TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia believed that carrying extra weight boosted his performance on the mound, though as he approached the finish line of his career last autumn, the veteran left-hander vowed that he would shed those pounds in retirement. The longtime Yankees hurler has followed through in a big
TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia believed that carrying extra weight boosted his performance on the mound, though as he approached the finish line of his career last autumn, the veteran left-hander vowed that he would shed those pounds in retirement. The longtime Yankees hurler has followed through in a big way.
A photograph of a noticeably more svelte Sabathia made the rounds on social media this week, confirmed as authentic by his “R2C2” podcast co-host Ryan Ruocco. In the snapshot, Sabathia is outfitted in a sleeveless muscle shirt, proudly showing off loose-fitting shorts.
“The big fella has been getting after it during quarantine!” Ruocco said on Twitter.
The 39-year-old Sabathia was listed at 300 pounds last year, when he went 5-8 with a 4.95 ERA in 23 games (22 starts). He endured a health scare prior to the campaign, when a 90 percent blockage was discovered in an artery leading to his heart, prompting a December 2018 angioplasty.
Sabathia said at the time that he was instructed to continue the health changes that he has made, including dieting and abstaining from alcohol. Sabathia has experimented with a raw vegan diet over the last three years -- a marked reversal, considering he confessed to eating entire boxes of Cap’n Crunch cereal earlier in his pinstriped tenure.
“It took for me to get out of baseball to get in shape, you know what I’m saying?” Sabathia said last week on his podcast. “I’m trying to get right for Vegas, for the Raiders, when I come to the games.”
With baseball on pause, it’s natural to wonder if Sabathia could be preparing to pitch again. In fact, after making three relief appearances late in the year (two in the postseason), Sabathia had privately wondered if he should hang on for another year or two as a bullpen option.
But when presented with the suggestion of a comeback this spring, Sabathia laughed and reminded a questioner that he shredded his pitching shoulder in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Astros, requiring surgery to repair tears in his rotator cuff, labrum and biceps.
“I’m done,” Sabathia said. “I gave it everything I had.”
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.