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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Scouting Report, LHP CC Sabathia

The 29-year old CC Sabathia is in his 10th major league season and was drafted in the 1st round (20th pick) in the 1998 draft. He has been a complete workhorse throughout his career, as he has worked 250+ innings over the past three seasons (post-seasons included). He has been an ace throughout his career; his ERA is 3.61, with a K/9 rate above league average (7.54), and a good 2.81 W/9. Although he is a fly-ball pitcher, he has not allowed many home runs over his career. Coming into the season, Sabathia was 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two career starts against the Mets, including a win on June 26 at Citi Field last season. He is no slouch at the plate, with a .261 career average and three home runs in 90+ at bats.

Sabathia has a balanced and repeatable 3/4 arm action, with a low to mid 90s fastball (average 93 mph) that he will throw to both sides of the plate. He throws a slurve (80 mph) and features a plus change-up (86 mph) that fades from right handed hitters. His fastball and change-up were two of the best pitches in the game last year, but this year he is relying on the success of his slider and change-up. He has thrown his 2-seamer more this year than in the past.

Prior to May 23rd, Sabathia had thrown 7+ innings in five of his nine starts this year, and was 4-2 with a 3.43 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. He had seen a slight decrease in his K/9 (6.4) and an increase in W/9 (2.8), along with an increase in home runs this year (8 HR in 60 innings).  On Sunday night baseball vs the Mets on the 23rd of May, Sabathia got hit around, lasting only 5 innings, allowing 6 runs (5 earned), 10 hits, including 2 home runs, and walked 2. 

Up to date (June 20), his record sits at 7-3 in his 14 starts, but 4 of his 7 wins have come against the Orioles. He has had a tough season for his high standards, as his ERA sits at 4.00 and 1.21 WHIP. His K rate has rebounded up to 7.41 K/9, the benefit of 22 k's over the past 3 starts (all wins, 21 innings). He's allowed 12 home runs, and it's the highest rate of his career.

He has a reputation as a 2nd half pitcher, and it's well deserved. His record after the all-star break for his career is 69-37, with a 3.32 ERA and 1.20 WHIP (compared to 3.90 ERA and 1.255 WHIP in the 1st half). So for those Yankee fans reading today, don't worry too much about his slightly worrisome start of his season.

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