Friday, October 3, 2008

Carston Charles Sabathia

What more can be said about the guy? He took the mound for the fourth time in 13 days last night, and to what should be no one's surprise, he struggled. His stuff seemed flat, and he labored through the short time he was on the mound. This was epitomized by his nine pitch struggle to put away opposing pitcher Brett Myers. Sabathia is an ultimate team player, and he showed this by willingly taking the ball every four days, and going the whole nine innings when Ned Yost or Dale Sveum didn't trust the bullpen with multi-run leads.

What this resulted in was 3,816 pitches over the course of the regular season for C.C. Sabathia. While there is often an emphasis on an innings limit for young pitchers, there has been some research done that's indicated that a pitch limit might be more effective. 3,000 pitches is often the threshold for pitchers, and for Sabathia to be at almost 4,000 is certainly worrisome. I came across some research a while back (I can't find it as of yet, but will continue looking) that looked at the pitchers who threw 3,000 in a season and what happened to them the following year. I believe a majority of them went to the disabled list at least once the following season. While I understand why Milwaulkee pitched Sabathia the way they did and while I understand Sabbathia doing what his team asked of him, I am tempted to question why the team would ask that of someone. I know they only retain his rights through the end of this season, and that the post-season is important, but we've reached a time when the players ought not to be abused whether a team controls their rights or not.

I just want to say that I stand in awe of what Sabathia has done in his time as a Brewer. Well frankly after his first 4 starts he's been downright unbelievable. His k/bb ratio is an insane 251/59. That does come with 253 innings pitched, which has got to be worrisome for any time looking to throw $20 million + per season for the next 5-6 years. If I were a team acquiring this incredible pitcher, I would absolutely look to scale back his innings next year, because if history has taught us anything, it's that these elbows and shoulders are fragile, and this kind of workload could mean a nasty injury in the near future, and I'd just hate to see that happened to this type of person and pitcher. He's something special that we should be looking to preserve, not push to his breaking point.

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