Awards Season Preview Part Two: A Pitcher

Yesterday, I discussed two Yankee hitters who are possible MVP Candidates and today I’ll discuss any pitchers the Yankees have who are Cy Young Award candidates. However, it should be noted that this discussion is basically just window dressing. Zack Greinke is the best pitcher in baseball this season and if he doesn’t win the American League Cy Young Award this season, my virtually non-existent faith in the BBWAA will fall even farther.

Regardless of that, there is at least one Yankee pitcher who could finish in the top five for the AL CY voting: Carsten Charles Sabathia. While I don’t place much faith in wins to evaluate a pitcher, CC is leading the league with 19 and that could sway some (very silly) voters in his favor. He is also leading the league in H/9, giving up only 7.5. His 3.21 ERA and 139 ERA+ are good for fifth in the American League, he’s ninth in strikeouts per nine innings with 7.7, sixth in overall strikeouts with 194, second in innings pitched with 227.3, and second in WHIP with a 1.104 mark.

CC is also pitching to a great 3.34 FIP. In other advanced stats, CC is throwing up a 3.69 tRA–I’m using the StatCorner version since they also include tRA+. CC’s tRA+ sits at a cool 126, so he’s well above average.

Anyway you shake it–traditional stats, advanced stats, the “eye” test–CC has had an incredible season. After signing a gigantic contract in the offseason, Sabathia has lived up to expectations. His pitching has been nothing short of stellar, especially his post All-Star Break performance. CC’s line since the ASG is as follows:

99 IP, 79 H, 26 ER, 7 HR, 24 BB, 99 K, 1.040 WHIP, 4.13 K/BB, 2.36 ERA.

CC definitely lived up to his billing in 2009 and I look forward to his upcoming post season performance. It is a treat to watch him work and thankfully, we’ll have that luxury for at least the next two seasons.

P.S.: I know many readers may have wanted me to include Mariano Rivera in this discussion of possible Cy Young candidates from the Yankees, but that’s just not realistic. As much as we all love Mariano, it’s clear that CC is the best pitcher on this team. It’s also worth nothing that Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez should get consideration long before Rivera.

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