Last October, just as the Yankees were set to face the Astros in the American League Wild Card game, starter CC Sabathia checked into an alcohol rehabilitation center. It took the baseball world by surprise as Sabathia had been pitching well after being activated from the disabled list.
Sabathia is back with the Yankees and feeling pretty good going into the upcoming regular season. He opened up about his addiction to alcohol in a column at The Players’ Tribune and it truly is a must-read. Sabathia describes alcohol addiction as a multifaceted problem. Sometimes you’re not even aware of your problem, despite other people trying to tell you. Then you need to want to get help, which he didn’t for a while. He cites former pitcher Bob Welch, who also battled alcohol addiction, as a source of information while he was in rehab.
Sabathia, 35, is not guaranteed a spot in the Yankees’ rotation. He is battling Ivan Nova for the fifth and final spot. The lefty said he found a knee brace that feels good, which may explain his improved performance at the end of last season. Sabathia has an aggregate 4.81 ERA over the last three seasons, but he still has a lot of people around baseball rooting for a rebound.