In thinking about today’s piece and looking back at CC Sabathia‘s career it is clear that he is on a Hall of Fame trajectory. So let’s examine if CC should get a spot in Cooperstown.
To be considered a Hall of Famer is a great honor. And it takes a combination of hard work and a little bit of luck. In order to determine the validity of a claim for CC as a Hall of Famer, we need to see his numbers.
Career Stats (As of 6/12, Fangraphs and Baseball Reference)
Games Started: 520
Innings Pitched: 3374.2
Wins/Losses: 240/147 (.620 Winning %)
Total WAR: 60.1
Sabathia made his Major League debut for the Cleveland Indians on April 8th, 2001 against the Baltimore Orioles. CC is in his 18th season at the Major League level. Sabathia is in the top 100 in MLB history regarding innings pitched. CC is currently 17th All-Time in Strikeouts and third most all-time by a left-handed pitcher behind only Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton. CC Sabathia would rank higher than sixty-three current Hall of Famers in terms of strikeouts.
CC Sabathia is currently 54th all-time in wins as a starter. There not are many pitchers to have more wins than CC has right now that are not in the Hall of Fame. That list includes Bartolo Colon (still active), Jack Powell, Andy Pettitte (2019 ballot), Jaime Moyer (currently on the ballot). Also Gus Weyhing, Jim McCormick, Jim Katt, Mike Mussina (currently on the ballot), Tommy John, Bobby Matthews and Roger Clemens (currently on the ballot).
Sabathia, by way of winning the 2007 AL Cy Young award achieved a mark that Hall of Fame voters look for. CC also contributed mightily helping the New York Yankees win the 2009 World Series. He also claimed the ALCS MVP award that year. CC has been known as a winner and a competitor in every stop he’s made. Many people questioned Sabathia choosing to pitch on short rest for the Milwaukee Brewers in the stretch run of 2008 due to his impending free agency. For if Sabathia got hurt in doing so would have cost himself millions upon millions of dollars in that offseason.
Sabathia is a workhorse and a fiery competitor who has reinvented himself employing a weak contact style over the last several years. After Sabathia lost his overpowering fastball, CC struggled for a few seasons. It wasn’t until a conversation with his close friend and former teammate Andy Pettitte. CC decided to introduce the cutter into his repertoire. The cutter was a pitched that helped and saved Andy Pettite’s career. And thus far the very same pitch has resurrected what at one point was thought to be the end of Sabathia’s storied career.
Carsten Charles Sabathia has had a wonderful career. That should be punctuated by an induction into the most exclusive and legitimate club in all of the sports world the National Baseball Hall of Fame.