I know he's been a big part of some great moments for us as Yankee fans, but I'm really sick and tired of watching CC Sabathia start for the Yankees.
His starts are painful to sit through and it's not fun going into the games having thoughts like, "Which inning will be the bad one?" "How many home runs will CC give up?" "When the hell will the Yankees stop running him out there?"
No, seriously, when the hell will the Yankees stop running him out there?
This is starting to feel like 2000 David Cone (no offense, Coney) and how even though he was having major issues, Joe Torre kept him in rotation. Cone finished that year with a 4-14 record and 6.91 ERA in 29 starts. And while CC isn't quite at that level yet, he'll be there soon (current run environments put Cone at a 70 ERA+ and Sabathia at a 71 ERA+), and the Yankees need to do something about him. They cannot keep running him out there "every fifth day" when there are other question marks in the rotation (Pineda's health and Tanaka's inconsistency being high on that list), and especially not when Toronto is going out and getting players like David Price to shore up their starting rotation.
We are now past the 100-game mark of the 2015 season and the small sample excuse for Sabathia is long gone. It's no longer a matter of when he will get better, this is what CC Sabathia has become. And you know what? It happens. Guys who were once power pitchers with high velocity pitches and guys who were known as work horses will hit the proverbial wall and sometimes they never recover. It feels like CC hit the wall at 500 mph.
And sure, he's had injury issues, mainly the degenerative knee problem, and his weight has been fluctuating the last couple of years, but those aren't the only issues Sabathia's facing. He's also now on the wrong side of 35 and has thrown a ton of innings in his career - 2,938 1/3 regular season innings and 107 1/3 postseason innings.
So what can the Yankees do?
Do they pull off a last minute trade for a starting pitcher and call up Luis Severino? Because at this point, Sabathia needs to be replaced and someone needs to pitch for Pineda who may be out until September. Honestly, the Yankees cannot try to win a division title by running this version of CC Sabathia out there every five days. It won't do him or them any good.
And I get that these guys are competitors, and I understand that Sabathia is making a boatload of money, but the performance is not living up to the contract and at some point, Joe Girardi and his staff will have to bite the bullet and take the big guy out of the rotation. I only hope it's sooner rather than later.
LATE NIGHT/EARLY MORNING ADDITION TO THE POST:
Right after I thought I had finished this piece, Joe Girardi had this to say to the beat writers in Texas about Sabathia remaining in the rotation, "You have to keep working on it and try to get better each time he goes out."
*Long, exaggerated sigh*
How much longer does Girardi need to stand through performances at the top of the dugout to realize that Sabathia is no longer a viable starting pitcher? This is absolute insanity. Will Brian Cashman need to step in? And if so, will he have the guts to put his foot down and tell Girardi to stop running CC out there? Will ownership have to do something about it? My goodness. Enough is enough.
Here are some sad CC stats and facts: (hat tip to my fellow co-Editor Brad for tweeting these as I was editing this piece)
Sabathia is 4-8, has an ERA of 5.54, has given up 24 home runs, and can no longer reach the high end of a radar gun.
This is how he ranks among 94 qualified starters:
ERA- 90th (5.54) FIP- 90th (4.83) HR- T-91st (24) HR%- 93rd (19.4%) Hits- T-88th (143)
He has allowed 4 ER+ in 11 of 20 starts, 7 H+ in 13 of 20, and pitched less than six innings in 10 of 20. Also given up 2+ HR in nine starts.
Sabathia almost never puts his team in a position to win and now, he can't even last more than five innings an outing. So not only will Sabathia's poor starts cost the Yankees much needed wins down the stretch in a division that's really up for grabs, he's already caused the bullpen to pitch more innings than they should. And while, yes, that same bullpen coughed up the lead last night, and ultimately lost the game for the Yankees, it all started with Sabathia and it didn't start well at all.
Tomorrow is the first day of August, and I hate to say it, but we'll probably just keep seeing more of the same from Sabathia over the four weeks and what will Girardi do then? Who knows. Maybe the Yankees will have coughed up their six game lead in the division and fallen off a cliff and all of this won't matter, but if the Yankees are still in the race, and/or still have the lead in the division, I hope that if Sabathia's performances do not improve by then, he'll finally be taken out of the rotation.
The Yankees should not sit around and twiddle their thumbs on this one. They must remove Sabathia from the rotation before it's too late.