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  1. I suppose it is possible that CC just never got loose in a relatively cold weather game, but this game was very concerning.

    Comment by thomas — April 2, 2013 @ 10:11 am

  2. In this case, the elbow surgery is a positive, because if he’s recovering from that he may regain the velocity. (Velocity losses without such explanation – see Halladay, R. – are cause for more sobbing.)

    That said, I agree that concern is warranted. We’ll see how this plays out.

    Comment by JRM — April 2, 2013 @ 10:28 am

  3. At game time it was practically summer weather here in New York with some readings showing above 60deg. Don’t think we can call fault on the weather here.

    Comment by Ozzie — April 2, 2013 @ 11:14 am

  4. Oddly enough, I wouldn’t be surprised if his substantial weight loss was a contributing factor.

    Comment by geefee — April 2, 2013 @ 11:24 am

  5. Excellent piece, asking all the right questions, smartly.

    Comment by lester bangs — April 2, 2013 @ 11:26 am

  6. I believe you meant that “CC lost nearly 1.5 mph off of his fastball in 2012.” You’ve written “2013.”

    Interesting and worrisome article.

    Comment by Tristram Shandy — April 2, 2013 @ 11:28 am

  7. Yup, thanks

    Comment by Bill Petti — April 2, 2013 @ 11:29 am

  8. All good points mentioned above. I would wonder if having the elbow surgery is a positive and not a cause of worry. The surgery was to remove bone spurs which makes me wonder if the velocity will improve the further away he gets from the surgery now that there’s (presumably) no discomfort.

    Also mentioned above, I wouldn’t be surprised if the weight loss is a factor. The Yankees really pushed him to lose weight after signing his extension, which is when his velocity began to decline.

    Comment by Guns — April 2, 2013 @ 11:47 am

  9. Only 10 innings pithed this spring. Considering his history of slow starts and coming off surgery to boot…I’m gonna wait on the panic button.

    Yes, worth watching, but I’ll give him another start or two before declaring a velocity concern.

    Comment by 8nthatk — April 2, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

  10. Um…”pitched”…

    Comment by 8nthatk — April 2, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

  11. In case others are interested too, in 2008, when Sabathia started poorly, the problem wasn’t low velocity. His fastball gained only 0.3 or 0.4 mph from April 2008 to the rest of the year. [Hat tip to Texas Leaguers Pitch F/X tool]

    Comment by Detroit Michael — April 2, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

  12. Good piece. Agree that it’s too soon for … well, I’m in Boston …. But the 2008 point is interesting – Sabathia faded at the end of 2007 (presumably through overwork) and apparently took a while to bounce back (but did, of course).

    Comment by Mr Punch — April 2, 2013 @ 1:41 pm

  13. What about me?

    Comment by King Felix's Fastball — April 2, 2013 @ 1:53 pm

  14. But CC has always preferred hot weather. Anyone who has seen him pitch in April/May/October/November knows that he likes to wear a heating bad under his jacket in between innings in cooler temperatures. So, while I’m still concerned about his velocity for the reasons Bill and others have stated, 60 degrees is potentially cool enough to make him uncomfortable. (It was just such a relief to those of us in the NE sick of winter.)

    Comment by Jay29 — April 2, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

  15. *heating pad*

    Comment by Jay29 — April 2, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

  16. Hey, I’ve got issues too..

    Comment by The Freak's Heater — April 2, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  17. “Worth watching” is, in my opinion, the precisely correct level of concern to raise over CC’s velocity this spring. There are circumstances that could lead us to expect that his velocity will increase more than in a typical seasonal pattern (i.e. that he had a short spring and that he is recovering from elbow surgery), and there are circumstances that could lead us to expect that it won’t (i.e. that he is on the wrong side of the aging curve and that he is recovering from elbow surgery). It is too early to tell which side will win out, but fans are right to monitor the situation.

    Comment by mcbrown — April 2, 2013 @ 3:19 pm

  18. I know this a stupid question but if someone offered me 3 years of sabathia (including this year) for Yusil Puig, how crazy would i be to turn that down?

    Comment by DJ — April 2, 2013 @ 4:22 pm

  19. is he related to the dodgers prospect?

    Comment by jim — April 2, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

  20. The number of sliders he threw took a big jump in 2011. The continued effectiveness in 2011 and 2012 and the elbow problems may be related. I wonder if he will be effective with the slider in 2013, or if he will throw many fewer of them. Reduced velocity on the fastball and increasingly a fastball/change mix is definitely concerning, although there are ways around it. Usually, it takes a pitcher a year or two to make the adaptation.

    Comment by Mike Green — April 2, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

  21. His metabolism slows to a crawl when it’s cold out. Sometimes, if its really cold and seems it will be for a while, he eats the dirt and grass from the field, then gobbles up a lot of food and just sleeps.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — April 2, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

  22. Good look at this on Chad Jennings Yankees LoHud blog today, re the danger of looking at 1 game.

    I quick observation from there. CC’s velo in Game 1 last year was 94. In game 2 it was 91. They have avg velos from each of 5 April starts for 3 years or so. He shows a decidedly up and down pattern in April.

    Making this an even more wait an see caution – or a major SSS alert.

    Comment by nyyfaninlaaland — April 3, 2013 @ 2:31 am

  23. Then again, if velocity drops, you’d want to know what changed this year compared to last, and in CC’s case, he had the surgery. So maybe he’ll get the velocity back. Most pitchers lose some velocity as their career progresses anyhow.

    Comment by Tim — May 31, 2013 @ 8:18 am

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