While Joe Girardi is thinking about arm-preservation with CC Sabathia, the lefty isn't at that stage yet.
“It’s too soon to even think that way,” Sabathia said Saturday after throwing his first bullpen session of the spring. “I feel like I want to take the ball every time I get an opportunity so three days’ rest, whatever, I feel like I’m good to go, so I’m not worried about saving my arm or not throwing as many innings. I guess you have to use it while you got it.”
Sabathia threw 230 innings last regular season and his arm was called on for plenty of more work in the postseason, even making making two starts on three days’ rest. His arm had received plenty of use before last year, throwing 241 innings in 2007 and a combined 253 innings for Cleveland and Milwaukee in 2008.
Sabathia, however, said his arm didn’t feel like it needed a break after 2009.
“I felt pretty good,” Sabathia said. “I’ve pretty much been doing the same thing the past three or four years so I felt pretty good. Hadn’t pitched as long into the season [into November], took like three weeks off before I started playing catch again. I can’t take too much time off, my arm gets in a funk."
Regardless of how good Sabathia feels, however, Girardi said he's applying a dose of preventative medicine, the reason Sabathia didn't throw until today and the reason his plan is to "ease" him into spring training.
“It is [preventative],” Girardi said. “We just thought that it’s not going to hurt and we’ll have him ready for his first spring training game and have him ready for opening day, and if we can ease him into this year, let’s do it. He threw an extra 30 or something innings last October and November and we think it’s important that we do that.”
Girardi also said the issue will be discussed every offseason.
“I think it’s something you have to address every year going into spring training because he is a guy that gives you usually seven innings every time out,” Girardi said. “You start multiplying that over 34 starts, you’re looking at a lot of innings every year. So it is something that we will look at every winter and evaluate what we need to do.”