CC Sabathia has had a miserable season for a lifeless version of the Yankees in 2013. From 2009-2012 he was the ace of a pitching staff that was among the best in the American League, but the long ball has been his Kryptonite this season. With Superman reduced to a lesser version of himself, the staff as a whole has become merely average. This is compounded by the fact that the rest of the roster is riddled with weak, aging hitters that either have nothing left, or never had anything in the first place.
Normally this is the point where Brian Cashman would be given the keys to the Scrooge McDuck vault with permission to throw whatever free agents he sees fit into it until they've had their fill and agree to become Yankees. Those times were fun but there's a new set of rules in Yankeeland and that won't happening in the near future. So it's time for Cashman and the coaching staff to get creative if they want to inject some life into a terrible lineup that looks to be even worse going into 2014.
During his time as a big leaguer CC Sabathia has come up to the plate 113 times and has 25 hits including 3 doubles and 3 home runs. Yes, that's a small sample size and it may not seem like much, just a .339 slugging percentage, but consider this:
If Sabathia were to slug .339 for the Yankees this year, it would put him ahead of five players that got regular playing time and right around the level that Vernon Wells, Kevin Youkilis, and Ichiro Suzuki produced at. With his tremendous size and strength it's clear that he can do a little bit of damage offensively without really trying, so what would happen if he tried? Kevin Long has been no stranger to working with hitters during the offseason to improve their swing and approach. Some Long tutoring and regular work in the batting cage could turn CC into a big, lumbering, consistent home run threat from the left side. Adam Dunn-lite, if you will.
Should such a transformation occur, CC Sabathia could become a viable left-handed pinch hitter for every game that he's not starting, or roughly four out of every five games. Who knows, maybe this pinch-hitting hobby takes his mind off of the funk he's in on the mound and he eases back into his role as an ace. At the very least it would be fun to watch him take a couple hacks every now and again, especially at Yankee Stadium.
This idea comes with obvious injury concerns and some, most even, might find it crazy or stupid or both for many other reasons. Plus, the Yankees brass would never go for it. However, it's still less crazy and stupid than three different ideas the Yankees have come up with recently: 1) The plan at catcher, or lack thereof, for 2013, 2) The commitment of well over $10 million per year to a three-headed monster of washed up outfielders for 2013 AND 2014, and 3) The execution of Mariano Rivera Bobblehead Night.
All data used above were obtained from baseball reference.
More from Pinstriped Bible:
- Which teams are most likely to pursue Robinson Cano in free agency?
- Gary Sanchez makes Minor League Ball end of season top 75 prospects list
- Pinstripe Alley Podcast Episode 25: We'll miss you, Mo
- Yankees Free Agent Targets: Jose Abreu to showcase at Yankees Dominican complex, Raicel Iglesias defects
- You cannot spell modesty or emotion without Mo