It’s frustrating. It’s something that I’ve expressed over the past two years, not being able to hold a lead.”
Outside of elbow pain, there is a possibility that the weight loss robbed Sabathia of some velocity, although he hit 95 on the gun several times this season. The Yankees can only hope that at age 33, Sabathia will perform well enough to justify his $96 million salary over the next four years.