The Game: Baseball
2017 Pre-Season Projections
2017 600 PA / 200 IP Projections
2017 Updated In-Season Projections
Ottoneu Fantasy Baseball
Win Probability & Box Scores
2017 Projected Standings
2016 Playoff Odds
Playoff Odds Graphs
2017 Free Agent Tracker!
Minor League Leaders
Combined WAR Leaderboards
League Average Heatmaps
Team Batting Stats
Team Pitching Stats
Team WAR Totals (RoS)
Team Depth Charts
Positional Depth Charts
K% & BB%
K/9 & BB/9
TZ & TZL
Park Factors by Handedness
Help Support FanGraphs
Become a Member
Already a member?
7/21/1980 (36 y, 7 m, 1 d)
1998 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 20, Overall: 20, Team: Cleveland Indians
$122M / 5 Years (2012 - 2016) + 1 Option Years
Sabathia (knee) has played catch at spring training, Matt Rourke of the Associated Press reports. (2/14/2017)
Active Starting Pitchers Have Virtually No Shot at»
Craig Edwards (FanGraphs)
2016 AL Starting-Pitcher Contact Management
Tony Blengino (FanGraphs)
The Sleeper and the Bust Episode: 368 – Eno & Paul»
Paul Sporer (RotoGraphs)
The Change: Who's Suppressing Exit Velocity Better»
Eno Sarris (RotoGraphs)
Is CC Sabathia Good Again?
Corinne Landrey (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
The Yankees handed Sabathia a seven-year, $161 million deal in the offseason and he rewarded their graciousness with another exceptional pitching campaign. The big man finished with a career-high-tying 19 wins, a 3.37 ERA, and a 1.15 WHIP. He struck out 197 batters, threw two complete games, and allowed just 67 walks in 230 innings. The burly southpaw was absolutely dominant against left-handed hitters, holding them to a .198/.250/.310 batting line and just 14 extra-base hits. He even showed an improvement on his fastball velocity, throwing it at an average of 94.1 MPH. It was 93.7 MPH in 2006, 92.9 MPH in 2007, and 93.7 MPH again in 2008.
The Year Ahead:
The best part about this whole equation is that Sabathia can be better. He already is better. The 29-year-old lefty posted a 1.11 WHIP and an 8.93 K/9 rate in 2008, just one year ago, while pitching for the Indians and Brewers. He threw 10 complete games that season, five of which were shutouts, and a FIP of 2.91. He threw 253 innings in '08 without a sign of fatigue and has racked up innings totals in the mid-200s the past three years. He has never had a major injury scare and has the make-up of an old school workhorse. With the offensive support he has in New York, Sabathia is very capable of posting a 20-win season both this year and in many years to come. (Drew Silva)
While not as dominant in 2010 as he was during his 2007-2009 reign of terror, the XL lefty adapted, piled up the innings yet again and topped five WAR for the fifth season in a row. It's true, CC didn't get as many whiffs in 2010. His 9.4% swinging-strike rate was still well above the 8.5% MLB average, but considerably below his 12.2% total the previous three seasons. As a result, his strikeout rate declined to 7.46 per nine innings, compared to 8.17 K/9 from '07 to '09. However, Sabathia established a new career high in ground-ball rate, with 50.7% of balls put in play against him getting knocked into the grass. Those extra grounders wiped away base runners. CC's double-play rate shot up to career-best 16% of his twin-killing opportunities (11% MLB average), and his FIP stayed low at 3.54. Sabathia's days as a bat-munching monster might be in the past, but he's got plenty left with a still-above-average K rate, quality control, and earth-scorching skills. (David Golebiewski)
The Quick Opinion:
An ace among an otherwise undistinguished group of Yankees starters, Sabathia is no longer the best starter in baseball but remains in the conversation. Maybe he won't be an elite strikeout pitcher moving forward, but the uptick in grounders is a positive sign that Sabathia can remain an excellent pitcher as he enters his thirties.
Sabathia reversed a three year decline in his strikeout-to-walk ratio, as his strikeout rate jumped to its second-highest mark ever and his walk rate fell. That combination, along with an above-average ground ball rate, allowed Sabathia to post the best SIERA of his career. After his swinging strike rate declined in 2010 to its lowest mark since 2003, it rebounded back above 11%, while his first strike rate bounced over 60% again as well. Given his rotund figure and the number of innings he has thrown over the last five years (he has pitched the most number of innings in baseball in that time), it will be interesting how long he lasts before he breaks down. Until there is some sort of sign though, Sabathia will remain one of the top pitchers in baseball. (Mike Podhorzer)
The Quick Opinion:
Sabathia posted the best SIERA of his career last year and there are no signs of a slow down any time soon. Though his weight and number of innings he has thrown over the last five years should be in the back of your mind, he should remain a top pitcher until further notice.
Sabathia pitched his sixth consecutive season of 200+ innings in 2012, but only barely, just reaching the requisite benchmark after his prized left elbow bothered him off and on down the stretch. He eventually had bone spurs removed during offseason surgery and should be ready for Opening Day. However, these issues caused the Yankees to publicly take the stance that they
plan on keeping an eye on Sabathia's workload next year
; meaning his days of 230+ innings might be disappearing into the rear-view mirror -- potentially good news for Yankee fans, but certainly less volume for fantasy owners. Sabathia's velocity was noticeably down last year -- his 92.4 mph fastball was the slowest it's been since PITCHf/x data became available in 2007 (the second-lowest his velocity has been was 93.6 in 2010). There weren't many other red flags in his peripherals so it appears no free-fall is imminent. That said, with the 300 pound Sabathia heading into his age 33 season, he might not be as safe a pick among baseball's elite pitching talent as he once was. (
The Quick Opinion:
Sabathia has now kept his xFIP under 4.00 for eight consecutive seasons but elbow issues late in 2012 coupled with another year of wear and tear on his 300-pound frame make selecting the Yankee ace in the uber-elite tier of AL starters more risky this year.
In many ways, CC Sabathia remains a model of consistency. He just finished his 13th consecutive season with at least 28 starts, and while his 4.78 ERA was the worst of his career, neither his 7.46 strikeouts per nine nor his 2.77 walks per nine are greatly different than in some of his recent, successful seasons. Sabathia's two biggest issues in 2013 were issues that tend to regress. First, he stranded a career-low 67.4% of his baserunners. Second, he allowed a career-high 13.0% home runs per flyball. The reason Sabathia will probably be closer to the 50th pitcher off the board than his usual top-10 is his decline in velocity. He has lost more than two mph over the last two seasons, which makes one wonder whether the home runs will continue to be an issue. On the other hand, he regained some of that velocity late last year and still has mixed-league value. (Scott Spratt)
The Quick Opinion:
Sabathia remains a steady source of both wins and strikeouts, but a recent loss in velocity may be the reason his home runs allowed have dramatically increased.
It was a lost season for the Yankees’ ace, who made just eight starts before landing on the disabled list in May with a right knee injury and never returned. It’s the same knee on which he had arthroscopic surgery in 2010 to repair a small meniscus tear, and the current injury doesn’t sound good; Sabathia said in August that the knee
will never be 100 percent
as he now has nearly no cartilage underneath the kneecap, and it will have to be periodically drained due to fluid buildup and swelling. On the mound, Sabathia’s fastball continues to lose velocity — it didn’t average 90 mph over the 46 innings he pitched — and that’s now five straight seasons in which hitters’ isolated power against his four-seam fastball has risen, to the point where they were teeing off it with a .370 mark in 2014. It’s a small sample size, to be sure, and Sabathia, who had a very good 18.2 walk minus strikeout percentage when he went down, is probably smart and experienced enough to still find a way to get major league hitters out. But there’s little reason to believe the 34-year-old will return to the elite fantasy form he was flashing as recently as 2012, and his days as an innings-eating workhorse are long gone. (
Karl de Vries
The Quick Opinion:
We’ll see what the reports on Sabathia’s health look like come March, but it’s difficult to count on him producing more than mid-to-late-round value for 2015.
It feels like forever ago that the Yankees tacked on a few extra years to Sabathia's deal after he opted out. Said extension may reach its conclusion in 2016, as Sabathia's dealt with enough injuries to call his $25-million vesting option for 2017 into question. He can't end the season on the disabled list or spend 45 days there because of shoulder injuries this year. His shoulder has hardly been the problem, as it's his right knee, which has required a ligament brace, that's been the biggest issue. Sabathia saw his velocity rebound just north of 90 mph and was able to cut his home run per fly ball rate to a still terrible 16.6%. That didn't matter much, as his strikeout rate resumed its decline to 18.9%, his ground ball rate decreased, and he gave up more hard contact that stayed in the park, most of it of the pull variety. He wasn't good by any stretch, with his worst xFIP (3.99) since 2004 (which ignores the four-year run of issues with the long-ball) and his second single digit swinging strike rate in three years. Of course, almost none of this really matters -- Sabathia checked in to rehab for help with alcoholism, and his results in that area are far more important than anything on the diamond. It's impossible to know what to expect from him for fantasy purposes as a result, but he'll be available as a late, cheap flier. (Blake Murphy)
The Quick Opinion:
Sabathia's struggles on the field in 2015 are secondary to his battle with alcoholism, something he's getting help with currently. The important thing is to root for the person here, but if you want to back that up with a late-round flier, there are worse $1 gambles.
If you would like to make a projection for this player, please
Only stats on the same scale can be grouped.
Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 3:35 AM ET
Terms of Service
All major league baseball data including pitch type, velocity, batted ball location, and play-by-play data provided by Baseball Info Solutions.
All UZR (ultimate zone rating) calculations are provided courtesy of Mitchel Lichtman.
FOX Sports Engage Network Partner
All Win Expectancy, Leverage Index, Run Expectancy, and Fans Scouting Report data licenced from TangoTiger.com
All minor league baseball data provided by Major League Baseball Advanced Media as distributed by STATS.
Play-by-play data prior to 2002 was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet.