Monday, February 16, 2009

Expectations for Sabathia

So the big man has a big contract. What can New York fans expect? If there is anything close to a crystal ball in this sport it’s a few choice publications, including the Bill James Handbook and the annual Baseball Prospectus guide. They provide predictions for a player’s overall statistical performance that is surprisingly accurate on a consistent basis.

Both of these peg CC as a 16 game winner with an ERA in the range of 3.40 – 3.5 which should please Yankees fans.

The one shortcoming of these predictions is they can’t predict big, season altering injuries and so we’re working on the assumption that Sabathia stays healthy.

They also neglect the idea that some people aren’t ready for the pressure of playing in New York. Milwaukee and Cleveland aren’t the same as the Big Apple. Although he’s played in smaller markets, he’s been in the spotlight for a while and after his trade last season, he know the pressure was on and he delivered.

I think the Yankees have a very good shot at making a strong post season run and CC will eat it up.

I’m going out on a limb to say that the projections are a tad on the conservative side and that CC will get 18 wins. The Yankees defense will be improved compared with last year, and their offense should be improved as well. These things make for a happy starting pitcher. I’m looking for Sabathia to live up to expectations and be the consistent top man that the Yankees paid for.

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