Friday, April 18, 2008

The Sabathia, Verlander headaches

How bad has C.C. Sabathia been?


And considering the Indians SP won the Cy Young award last year, it's worse than that.

"I'd boo myself," Sabathia said after his latest implosion Wednesday, giving up 9 runs to the Tigers.

But here's the kicker: Sabathia says nothing's wrong. Everything feels fine. And to support that claim, the burly righty is still hitting 95 on the gun.

Maybe, as Edgar Renteria says, the Tigers just got lucky. Doubt that. Better chance that C.C. just got some bad pizza at CiCi's.

My guess is it has something to do with Sabathia overthrowing in his contract year. Or maybe the 241 IP last year has caught up to him, but I doubt that's the issue.

Whatever the problem, if you're a Sabathia owner this is squarely your problem. What do you do with a pitcher who has an ERA of 13.50 and a WHIP of 2.56?

As hard as it seems, I'd do absolutely nothing.

Unless you can get at least 70 cents on the dollar, don't just give him away. He was likely the first pitcher you drafted and there's no way a pitcher goes from Cy Young to this bad overnight. It's either a mental thing, a mechanical thing or he's hurt.

His control has been awful (14 walks in 18 innings) but worse, his location within the strike zone is what's killing him (32 hits).

I'm watching Sabathia get dealt for less than half of what he's worth and I wonder if owners will be shaking their heads in July, just like I was last year after giving up Carlos Zambrano fairly cheap during his contract-season meltdown.

You can bet the Indians are pouring over his mechanics trying to find out what's wrong and you can bet Sabathia will either turn it around in the next two starts or he'll wind up on the DL, which as an owner may be the best-case scenario.

If you don't own Sabathia, this might be the perfect time to inquire about his availability. It might only take a bottle of water and a bag of peanuts to snag him.


JUSTIN VERLANDER: For a guy routinely hitting 100 mph last year, the Detroit righty topped out at 94 two starts ago, then 93 last night. No wonder the Indians treated Verlander like a piƱata, with 7 hits, 4 BB and 5 runs in 5 innings. “I’ve been throwing the ball decent, but things haven’t been going my way,” Verlander said. “Tonight was the first night I felt I didn’t throw the ball well.” This is a mini-Sabathia crisis, but considering the lost velocity, it might end up being more devastating. Might wanna see if someone will take him off your hands for a James Shields or Zack Grienke.

FAUSTO CARMONA: Throwing against Verlander, Carmona had to work out of several jams, but the Indians SP, after tweaking his delivery, made just enough pitches and finished with a 7-hit, 6 2/3-inning. The headline buried here is Carmona only walked 1 batter, after issuing 17 free passes in his first three outings.

FRANCISCO LIRIANO: I've not checked into seat availability on the Liriano bandwagon, but some potentially encouraging news came out of Twins camp. Pitching coach Rick Anderson said he made a slight adjustment to Liriano's delivery, which helped him throw his slider in a side session. "He was a totally different guy," Anderson said. Totally different? I'm not sure I buy that. But if you rolled the dice on Liriano, this is at least reason for hope and for daily move leagues, you might wanna take a chance on him tonight against Cleveland. You can check out this clip of Liriano throwing a bullpen session in spring training to see if you can spot his so-called mechanical flaw.

ROY OSWALT: Roy O dropped his ERA from 9.00 to 6.65 with a 7-inning, 1-run masterpiece, the stuff Oswalt fans have come to expect. Supposedly, a flat arm angle was the culprit to his first three rotten starts.

TIM HUDSON: Of all the pitching news in the last 48 hours, Hudson's velocity topping out at 85 mph may be the most cause for concern. Bobby Cox yanked the Braves ace after he gave up 4 runs in 3 innings (58 pitches), as the fastball was at least 5 mph slower than usual. Hudson entered the game with a 2.14 ERA, so the only thing that makes sense is an injured shoulder or arm, although there's no talk of Hudson getting an MRI. Hudson's puzzled by the power outage. That's not encouraging news.

EVAN LONGORIA: I know, he's not a pitcher, but breaking news out of Tampa, as the Rays sign hot prospect Longoria to a six-year, 17.5 million deal. This is one of the spring's most baffling stories. The Rays kept him off the Opening Day roster so they could have cheap control until he became a free agent after the 2014 season and not have to sign him to a lucrative deal. Then, they bring him up last Friday after 3B Willy Aybar gets hurt. And now, they've decided to sign him on a deal that could be worth $44 million, with incentives, and run through 2016, with options. Nothing makes sense about this franchise.

ROCKIES 2, PADRES 1 (22 INNINGS): In the longest MLB game in 15 years, Troy Tulowitzki finished a 2-for-10 night with an RBI-single, scoring Willy Taveras, who was 3-for-10 in the 6 hour, 16-minute affair that finished at 4:21 eastern, or over an hour after Yahoo! updates their nightly standings. You may not have got credit for Tulo's RBI, but hopefully this will get last year's ROY runner up started, as he's only hitting .167. Of fantasy relevance, Jake Peavy struck out 11 in 8 scoreless innings and Jeff Francis threw 7 scoreless, fanning 7. Matt Holliday stole 2 more bases and is up to 4. He says he's trying to steal 20, which would be like ordering a steak and getting free appetizers and dessert. You think you're tired today? The Rockies were due to land in Houston at 9 a.m. today.


Anonymous said...

Some people I know have already given up way too early on Contreras.