Even if the Yankees miraculously make the playoffs, they’ll have to do it without CC Sabathia who the team shut down today for the rest of the season with a Grade 2 strain of his hamstring. The injury takes about 6-8 weeks to heal.
This ends arguably the worst season of Sabathia’s 13-year career. His 14 wins are his fewest since 2006, when he had 12 with the Indians, his 4.78 ERA is the worst of his career, his 13 losses are the most he’s ever had in a season, his 1.37 WHIP is the worst of his career, and he’s given up a career high 28 home-runs. His previous high was 22 set last season.
Sabathia has prided himself on being a workhorse throughout his career pitching at least 180 innings every year since 2001, and over 200 innings every year since 2007. All that work may be finally catching up to the 33-year-old who’s velocity was down considerably in 2013.
In CC’s first year with the Yankees in 2009, his fastball clocked in at an average speed of 95 MPH, and this season Sabathia averaged 92 MPH on his fastball. That’s a major drop-off for a pitcher who relied heavily on blowing the ball by opposing batters.
Sabathia still has 3-years left on his contract, and if the Yankees want to get back to their dominating ways, it starts and ends with CC. He must pitch like the ace of the staff in order for the Yankees to have a chance, especially with Andy Pettitte, Phil Hughes, and Hiroki Kuroda all very likely leaving after this season.