CC Sabathia again fought through several injury issues in 2017 (knee, hamstring), but with his new approach working with diminished velocity and a little grace from the baseball gods, he posted a 3.69 ERA, his best mark since his stellar 2012 season. A cutter helped, but the southpaw still failed to top 7.6 K/9 or walk fewer than 2.7 batters per nine innings - a combination that leaves him ripe for a painful correction as he nears his 38th birthday. Sabathia was lucky last season with an inflated 79.0 percent LOB% - a career high -- and run support from an upstart Yankees club that helped push him to 14 wins. The Yankees valued his ability to eat innings enough to bring him back, though as his bulky body ages and the winds of fortune change, the results figure to suffer.
Sabathia agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with the Yankees on Saturday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. Sabathia will return for a 10th year with the Yankees following an impressive season at age 37 in 2017. The southpaw posted a 3.69 ERA and 1.27 WHIP while holding a 120:50 K:BB in 148.2 innings. The most impressive part about Sabathia's season -- besides his quality playoff performances -- was his ability to eat innings and stay healthy for the third straight season, as he notched at least 27 starts for the 12th time in 13 years as a major leaguer. He will provide another reliable arm within New York's stable and projects as a back-end starter in the rotation for the upcoming campaign.
Sabathia will toe the rubber for Game 7 against the Astros on Saturday, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. Sabathia was terrific for the Yankees in his Game 3 start, pitching six scoreless innings while striking out five and allowing just three hits and four walks. He will once again oppose Charlie Morton in the series-deciding contest, but this time he will be the one pitching in a hostile environment at Minute Maid Park.
Sabathia is set to start Game 3 against the Astros on Monday. This will place Sabathia right on schedule for normal rest following his outing against the Indians on Wednesday. The veteran has been a reliable presence that the club desperately needs, and will follow Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino, respectively, in the rotation for the ALCS, with Sonny Gray slated for Game 4. If this series winds up going the distance, it's likely that Sabathia will be back on the mound for a decisive Game 7 on Saturday.
Sabathia would start Game 5 of the ALDS against the Indians if necessary, Pete Caldera of The Bergen Record reports. Sabathia will make his second start of the postseason if the Yankees are able to even the series Monday and force a decisive Game 5. The big southpaw allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits and three walks while striking out five batters over 5.1 innings in his first start of the postseason.
Sabathia will start Game 2 of the ALDS on Friday against the Indians, Nick Camino of Newsradio WTAM 1100 reports. Sabathia will face off against Indians ace Corey Kluber. The big southpaw compiled a 3.62 ERA and 24:5 K:BB through five September starts (27.1 innings). Sonny Gray will start Game 1 for the Yankees, with Masahiro Tanaka getting the ball for Game 3.