Cleveland could have gotten more for Sabathia
July, 6, 2008
By acquiring C.C. Sabathia, the Brewers might have the best starting pitcher in the National League. (According to reports, the deal has been agreed upon in principle, with paperwork and medical records standing as the final hurdles). No NL starter can match Sabathia's combination of stuff and results, except perhaps Johan Santana. Sabathia is currently on a tremendous run that rivals anything he did in 2007, his Cy Young season. Over his past 14 starts, he has a 2.16 ERA and has struck out 109 batters against 20 walks in 104 innings, with only three of the starts coming against the easier lineups of interleague play. Sabathia should be dominant against NL lineups over the season's final two-plus months. He works with a 92-95 mph fastball and an out pitch curveball, with a sharp two-plane break. He will work in the upper half of the zone, especially when he's ahead in the count, which is both unusual and dangerous, but his fastball has so much life that he can blow it by hitters even in that part of the zone. He doesn't use his changeup as often as the other two pitches, but he'll show an above-average change and has it in his back pocket to keep hitters, especially right-handers, off-balance. He's death on lefties. And he has plus control and a good feel for pitching. And he's pretty durable, only wearing down last year after 240 innings of regular-season work.