From the Daily News:
The Yankees insist CC Sabathia is healthy, but the heating pad, a dip in velocity and his awful results on Opening Day are causing some knowledgeable baseball observers to wonder what was happening when the lefty got rocked by the Orioles.
“When I’m watching him pitch and see the heat pad and then see him throwing 88-89 (miles per hour), it’s almost like he’s protecting something and pitching at 70%,” said ex-catcher John Flaherty, who played in the majors for 14 seasons and is now a YES Network analyst. “But everybody says he’s feeling fine, so obviously that wasn’t the issue.”
“I can understand why people would ask the question,” Cashman said. “But he has a history of early oblique strains and it (the heating pad) is a preventative thing, nothing more than that. It’s a program they developed to combat that.
“I can honestly tell you there is nothing bothering him, other than maybe the way he pitched. There is no health issue that we’re hiding. If there was something that was troublesome, we’d do something about it tucked away where no one would see anything. He wouldn’t be doing it in the dugout.”
Firstly, I would like to point out that the YES gun is notoriously slow. As I posted from Fangraphs yesterday, pitch f/x says that CC’s velocity was fine, and it was just his command that was off. In regard to the heating pad, apparently this is something that CC has been doing for a while when combating cold and wet conditions. As Cashman says, there is nothing to worry about.
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