Coming off the worst three seasons of his career, winning a spot in the Opening Day rotation was not a sure thing last season for CC Sabathia. However, after a slow start, the big lefty appeared to be his vintage self and put together a dominant month of May in which he boasted a 25:5 K:BB and 1.04 ERA. He stayed healthy and brought a sub-3.00 ERA into the final week of June, and it looked as though he had finally figured out how to pitch around the drop in velocity he's experienced. Things unraveled in the second half, though, and the long ball largely did Sabathia in, as he surrendered 16 homers over his final 15 starts. Still, his 3.91 ERA and 1.32 WHIP were his best marks since 2012, and he did more than enough to ensure he won't have to fight for a rotation spot again this spring. He won't be regaining his Cy Young form again, but at least he has shown that he can be useful in mixed leagues for prolonged stretches.
Sabathia will start the second game of the season on April 4 against the Rays, manager Joe Girardi announced Friday, Anthony Rieber of Newsday reports. Now 36, it's quite a turnaround for Sabathia, who had to battle for a rotation spot last spring after finishing the 2014 and 2015 seasons with 5.28 and 4.73 ERAs, respectively. Though he did see some improvement in 2016 on the way to curtailing his HR/9 rate and posting his first sub-4.00 ERA since 2012, it might say more of the state of the Yankees' current rotation options than anything else that he's this high up in the pecking order. The veteran lefty won't likely regain his mid-career form, but he should still be a solid innings eater capable of posting decent strikeout numbers.
Sabathia threw two simulated innings on Thursday and is expected to make his first start of spring next Tuesday, Meredith Marakovits of YESnetwork.com reports. The 36-year-old was pleased with the two-inning simulated game went Thursday, saying afterwards that he felt he was game ready. He'll continue to progress through spring without any further restrictions, and will look to build on his bounce-back season last year, where he posted his best ERA (3.91) since 2012.
Sabathia reported his knee is "good, no problem at all" following offseason arthroscopic surgery in his right knee, George A. King of the New York Post reports. The procedure was described as routine and minor in nature, so it appears the 36-year-old lefty is on schedule to move forward without any further restrictions. He'll pitch in two simulated games as part of his normal spring program before making an appearance in an exhibition game, as the veteran will look to build on last season's bounce-back campaign that featured his best ERA (3.91) since 2012 and a return to the 90 mph plateau on his fastball.
Sabathia (knee) has played catch at spring training, Matt Rourke of the Associated Press reports. Sabathia started a throwing program at the beginning of December, but there wasn't any word regarding the extent of said workouts heading into the Yankees' first day of spring training Tuesday. Fortunately, the 36-year-old is still expected to be in full health and take on the second or third spot in the rotation once the regular season rolls around.
Sabathia said Friday that his recovery from knee surgery is going well and he will begin a throwing program next week, the Boston Herald's Evan Drellich reports. He underwent a routine cleanup of his knee after the season, and is not expected to be limited heading into spring training. Sabathia is coming off his best year since 2012, as he managed a 3.91 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. However, his 4.28 FIP and 152:65 K:BB in 179.2 innings suggest he may be due for a bit of regression in 2017. His spot in the Yankees' rotation is safe heading into the final year of his contract.