New York Yankees reliever Zack Britton misses the energy that retired pitcher CC Sabathia would bring to the ballclub.
Spring training has finally arrived, and the New York Yankees are back at it. After losing in the 2019 American League Championship Series to the now-widely hated Houston Astros, the Yanks are working towards World Series title No. 28. Simply speaking, it’s a new year with a new chance to finish atop the baseball universe.
But there’s something that’s noticeably missing from this ballclub, and that’s the presence of CC Sabathia. The left-hander decided to call it quits after his 19th major-league season last year. The Yankees will surely miss his energy and mentorship, as reliever Zack Britton reflects what he meant to the organization.
“At that stage of his career, the biggest thing was just being there for his teammates and the pitchers through struggles and being their biggest supporters when they were doing well,” Britton said Saturday, per George A. King III of the New York Post. “He always kept things in perspective, when things were good and when things were bad. He had been through so much and had seen it all and obviously that big personality.”
“Those days when the team was feeling sluggish he would be over there laughing and bringing good energy to the clubhouse,” he added. “Those are the things that I noticed especially.”
Last season was Britton’s first (and only) full year as Sabathia’s teammate. The Baltimore Orioles sent Britton to the Bronx during the 2018 campaign.
In his final season, CC recorded a 4.95 ERA and 1.407 WHIP while going 5-8 through 23 games (22 starts).
Britton and the rest of the Yankees will undergo their first full-squad workout this Tuesday. Their spring training game schedule will commence on Feb. 22 with a 1:05 p.m. ET matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays.