Tag: CC Sabathia

Adam Warren Yankees

Yankees remove Adam Warren from the rotation, keep CC Sabathia and Nathan Eovaldi as starters


CC Sabathia is looking more and more like a reliever–or less and less like a capable starter, at least–but the Yankees will keep him in the rotation and instead move Adam Warren back to the bullpen despite his team-best 3.59 ERA in 14 starts.

New York briefly went to a six-man rotation following Ivan Nova’s return from Tommy John elbow surgery, but the plan was always to go back to five starters and Warren’s previous experience in the bullpen likely contributed to his role being changed while Sabtahia (5.65 ERA) and Nathan Eovaldi (4.81 ERA) remain starters.

(Sabathia making a ton of money and the Yankees viewing Eovaldi as having more long-term upside than Warren also played a part, certainly.)

Warren thrived as a setup man for David Robertson last season, appearing in 69 games with a 2.97 ERA and 76/24 K/BB ratio in 79 innings. And the Yankees’ bullpen can use the late-inning help with Andrew Miller on the disabled list.

CC Sabathia looks like a reliever

sabathia getty

Last night was not a terrible CC Sabathia start. He made it into the eighth inning. He gave up a homer to Mike Trout, but there’s no shame in that. The much bigger problem for the Yankees was the fact that they only managed one run off of C.J. Wilson and company, thanks in part to Mike Trout running down three balls that should’ve been gappers. Again, no shame in having Mike Trout beat you. Still, he was not particularly sharp, and if this game counts as the best start you get out of Sabathia every couple of months, it’s a problem.

Are there any solutions to this problem? If you’re Joe Girardi and the Yankees your solution is just to say that he looked pretty good out there compared to how he’s been lately, say he’s your horse and that he’ll come around. Which makes sense given who Sabathia is and that he makes $23 million a year to start games.

But if you look at his numbers and divorce them from his paycheck and reputation, you realize that the big lefty in the Yankees uniform is basically a relief pitcher at this point. Check out his splits per number of pitches in a game:

  • Pitches 1-15: .234/.294/.404
  • Pitches 16-30: .317/.339/.426
  • Pitches 31-45: .318/.333/.523
  • Pitches 46-60: .333/.357/.718

Put differently, once Sabathia gets past 45 pitches, everyone he faces turns into Lou Gehrig who gets on base a bit less but hits for more power than the Iron Horse did. And that’ before you look at his righty-lefty splits, in which he allows a stingy .458 OPS vs. lefthanded hitters but a fat .954 OPS vs. righties.

Politics — and, to be fair, Sabathia’s comfort level, which could be detrimental how he pitches even in his first couple of innings — will likely prevent it from happening, but maybe the best thing for the Yankees is for Sabathia to go to the pen. Or to not go too deeply into games in the first place, by either pairing him up with a young starter who has stamina concerns himself for a two-headed approach to games.

That’s rather radical and it’s totally understandable if no changes are pursued, but at this point Sabathia is death once he gets into the part of games where most front line starters have shifted into cruise control. It’s a problem the Yankees and Sabathia need to solve if they want to stay in the thick of things this year.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Mike Trout

Angels 4, Yankees 1: Everyone in the New York press corps is busy this morning changing their “when can we get Bryce Harper” or “we could’ve had Makiel Franco” templates to “Mike Trout — from New Jersey! — would look good in pinstripes” articles. The best player in baseball hit a homer and put on a clinic in the outfield last night, running down balls like Willie Freakin’ Mays. Meanwhile, CC Sabathia continued to not get the job done, allowing four runs in seven and a third. Everyone with the Yankees will say things today about how he’s still their big guy and that he’ll come around, but he’s killing the Yankees every time he takes the hill.

Said Trout Clinic:

Brewers 7, Phillies 4: I’m not gonna say my Monday evening sucked, but two things happened. First, Rush played someplace in New York. I know this because I know many, many people in New York, and approximately all (all) of them texted me pictures from the concert, taunting me and trying to get me to admit that I secretly and truly love Rush deep, deep down inside and closer to the heart. To this I say “nonsense!” and now have to spend a good part of today unfriending these people across various social media platforms. You may think this is sad, but the greater tragedy is that I was friends with these people for so long without realizing that they’re the sorts of people who would spend hundreds of dollars to go see a Rush show.

The second thing is that one of the three new kittens I got on Sunday decided that falling down the stairs and breaking the ulna bone in her right leg was a great idea. This led me to be at the kitty ER until 1am this morning in order to get her tiny little 10-week-old foot put in a big ugly splint. That cost $500 AND has the little kitty in a foul mood today.

But perspective matters here, folks. Things could be way, way worse. I could be a Phillies fan.

Last night they, the worst team in baseball, battled the Brewers, who are the second worse, for . . . supremacy? That word doesn’t seem right. Ignomy, maybe? That sounds more like it. Anyway, the “best” team won, with Jonathan Lucroy and Ryan Braun each having a big game. Which makes sense given that they’re two of the only, like, six guys who were on the field last night who belong at the adult table at the Major League Baseball dinner party.

Why yes, I am a tad loopy and sleep-deprived this morning. How are you?

Astros 6, Royals 1: Let’s transition from the battle-of-the-worsts to the battle-of-the-bests. At least the bests in the American League. Which, man, if someone asked you a year ago at this time who the best two teams in the AL would be in late June 2015, you would’ve bet your kidneys that it wouldn’t be these guys. But it was, and on this night the Astros prevailed, with Jose Altuve hitting a homer and Lance McCullers allowing only one run over seven. The guy Altuve is trailing in the All-Star vote, Omar Infante, went 0-for-4. Please, good people, go vote for Altuve. Or even Kipnis.

Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: Don’t tell anybody, but Clay Buchholz has been pitching really, really well lately. He won his third straight decision, allowing only the one run in eight innings. He’s allowed only two earned runs over his last 22 frames. The Sox have won six of ten. The AL East is already sorta bonkers. It’d be hilarious if Boston snuck back into the thick of things to make it a five-team battle royal.

Reds 11, Twins 7: Well that was an outburst of offense.Tucker Barnhart had four hits and drove in two. Eugenio Suarez had three hits and drove in three. But speed was the takeaway here, as in the speed of Billy Hamilton, who reached base four times and stole four bases and scored three times in the first three innings. The Reds had a 9-1 lead after three and then let the Twins back in it with a six-run fourth, but that’s all they’d get. The only loss here was a bit of a loss in Mike Leake’s trade value as he was responsible for letting the Twins back into it.

Indians 7, Rays 1: Cody Anderson had a perfect game into the seventh which was broken up by a Grady Sizemore home run. That entire sentence makes no sense, but that’s baseball for you. Anderson ended up pitching eight and allowing only the one run.

Diamondbacks 10, Dodgers 6: Mike Bolsinger pitched four shutout innings but had to be pulled for a pinch hitter in the fifth due to vomiting and cramping, which he thinks was the result of food poisoning or something. Either way, that brought the Dodgers’ bullpen in which blew leads of 4-0 and 6-4 as the Diamondbacks just poured it on in the mid and late innings. Part of the pouring it on was a Yasmany Tomas homer that was subject to a video review when it appeared that a fan interfered with the ball. Judge for yourself:


I feel like it hit high enough on the guy’s arm to where it would’ve been over anyway.

Athletics 7, Rockies 1: Josh Reddick and Ike Davis hit two-run homers in the first inning and Kendall Graveman tossed seven scoreless. That’s about as ideal a game in Coors Field as any team can have. Billy Butler homered too and fell a triple short of the cycle. Good thing he didn’t hit that triple, though. Our nation has seen enough tragedy recently. The last thing we need is to have a major league baseball player drop dead of a coronary between second and third base in the middle of a ballgame.

Rangers 8, Orioles 1: Mitch Moreland homered twice as the Rangers blasted four in all as they rattled off 14 hits. Baltimore’s four-game winning streak ends. The Rangers win for just the second time in nine games.

Andy Pettitte was in uniform yesterday, pitching BP for the Yankees

Andy Pettitte

This happened yesterday:

source: Getty Images

He was only pitching BP as the Yankees are in Houston, near where Pettitte lives, playing the Astros. But be honest, Yankees fans: wouldn’t you rather see him suit up for an actual game and take the mound now than see CC Sabathia pitch another game?

Also, where are the thinkpieces about how baseball is tacitly sanctioning PED users by allowing them to come and be around the team? We saw a bunch of those when Mark McGwire got hired to coach and whenever Barry Bonds shows up to help out at a Giants practice. None for Pettitte?

Joe Girardi says struggling CC Sabathia will stay in the Yankees’ rotation

CC Sabathia

Ivan Nova’s return from Tommy John elbow surgery means the Yankees now have six starters and five rotation spots. In the short term they’re going to a six-man rotation, but once they resume a five-man alignment someone has to go.

And according to manager Joe Girardi it won’t be CC Sabathia despite the former Cy Young winner’s ugly 3-7 record and 5.65 ERA in 15 starts, which includes a league-high 55 earned runs and a league-high 17 home runs allowed in 88 innings.

Sabathia failed to make it out of the fifth inning Tuesday against the light-hitting Phillies, after which Girardi was asked about the 35-year-old left-hander’s job security and said:

He is a starter for us. That’s what he is and that’s what we are paying him to do and that is what he is going to do. … He’ll keep working at it. We’ll keep working at it. He’ll still compete. We need him to do his job.

Girardi’s “that’s what we are paying him to do” quote is especially key, because Sabathia is making $25 million this season with another $25 million due next year and a $25 million vesting option or $5 million buyout for 2017.

Sabathia’s track record and contract have kept him from losing a starting job already, because dating back to 2013 he’s started 55 games with a 5.07 ERA and 55 homers allowed. Instead when the Yankees bump someone from the rotation it’ll likely be Adam Warren or Nathan Eovaldi.