The Yankees faced the Orioles in Baltimore today and they sent C.C. Sabathia, their superstar offseason signing, to the hill. The most coveted free agent, Sabathiaarrived in New York to high expectations and in his first game of the spring, Sabathia struggled. He last just 4 1/3 innings, giving up 8 hits, 5 walks, and 6 runs (all earned) without a strikeout. That’s what the Yankees wanted.
The biggest concern for any star coming to New York is adjustment. How well will they handle the big city? The constant scrutiny? Well Sabathia better get ready for some criticism, because after that opening start, he deserves it. The New York media will jump on Sabathia about not living up to his contract. They will attack him saying, “He’s not ready for New York. Sure, he can play fine in a small city like Milwaukee, but New York is a whole different ballgame”
If Sabathia felt any pressure coming into his first start, he should feel tenfold that amount of pressure going into his second. Now, if he rebounds from this horrid start, the media will back off entirely and the pressure will decrease, but with each failing start, the pressure mounts. Add C.C. Sabathia’s name to the list of question marks in New York.
So the Yankees top offseason signing, how about their second-biggest acquisition? That would be Mark Teixeira. He started the day with a huge 0 for 4, including 5 left-on-base. Teixeira was one of only two Yankees who did not have a hit in the game. The other?
Well he was none other than the replacement for Alex Rodriguez, Cody Ransom. He went 0 for 3 and was eventually pinch-hit for by Nick Swisher. Now Ransom is only playing until A-Rod returns from his injury, but a month a more of him struggling could end up being the difference between 1st and 3rd place in the AL East.
The Yankees had a couple questions coming into today:
- How would C.C. adjust to New York?
- How would Teixeira adjust to New York?
- How would Ransom perform replacing A-Rod?
The answers to all of those are just more questions:
- Is this just an Opening Day bump for Sabathia?
- Is Teixeira correct in the number 3 position?
- Should the Yankees trade for a starting 3rd baseman until A-Rod returns?
It’s only one game and there are 161 more to come, but if the Yankees had no worries coming into the year, they certainly do now.