CC Sabathia's slide the past two years has been drastic. From an ace to a guy who is a combined 17-17 with a 4.87 ERA, one knee surgery and one drastically reduced fastball.
New York Yankees
So while it is hard to believe Sabathia will ever lead the Yankees to a championship the way he did so exquisitely in 2009, it is not impossible that he might be better than expected in 2015.
As far as I can tell, many have already written CC off before the 2015 season has even begun, but a scout I spoke to thinks CC can change and have what the scout described as a "second career," invoking the names of guys like Tom Seaver and Roger Clemens. (Yes, yes, I heard you on Clemens' reinvention. Got it.)
CC may be a little better than just a No. 5 or so starter in '15 because he is a smart pitcher.
“When a guy gets into their 30s, they have to have a second career," an AL scout said. "I always felt that CC could do that because he really knows how to pitch.”
The scout has been following Sabathia since his days in Cleveland. He felt that Even as a young pitcher, Sabathia had a knowledge of pitching that could allow him to transition when he lost his fastball.
That time appears to be now, unless Sabathia's almost-year off after knee surgery helped him find some velocity. Yankees officials have been perplexed as to why Sabathia, when healthy the past two years, hasn't been successful. They love his strikeout rate of 7.8 per nine innings, which is exactly on par with his whole career; it's just that Sabathia has been crushed by homers the past two seasons.
Who knows what Sabathia -- turning 35 this summer -- will be able to do, but he probably hasn't gotten the credit he deserves for his craft because he has been such a big, overpowering guy. Perhaps he'll learn how to be pretty good without the power.