(Gettin' into fighting shape... )
You know the offseason is getting close to turning from hot stove to looking ahead to Spring Training when CC Sabathia's weight and conditioning starts becoming a talking point. It's an annual tradition in Yankeeland, like Old Timers' Day. He dropped 25 pounds a few years back before the season and then ended up putting it all back on by season's end, but it didn't negatively affect his performance or trademark durability, so who cares, right?
Well after last season's injury problems, the first he's experienced since 2006, CC appears to be back on the health kick. He showed up at ESPN's headquarters yesterday to make his media rounds for his campaign to be on the cover of the new "MLB The Show" video game looking trimmer than he did this past season and confirmed that he had lost weight.
"I've lost 20 pounds. Coming off the elbow surgery, I just wanted to be healthy and stay healthy all year."
CC's ability to handle the workload he does at his size has always been one of, if not his greatest strengths as an ace starting pitcher. But after last year's brush with mortality, and his transition from late 20s into early 30s, it might be time for CC to start taking a more proactive approach towards keeping his body in the best physical condition possible. Cleaning the elbow out was a good start, and dropping some weight should help keep his legs fresh. Of course there's no way to guarantee anything health-wise in baseball, but if CC is able to better maintain his weight in 2013 it should increase his chances of staying healthy through a full season's worth of starts and possibly lessen the need to limit his innings.