Tag Archives: Sabathia

CC Officially Announces 2019 is it.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia officially announced Saturday what was known for a while (since he signed his 2019 contract)—that 2019 will be his last season. CC turns 39 in July.

Here are the highlights of his career so far:

246 wins. Needs 4 for 250, 10 to tie Andy Pettitte on the all-time list.
2986 strikeouts. Needs 14 for 3000.

Cleveland 2001-2008, Milwaukee 2008, Yankees 2009-2019. If a Hall of Famer, it may be difficult to distinguish between Cleveland and the Yankees for the cap for the Hall of Fame Plaque (much like Mussina couldn’t decide between Baltimore and the Yankees).

6X All-Star. 2009 ALCS MVP. Won 1 WS (2009 Yankees). 2nd in ROY in 2001. Twice led the majors in wins (2009 and 2010). 21 game winner in 2010.

Led league in starts 2x, CG once, shutouts once. IP once. 2007 CYA winner.

Got MVP consideration 5x, finishing 6th in 2008. In 2008 he led the majors in GS, CG and IP (didn’t lead league because he split time between the AL and NL). CYA consideration 5X.

15 or more wins in a season 8X.

162 game average 16-10, 3.70, ERA+ 117.

10-7, 4.31 in the postseason.

.212-3-15 as a hitter.

With the Yankees, he’s had three careers.

The first of staff ace, 2009-2012, when he averaged 18-7, 3.22 in those four years.

The second of struggling, aging pitcher who appeared finished. From 2013-2015, he went 23-27, 4.81. An average of 8-9, 4.81 per season. He missed most of 2014.

He kicked alcohol addiction and reinvented himself from 2016-2018 to be a serviceable backend-of-the-rotation pitcher, going 32-24, 3.76 over the past three seasons. If he can maintain that average and go 11-8, 3.76 in 2019 as the #5 starter, I think we’ll take it.

Hall-of-Fame? We’ll see. Some votes have me confused.

For example

CC 16-10, 3.70 162 game average. ERA+ 117. 10-7, 4.31 postseason. 1 CYA, 5x MVP consideration.
Black ink 22/40 (2nd # average HOF); Gray ink 174/185; HOF standards 113/100, HOF monitor 46/50. He is ranked 71st in JAWS for Starting pitcher, and his WAR numbers are about 80% of the average Hall-of Famer. WAR numbers:  62.7/39.4/51 (HOF are 73.4/50/61.7 average). With 10 wins he matches Pettitte’s 256.

Andy Pettitte, meanwhile, averaged 17-10, 3.85, ERA+ 117. 19-11, 3.81 postseason. 5x WS Champ as opposed to CC’s once. Never won the CYA, finished 2nd once, considered for it 5x, same as CC. 3rd in ROY 1995. MVP consideration 2x (CC was 5). Pettitte won 20 games in a season twice (CC once). 8x 15 or more wins in a season (same as CC). But black ink 7/40; Gray ink 103/185 (both less than CC). HOF standards 128/100 (better); HOF monitor 44/50.   JAWS 90th. War numbers 60.2/34.1/47.2.

Andy is slightly below CC, but Andy only got 9.9% of the vote this year from the writers. The HGH usage hurt him. There is no HGH hints with CC, but if Andy got only 9.9% of the vote, how is CC THAT much better than Andy where CC gets the 75% or more to get in (he won’t be eligible until 2025).

This isn’t a knock on CC’s HOF credentials, but a puzzlement on Andy only getting 9.9%. Andy wasn’t a strikeout pitcher (didn’t get 2500 K, while CC is almost at 3000) but to me, there isn’t THAT much difference between the two ….

But then, you wonder …. CC at 246 wins … HOF or not? Andy 256 has a long way to go to get 75% of the writer’s vote. Mike Mussina with 270 wins finally got in on his sixth year on the ballot.

We’ll forget about Clemens and his 354 wins (Steroid allegations), but just note two others not in the Hall: Jim Kaat (283 wins) and Tommy John (288). In the cases of Kaat and John, maybe they hung on too long. Both pitched into their 40s and maybe that is what people remember the most—them hanging on possibly a bit too long. As for John, only two pitchers (Clemens with the steroid issue and Bobby Mathews, a pitcher from the 1870s and 1880s) have more wins but are not in the Hall. Only one more (Tony Mullane 1880s and 1890s) isn’t in the Hall before you get to Kaat.

Those pre-1900 pitchers are a far different breed and ballgame.

But still, I’m scratching my head over who is HOF material and who isn’t from those guys I listed.  It’s a fine line between them getting in or not.

 

 

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Pitchers and catchers report and guess who is hurt again?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

So as pitchers and catchers report, guess what Yankee player will miss the first couple of weeks of spring training because he is hurt again (foot)?

If you said Jacoby Ellsbury, this decade’s version of Carl Pavano, advance to the head of the class.

Personally, I’d like to just cut Ellsbury, eat the two years and $47mm and move on with Gardner and Frazier platooning in LF.

Anyone surprised at this news?

Manager Aaron Boone all but appointed Luis Severino the Opening Day Starter (barring something unforeseen). No shock there.

CC will have a press conference Saturday. Apparently to confirm his retirement at the end of the season.

Bad news concerning top prospect Michael King, who rose from High A to AAA last year. He’ll be shut down for 3 weeks due to elbow soreness. You fear TJ surgery.

 

Luxury vs. Necessity and the best solution?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

As the Yanks weigh various options, a take.

Re: Machado. The White sox now signed one of Machado’s friends to be on the team along with Machado’s brother in law.

Sing it with me (Sly and the Family Stone) It’s a Family Affair….. it’s a Family affair…

Family or no family, I wonder, even if the White Sox offer the most $$$ and years, whether Machado wants to go to a team that was 62-100 last year.

So, if Machado decides on the Yanks (and his wife may like the shops in NYC over Chicago), what then? What would be the best plan of attack?

For me, if Tulo proves he can handle SS again, then…

C Sanchez, 1B Voit (unless Bird can win his job back)
2B Torres SS Tulo 3B Machado DH Andujar (great D on left side of the infield)

Move Stanton back to LF, CF Hicks, RF Judge

Gardner and Ellsbury are backup OF, PR and Defensive replacements  (Frazier, who missed almost all of 2018, gets the AAA time he missed last year).

The only problem is that the lineup does not have enough lefty hitters. Yankee Stadium has always been for lefties, hitters and pitchers.

With the lineup they currently have without Machado, adding Machado is more a luxury to me than a necessity.

The greater need, to me, is to add Adam Ottavino to the bullpen. Adding him to Green, Betances, Britton and Chapman really solidifies that bullpen.

Now that CC has been cleared for baseball activities after his stent operation, the road is clear to dump Gray.

 

Machado, CC (cardiac care) and lost targets.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Manny Machado will apparently make his decision after the new year, and all reports are that the Yankees are his first choice, as long as the years and money are close.

But will they be? Rumors are that the Yanks would go 7 years (Machado is 26) and maybe to an 8th if necessary while the Phillies would go 10 years. It appears the White Sox are probably out of the running. Machado apparently has met with no one else.

So does Machado go with where his heart lies (Yankees) or not? What if the Yanks offer 7 years @ $30MM /yr for $210MM but the Phils blow him out of the water by offering 10 years @ $35MM/yr for $350MM? What then?

And if the Yanks sign Machado, and Didi comes back, do the Yanks DH Andujar and move Stanton to LF (with Gardner being a backup OF).

Could the end of the season see a lineup like this?

Hicks CF
Judge RF
Machado 3B
Stanton LF
Gregorius SS
Sanchez C
Andujar DH
Voit 1B
Torres 2B

 

CC stands for Carsten Charles when it comes to CC Sabathia, but in a scary recent development, Sabathia found out that CC stands for cardiac care. Sabathia had a stent put in his heart on Dec. 11 to fix a blocked artery after he complained of chest pains and other recent problems. He should be good to go in spring training. Still, a scary moment.

Two potential free agent targets for the Yanks are off the board. One was Daniel Murphy. Murphy could have been a backup option for if the Yanks do not get Machado, as he could have been used at 2B (and later 1b/dh as well as 2b/3b when Didi returns) while Gleyber plays SS until Didi returns. His lefty bat would have played well at the Stadium, but his defense is below par. Murphy signed a 2 year deal with Colorado, where he has a .330 career batting average.

And Andrew Miller is off the board as well, so No-Runs DMC (Dellin/Miller/Chapman) will not be reunited. Miller signed a 2 yr (with an option for a third) with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Yanks did sign a couple of lefty pitchers to minor league deals. I don’t expect either to make the major league team, but…

UPDATE: Figured I’d discuss those two pitchers. Rex Brothers, 31, 20-14, 3.79 in his career (ERA+ 119). Missed all of 2016, went 4-3, 7.23 in 2017 for the Braves, pitched in only 1 MLB game in 2018. Did save 19 games with a 1.74 ERA for Colorado in 2013.

The other is Danny Coulombe, 29, 1-1, 4.56 for the A’s in 2018. 6-4, 4.27 (ERA+ 97) in his career.

CC gets his bonus, Yanks DFA Bridwell.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia got his $500,000 bonus after all. You may recall that it would kick in with 155 IP and that CC got tossed from his last game two innings short of that.

He got tossed for hitting a batter, retaliating after catcher Austin Romine got plunked. The Yanks decided to give him his bonus anyway.

Meanwhile, Parker Bridwell’s Yankee tenure was brief, lasting about 3 weeks. He was signed around Thanksgiving time, but DFA’d yesterday when the Yanks’ signing of J.A. Happ became official.

The Yanks will meet with free agent Manny Machado tomorrow.

Corbin AND Happ? Six-man rotation?

Yankee Stadium Frieze

Interesting comment.

MLB Network Radio’s Steve Phillips thinks Cashman could sign at least two more pitchers:

“Paxton is somewhat unpredictable with his health. In fact he is predictable, in that he’s never made more than 28 starts in a season. So you have to think he’s gonna have some time that he needs to be backed off. And Sabathia, too. He’s probably in that 25-to-28-start range as well. We saw Severino run out of gas late, right? Some questions about whether he in August was dinged up a bit. Tanaka, another year of wear and tear on that elbow. I could see them getting Happ AND Corbin. That they could get both of those guys and try to make that fit and make it work. And they could manage it like the Dodgers have done, using that 10-day DL to their advantage.”

Signing both would give the Yanks six starters: Severino, Corbin, Tanaka, Paxton, Happ and CC.

Four lefties, never bad at Yankee Stadium.

6 x 27 starts each equals, you guessed it, 162.

I don’t see it happening, but just to think about it,

Severino, 24, 32 starts last year, but seemed to peter out down the stretch.
Corbin, 29, had 33 starts.
Tanaka, 29, 27 starts on the nose, and of course he has been battling that ligament issue for a while now.
Paxton, 30, 28 starts, most of his career, has battled injuries the past few years.
Happ, 36, had 31 starts.
CC 38, 39 next July, had 29 starts last year, and that knee will still be a concern in his final season.

Interesting concept, don’t see it happening, but if the Yanks COULD get both Corbin and Happ…. nice rotation.

Meanwhile, the Yanks won 100 last year with

Domingo German 14 starts (AAA in 2019? MLB as a middle relief/spot starter?)
Sonny Gray 23 starts (Yanks to trade him away soon)
Lance Lynn 9 starts (Free agent who most likely is gone)
Luis Cessa 5 starts (AAA?)
Jordan Montgomery 6 starts (will miss all or most of 2019, TJ surgery)
Jonathan Loaisiga 4 starts (AAA? emergency starter?)
Chance Adams 1 start (AAA?)

Ok, those 7 combined for 62 starts of the 162 games (and another 34 relief appearances). A combined record of 21-22, 374.66 IP, ERA 4.95. That is like the equivalent of two starters each giving you 10-11, 4.95 and 182 innings each. Not good enough.

I like Loiasiga, 23. Others will be gone (Gray, Lynn) or unavailable (Montgomery). But getting more starts out of the established starters, and keeping them healthy, is important.

And by established starters, that means the newly acquired Paxton as well as one or TWO other established starters.

So maybe Phillips is on to something. Who knows? Worth a look.

 

 

 

 

 

CC signs, announces 2019 will be it. Sanchez to undergo shoulder surgery.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

CC Sabathia signed his deal, and announced that 2019 will be his final year. He turns 39 next July. He needs 4 wins for 250 and 14 strikeouts for 3000.

Gary Sanchez will undergo surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder. It’s expected to set him back 3 months, but he should be ready for Opening Day.