CC Sabathia: What it would look like: Alex Fernandez after Marlins won the 1997 World Series. In December of 1996,
the Florida Marlins General Manager Dave Dombrowski brought a big free
agent starter to the Marlins in Alex Fernandez. In his last year in
Chicago (where he was a workhorse), Fernandez made 35 starts, pitching
258 innings, and in his first season in Florida, he pitched 220.2
innings plus the playoffs. The Marlins won their World Series but
Fernandez couldn’t handle the pressure on his arm. He missed the 1998
season, and, despite winning Comeback Player of the Year in 1999, he was out of baseball after 2000.
Andrew then proceeds to run down just how much mileage is on CC’s arm. It’s a lot. More than I realized, actually. I’d be more worried about it if Sabathia wasn’t freakin’ huge, however, which I suspect allows him to do things most other pitchers can’t. But like Andrew says, this is an exercise in imagining the worst, so let’s allow our imaginations to run free, shall we?