Some baseballbloggers are accusing the Brewers of overusing their newest acquisition, front-line starter CC Sabathia, since he will most likely be walking away from Milwaukee at the end of the season with a fat free agent deal. Kid's thrown five complete games in his nine NL starts, including Monday night's 130-pitch outing that earned 27,000 Pitcher Abuse Points from the good folks at Baseball Prospectus.
So is this really abuse, or is manager Ned Yost merely doing what is right for both the team and the pitcher? Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt got the necessary quotes straight from Yost:
"Never once did he labor. Where he labored was the Chicago game (124 pitches in 6 2/3 innings on July 28). Those are the starts that wear on you. ... What those people don't know is my attitude toward our players. I would much rather lose a game than take a chance of hurting anybody. That's not the type of person I am."
Yost seems genuine. His team has some off-days coming up but he is not re-jiggering the rotation to give his top starters like Sabathia or Ben Sheets more starts; he's letting the rest of the rotation keep their spots and give everyone some extra days off between starts.
However, Rany Jazayerli, in that B.P. article cited earlier says that there is no evidence to show that extra days off will do any good for pitchers. (Heck, let's go back to the days of four-man rotations and jettison folks like Kip Wells forever!) There is correlation, though, between high PAP scores such as the one Sabathia earned Monday night and future injury risk, but that's mostly for young starters under age 25.
Sabathia is an absolute horse in his prime, failing to reach 30 starts just once in his eight-year career when he started 2006 on the D.L. with a strained right oblique. This fella can handle a 130-pitch start mixed among some 110-pitch starts. He's got a 69:15 K:BB ratio as a Brewer and the only thing that could stop him now would be an ill-timed wallaby rape.