It’s no secret that CC Sabathia has thrown a ton of innings in recent years, more than anyone else in baseball in fact. Since Opening Day 2007, he’s thrown 779.1 innings including the playoffs, a total of 11,938 pitches. That’s insane. Scott Randall at ESPN took a look at the workloads of the innings leader for some recent World Series teams, and points out that every one of them saw their performance decline the year after their WS run, usually drastically. Go beyond that and look at some of the pitchers on the losing teams as well, guys like Jamie Shields and Jeff Francis took a step back the next year as well.
So of course this is a concern for the Yankees, we didn’t need Randall to tell us this. If there’s one thing to take solace in, it’s that Sabathia’s career high 266.1 IP in 2009 is just 9.2 IP over his career high set in 2008, and was spread out over another month of playing. That extra month is pretty big. So yeah, there’s a good chance Sabathia’s performance will take a step back this year, but you know what? That’s exactly why the Yanks went out and got Javy Vazquez.