CC Sabathia bucked spring tradition in which every player shows up to spring training and announces, “I’m in the best shape of my life.” The veteran left-hander came in at a robust 305 pounds, as ESPN’s Wallace Matthews reports.
Sabathia showed up 30 pounds lighter to spring training last year but felt he was “a little too light”. This spring, he’s 10 pounds heavier than normal. It could help stave off his declining fastball velocity, which fell below 89 MPH on average last season before he hit the disabled list with a right knee injury in May. Sabathia underwent knee surgery in July.
Now 34 years old, Sabathia has had a rough two years, owning a 4.87 ERA in 257 innings since the start of the 2013 season. Though Sabathia admitted he’ll likely never completely overcome his degenerative knee condition, he’ll try to be productive in the middle of the Yankees’ starting rotation behind Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda.