Up until Friday night, CC Sabathia was in a rare slump. He hadn’t picked up a win in nearly a month, since August 24th, which is unacceptable at this point in the year. Considering the two DL stints, some members of the media questioned his health, and I think the legitimacy of that claim has only grown.
The most recent time spent on the disabled list was due to elbow inflammation, and in just his second start back from that injury, he gave up 9 hits and 5 runs to the Blue Jays. In the next three games, he produced with pretty much the same results. The numbers weren’t exceedingly miserable, there really was no loss in velocity, but Sabathia just looked too hittable and incapable of whiffs.
His last start before Friday, September 21st, was a week earlier, September 14th. Presumably, in a heated playoff race with the Orioles, you’d think the Yankee ace would be pitching every fifth day, lining him up for September 19th. There was an off day, and then a double header, and for some reason the Yankees handed the ball to a sixth starter during that time. Considering the circumstances of the division race, there is no excuse to push back your ace’s start, unless he’s injured. Back in 2008 he was pitching with just 3 days rest at this time of the year for the Brewers, so we know what he’s capable of. The plan to give him a few extra days off pretty much ensures that he’s still dealing with some sort of elbow discomfort. Fortunately, it looks like the rest helped him tremendously in his last start.
Against the Athletics, Sabathia pitched 8.0 innings, allowing just three hits, two walks, and earning 11 strikeouts. It was good for a Game Score of 85, which is his highest since his complete game shutout versus the Rays in July of 2011, and ranks as the third highest in his four seasons with the Yankees. So let’s take a look at the PITCHf/x from his previous four bad starts compared to Friday.
The differences in selection stands out the most. Sabathia was throwing far more four-seam fastballs in his start against the Athletics. There is an issue with sample size here, but the pitch was yielding around an inch more in rising action during that game. Considering the spin angle remained the same, it’s due to the increase in RPM. In fact, there was improved RPM all around. Whether this is due to less discomfort in his elbow remains to be seen, but it’s certainly something to investigate.
Perhaps he tinkered with something in his delivery, but there aren’t any noticeable differences in his mechanics.
One thing that stood out to me was the consistency of his release point from 9/21. As indicated in black, the release spray was incredibly small, which is something you rarely see. You can’t say he was anymore consistent than other nights due to possible differences in PITCHf/x camera calibrations between stadiums, but Friday definitely stands out. Considering the ease of replicating delivery from Friday night, I’d have to assume that he was feeling pretty good.
My original assumption in early September was that Sabathia had changed his selection to deal with his struggles versus righties. Now, I believe he may have altered his selection because he couldn’t get the needed movement on his four-seam fastball. Elbow inflammation may have prevented him from reaching the needed spin rate, and the flatter fastball may have both lacked overpowering movement and hurt his location. The good news is that he looked as good as ever on Friday, so this might be the end of anymore injury speculation.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brand bc on Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- http://2804lasela.wordpress.com/ on TYA Predictions: Bold predictions for 2012
- the tao of badass pdf on What about Austin Romine?
- Joey Parkhill on Dante Bichette Jr’s Swing
- lululemon factory outlet on Contact Us
- Cary on Will R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball Succeed In A Domed Stadium?
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees