Monday, March 21, 2016
CC SABATHIA & THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT
This battle for the last spot in the rotation has me on edge. No matter how this pans out the Yankees are going to have to demote someone. Whoever gets demoted is someone the Yankees have put so much faith in as a starter before. It's a hard decision to make. As much as I would hate to make the decision my guy tells me that if CC Sabathia could be the same pitcher we saw in September then the contest would be over.
I really can't say why I feel this way. In this case, emotion wins over logic which in the baseball world should never happen. Not when you are running the New York Yankees. You do what is right and you make the business decision. Problem here is I don't know that either decision here would be "right" instead of the other. Can you really bench CC as a starter in favor of Ivan Nova?
Spring Training has not been so kind so far for CC Sabathia so the "easy" decision may be to move him to the bullpen and give the last spot to Nova. Based on numbers, you could make that case. So far, in three starts CC has a 7.36 ERA with a change up that he claims has failed him. On the other hand, in four starts Nova has pitched to a better 4.05 ERA. Neither of these stats or past performances show just how important either of these guys were to us in the past.
Think back to 2012. I remember watching the postseason coverage and every single sports commentator would talk about how Nova had an amazing breakout season and he was the Yankees number two pitcher. We were talking about him the same way we are talking about Luis Severino now. He was the future and we were relying on him like an ace. Things have changed a lot.
The same can be said for CC Sabathia. I remember back in 2011 how all of us were worried about CC Sabathia exercising his opt-out clause. We didn't want to think about him walking away because he was our ace. Who else was going to take on David Price in the battle of the lefties and bring us that big win? Losing CC was not an option for us. Years later we don't have that same CC and now he is fighting for a spot in the rotation and to stay out of the bullpen.
CC Sabathia has battled a lot of demons over the past few seasons. He is not the same pitcher that he once was and he has been battling with his own addiction. If what CC says is accurate and there are no health concerns and his knee is in good shape then he owes it to himself to prove to everyone that he can still be the pitcher he believes himself to be. He deserves the chance to prove everyone wrong especially those who no longer believe he can be a contributing member of the rotation. It would be a Cinderella story if he could come back and be an effective pitcher this season.
For what CC has done, the Yankees owe him every opportunity to impress them in what little time is left in spring training. It's not over yet. His 214 wins in fifteen seasons still should afford him the benefit of the doubt. There is always time to make adjustments. Give him a few starts early in the season and if he can't prove that he is an effective pitcher still then at least the Yankees will have Nova waiting in the wings. For now, the games don't count. As soon as the games matter then put him to the test and pull him if he doesn't deliver.
BYB Senior Writer and Editor
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