Over the weekend, Ken Rosenthal theorized that the Brewers’ decision to start CC on short rest would hurt him right as he hit the open market. In that outing, Sabathia pitched 5 and two-thirds innings and was charged with the loss. Despite getting tagged for only 1 earned run, Sabathia nonetheless began the bottom of the sixth by giving up a single and a walk, followed by an error, followed by two outs, followed by consecutive pinch-hit singles that scored a total of three runs. Final score: 4-3, Reds.
Today, we received news that temporary-Ned Yost-replacement Dale Sveum planned to pitch CC on short rest again, tomorrow, and could start him again on Sunday. “We’ll just wing the rest of it,” the interim manager said. Well, that’s comforting. Especially, I’m sure, to CC Sabathia’s tired wings.
Last year, Sabathia pitched a career-high 241regular-season innings. His previous career high had been 210 innings, back in 2002, and he hadn’t cracked the 200 mark since. We all saw what happened in the playoffs.
This year, Sabathia is already up to 237 innings. He’s a free agent at the end of the season, and despite the fervent hopes (nay, expectations) of Yankee fans, and despite the fat offer Steinbrenner is sure to offer him, he’s been less than stoked about playing in New York. So speculation about where the hefty lefty might end up has been rife. But it might be a good thing that money isn’t CC’s only object, because another late-season meltdown now could affect his future paycheck. Nonetheless, his agent isn’t worried, and CC, of course, says he wants the ball.
So who’s right? The Brewers, who want their mid-season prize to throw until his arm falls off, or the worriers, who fret that the 290-pound ace is too delicate for that?