After logging 200 or more regular season innings for the sixth straight season in 2012, Yankee starter CC Sabathia recently underwent surgery on his left elbow to remove a small bone spur. The six-time All-Star and winner of the 2007 AL Cy Young award is expected to be fully recovered by the start of the 2013 season, so this news is not cause for alarm in the Bronx.
Sabathia worked an even 200 innings this season despite making just 28 starts, and he led all Yankee pitchers with 4.8 WAR according to FanGraphs. The 32-year-old is just nine wins shy of reaching number 200 for his career, and if his track record is any indication, he should have no trouble accomplishing that in 2013. Sabathia has been a model of consistency on the mound for a very long time, and there is no reason to expect that to change after putting up outstanding numbers this past season.
The big southpaw is guaranteed a total of $94 million over the next four seasons with a vesting option for $25 million in 2017, and at this point there’s no reason to bet against him earning that money. Since signing with the Yankees prior to the 2009 season, Sabathia has gone an impressive 74-29 with a 3.22 ERA, all while pitching in the game’s toughest division on the game’s biggest stage. This operation appears to be a minor corrective procedure, and Sabathia’s peak years do not appear to be nearing an end. His physical condition may be questionable, but look for him to continue his run of excellence into the foreseeable future.