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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: C.C. SABBATHIA

*******WE WILL NOW START TO LOOK AT FANTASY BASEBALL HITTERS AND PITCHERS FROM A FINALITY STANDPOINT FROM THE 2013 SEASON AND AN INITIAL PROJECTION FOR 2014.  AS ALWAYS FINE-TUNE YOUR CHEAT SHEETS ALL THROUGHOUT THE OFFSEASON SO THAT YOU ARE READY FOR DRAFTS NEXT WINTER.******

Well that was a fitting end to his season.  When it comes to New York Yankees SP C.C. Sabbathia, the news that he suffered a season-ending Grade 2 hamstring strain during his last outing put a merciful end to his horrific 2013 campaign when pretty much everything and anything went wrong.  Where to begin?  Well let's first put the disgusting numbers in print and than go from there:

14-13 4.78 ERA 1.37 WHIP .272 BAA 175 K in 211 innings

Stating the obvious, it was by far the worst season of Sabbathia's long ace career and it seemed to fulfill the longtime fears we all had that all those crazy workloads would finally catch up with him and take a nasty toll on his lefty arm.  Clearly that is the most obvious and likely reason for what we have seen from Sabbathia in this trainwreck of a season.  Now as we have seen out of countless workhorse pitchers over the years (Livan Hernandez and Dan Haren also come to mind), eventually the arm begins to give out in the form of decreased velocity which in turn brings on other not so desirable happenings.  Sabbathia's velocity has been noticeably down all season and the numbers bore this out.  His fastball averaged 95.07 mph during his ace/220 K heyday which went until 2010.  However that same fastball was coming in on average at only 92.00 mph even this season and showed no signs of improving at any point throughout the year.  In addition, Sabbathia's sinker went from 94.42 mph in 2010 to only 91.05 this season.  Not good.  The result has been that Sabbathia's hit rate has skyrocketed, with his home run rate being the most stark.  Sabbathia gave up only 18 home runs in 2009 but that numbers surged wildly to  a scary 28 this season.  Finally, Sabbathia's K rate has dropped badly as his raw K totals went from 230 to 197 to only 175 the last three years.  Put it all together and you get a ridiculously bad 4.78 ERA which as 6.08 in the second half when he used to be his strongest.  So we are no left to think about here Sabbathia goes from here.  The easy response though is that Sabbathia is clearly no longer to be considered an ace number 1 fantasy baseball pitcher as he has been throughout his career.  Even calling him a number 2 is a stretch now.  A very proud athlete and strong workhorse, count on Sabbathia's working his tail off to better his awful 2013 campaign.  Really it can't get any worse so placing Sabbathia as a SP 3 next season sounds about right.  One fatal mistake many fantasy baseball owners do is living in the past and that surely has to avoided when it comes to Sabbathia.  The ride was great while it lasted but his glory days are now a thing of the past.  I for one will not touch Sabbathia next season even if he presents value.  Guys who are losing their stuff in the AL East is a terrible investment and in the end you might want to do the same thing next season.


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