The interesting thing to note about each player is that Sabathia has lost about 30 pounds this offseason. He had minor surgery on his knee and this is just part of his plan to keep pressure off the knee.
Meanwhile, Joba has shown up at least 10-15 pounds heavier. Joba tried to play it off as muscle weight saying that he added new gym to his home. Let’s hope that is the case because it sounds like some of the reporters are doubting that story.
If he did indeed gain weight from lack of conditioning this is a disturbing story. Joba has had an up and down career, but overall his numbers are pretty good for somebody his age. Still this could be a make or break season for the young pitcher.
There was a fear at the end of the 2009 season that Joba became too comfortable with his role on the Yankees and they talked about sending him down to the minors. They couldn’t really do it at the time because they were in the middle of a pennant race, but now that he’s not in the rotation or even in an important role in the bullpen there is nothing stopping them this time around.
Or maybe he’s right and he has added some muscle weight. Maybe he’s taken the fact that the Yankees have not even considered him for a starting job as a wake up call. It’ll be hard for us to make that call until we see him on the mound which isn’t going to happen for another three weeks.
For the record, that picture was taken in spring training 2010.