One of the biggest narratives during the first few weeks of camp is what kind of shape the players are in. Last year, CC Sabathia lost 25 pounds, while Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain were shipped off to the fat farm. I don’t believe that a direct connection between performance and weight exists, but Sabathia ended up having one of his best seasons, while Hughes and Joba ended up on the DL. This year is no different from last, so I’ve compiled a list of who appears to be in shape and who is out of shape.
In the best shape of their lives…
- Phil Hughes- Anyone that has followed Hughes on twitter, knows that he spent a huge chunk of his offseason at Athlete’s Performance. The steps he took paid off according to Kevin Kernan, who called him the “new buffed up Phil Hughes.” Hughes is probably the player I’m most excited for, his struggles in 2011 and prior were largely due to health, and with 2012 being a make-or-break season, there is a lot to expect out of the 25 year old.
- Russell Martin- According to Russell Martin himself, he vows to be the “fittest Yankee.” After spending the last few months following an intense Mixed Martial Arts program at Adrenaline Performance, Martin believes he’s in best shape of his life, as does his trainer. With a competitive free agency year approaching for the catcher, there are a number of reasons for him to be in such shape.
- Andruw Jones- Ok, so no one is claiming that Jones is in the best shape of his life, those years are long gone unfortunately, but he appears to have approached the offseason in the right way. After undergoing knee surgery, he has fully recovered and looks to provide the team with more speed and better defense if necessary. Of last year, Jones said, “It was bad. I’m not going to lie to you.” This year seems to be a different story, expressing, “I’ve been running a lot. My goal was to get back in great playing shape and be a little lighter on my legs so I can go out there and play any time they call my name.”
- CC Sabathia- Sabathia appeared to have regained any weight that he lost last offseason during last year, and with the contract extension handed out by the Yankees, maintaining a healthy weight was clearly an issue discussed by the team. He returned to camp this year at the same low weight as last year, 290 pounds, and the Yankees plan for him to maintain that during the season. Though I don’t expect Sabathia to pitch any better, the goal is to keep him healthy for the next six years.
Been eating too much Cap’n Crunch…
- Joba Chamberlain- Most of the talk about weight gain last year came from Joba Chamberlain, and though I haven’t read anything about it this year, the pictures I’ve seen aren’t too flattering. While it might have been a big concern in camp last year, Joba showed no ill effects and was clearly in better shape than Phil Hughes. It would be hard to blame his DL stint, Tommy John surgery, on weight gain.
- Michael Pineda- It would be hard to tell that Pineda gained weight without him telling the media. The Yankees’ new pitcher committed to returning to 270 pounds during his first few days at camp, and should have no problem reaching that by the beginning of the season. He can keep the 10 pounds, as long as has a good changeup in April.
- Freddy Garcia- Well, look for yourself.
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