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New York Yankees SP CC Sabathia to Use Blueprint Andy Pettitte Set as Aging Veteran Pitcher

February 18th, 2014 at 11:18 AM
By Doug Rush

Ever since coming to the New York Yankees in 2009, CC Sabathia has been nothing short of sensational during his time as the team's ace pitcher. He's posted an 88-42 record in five seasons and has been a workhorse for the team.

But in 2013, Sabathia started to show some wear and tear from all of the innings he has pitched over the years. His velocity was down from the 95-96 mph range and resided in the 91-92 mph range and didn't look as sharp as he had in his first four seasons, but he did manage to post a 14-13 record with a 4.78 ERA in 32 starts.

His weight loss has been a notable one, dropping almost 40 pounds in which it will take the pressure off his knees and allow him to pitch later into his career, but as someone who will turn 34 this summer, Sabathia knows he has to make the adjutsments that every aging pitcher does, and one his former teammate Andy Pettitte did when he got up in age.

“Absolutely. Of course. Wasn’t Andy Pettitte successful? You have to be smarter, but this is my 14th year, so I have a good idea what gets hitters out,” Sabathia said. “I do have other pitches. I watched Andy do his thing for a number of years. I am not really concerned. I am healthy and ready to go.”

Some feel that Sabathia's mechanics weren't ready for the sudden drop in weight that happened last year, but now that he's had a chance to add muscle to his frame, he might be able to be more equipped to pitching at  a lighter weight; which is reported to be around the 270-pound mark.

Over the last five years with the Yankees, Sabathia has pitched no fewer than 200 innings in each season and averages 227 innings in his 14 year stint in the majors, plus all of the innings he has logged in the postseason have taken their toll on the big left-hander, so now Sabathia is re-inventing himself in a way as a pitcher to accomodate his body and age, just like Pettitte and Mike Mussnina both did when they got older and still found success in the game.

Photo credit: Keith Allison / Foter / CC BY-SA

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Tags: Andy Pettitte, Baseball, CC Sabathia, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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