Yost: I Wouldn’t Abuse Sabathia

By Tom Haudricourt
Updated: August 19, 2008

MILWAUKEE — After manager Ned Yost allowed CC Sabathia to throw 130 pitches Monday night against Houston for his fifth complete game in nine starts since coming from Cleveland, there was speculation among national media that the Brewers are going to “use up” Sabathia since they have little chance of keeping him as an upcoming free agent.

Tuesday afternoon, Yost called such speculation nonsense.

“Everybody gets in an uproar about 130 pitches,” said Yost. “But you have to understand the anatomy of what’s going on in the game. He’s averaging 13.7 pitches per inning, which is the seventh lowest in baseball.

“Where guys get in trouble is with 20, 25 and 30 pitch innings. CC has none of those.”

Sabathia was at 111 pitches against Houston through eight innings when Yost sent him back to the mound with a 9-2 lead. Had shortstop J.J. Hardy not fumbled what could have been a game-ending double play grounder, Sabathia would have escaped with 120 or so pitches.

“Never once did he labor,” said Yost. “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.”

Yost noted that he is keeping his rotation in order in the upcoming weeks, despite several off days that would allow him to squeeze another start out of Sabathia.

“There’s no abuse going on,” said Yost. “It’s a plan that I’m looking at and put into play so that it not only takes care of our starters and gets them deep into games but our bullpen, too.

“I’m not saying my plan is 100% right. But my plan is well thought-out and makes sense, and we’re trying it. I have to do what I think is best. I want to make darn sure this team has the best opportunity to win. I know everything there is to know in the equation.”

Whether a pitcher is a “rental” or not, Yost said he would never put his healthy in jeopardy.

“What those people don’t know is my attitude toward our players,” said Yost. “I would much rather lose a game than take a chance of hurting anybody. That’s not the type of person I am.

“I respect him as a player. I respect him as a person. He’s got a family. I know how this business works. He has to provide for his family. I would never do anything that would take away from that ability. I just couldn’t live with myself.

“(Sabathia) is not a dope. He’s a real smart guy. He knows the ramifications of what it’s like to be abused. There’s no where that he’s been abused since he’s been here.”