Sunday, April 11, 2010

CC's near no-no

I was lucky enough to witness CC Sabathia's gem on Saturday at Tropicana Field. Never been anywhere close to seeing a no-hitter in person (though I covered a few Little League softball no-nos back in the day as a cub reporter), so I was pretty into it.

Cruising through 7.

Foiled in the 8th.

Kelly Shoppach had to go and ruin it for me (and CC, I suppose) with four outs to go. But it was a great performance from Sabathia nonetheless, and it got me thinking about the Yankees' ace from a fantasy perspective.

You can make a case that, along with Roy Halladay, CC is the surest thing in fantasy among starting pitchers. Think about it: He's the ace of a squad that's roundly projected to win 90-plus games; he's a veteran pitcher with a marvelous track record and no serious injury history; he hasn't pitched fewer than 230 innings or won fewer than 17 games in the past three years; he hasn't had an ERA higher than 3.40 in the past four years.

I ranked CC No. 24 overall among all fantasy players in my preseason rankings and the fourth pitcher on the list, behind Halladay, Tim Lincecum and Zack Greinke. But Greinke doesn't have nearly the track record of Sabathia or nearly as strong a team, and was placed there mostly based on his upside. You can make a case CC deserves to be as high as No. 3. He's one of the select few pitchers you can always keep in your lineup and never even consider benching.

Peace of mind in fantasy baseball is a beautiful thing. And so are one-hitters.

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