Tuesday, June 21, 2016
SABATHIA ON THE ALL-STAR TEAM!
This has been CC Sabathia's year. If you had told me at the beginning of the season - or the end of April for that matter - that Sabathia would have an ERA in the low 2's, I would not have believed you. Somehow, he found a way to adjust his pitching approach and it worked out spectacularly well. So much so, that he should be a lock for the A.L. All-Star Team.
Right now, the numbers tell an incredible story. He has 11 starts, of which 8 were quality starts. He has yet to give up more than three runs in a game, even in his non-quality starts. He has a record of 5-4, which under-sells his performance. Look at his four losses. In two of them, the Yankees only scored two runs. The other two, the Yankees only scored one run. On a team with decent hitting, he could just as easily been sporting a 7-2 record. He is less than 5 innings from qualifying for the ERA title, but if he qualified, his 2.20 ERA would be leading the American League.
Like many pitchers at the end of their respective careers, Sabathia has learned to adjust his pitches. He developed a cutter that he uses frequently enough to keep hitters off balance. Historically, Sabathia has thrown about 60% fastballs, 20% changeups, and 20% sliders. This year, he throws fastballs a third of the time, cutters a third of the time, and some combination of changeup/slider a third of the time. The new pitch selection strategy is paying off huge dividends.
Ever since I was a kid, I never understood why fans vote on position players in the All-Star game but pitchers are selected by the manager. I say all this because CC isn't getting the kind of press he should be getting for the All-Star game. It's hard to believe that he was fighting for the 5th spot in the Yankees rotation. He earned it, and he has done amazing things this season so far. He had one 15-day DL stint but has been strong otherwise - he hasn't thrown less than 80 pitches in a game this season. If he is not named to the pitching staff, it'll be highway robbery. It's been his year. He should be a lock for the A.L. All-Star Team.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
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