The former Yankees pitcher weighs in on the Los Angeles Angels star's season-ending injury
The 43-year-old former New York Yankees pitcher tells PEOPLE that, when it comes to pitching, “stuff’s going to break.”
“I think you only have a certain amount of throws in your arm, so stuff’s going to break and things are going to happen,” Sabathia said after he threw pitches at a special batting practice with Poland Spring Water, the official water of the Yankees.
The Los Angeles Angels announced this past Saturday that Ohtani, a 29-year-old pitcher and designated hitter for the team, has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a ligament tear in his pitching elbow, which will require surgery and take him out for the rest of the season.
“It was just one of those unfortunate things where I think him pitching in the World Baseball Classic and winning that title and doing all these different things maybe led to some fatigue and this injury,” Sabathia tells PEOPLE. "But I think for him cleaning out his locker, I thought he should have done it maybe a month ago, when he first got hurt, and took care of himself, maybe got the surgery and been ready to play for the beginning of next year.”
Sabathia is taking his own advice and focused on taking care of himself after retiring in 2019. “For me, I'm on a better routine. Now that I'm retired, I can go to bed at nine o'clock, at a normal hour, and get up and work out, do different things,” the former pitcher says. “So it's easier, actually, to stay in shape post-playing career 'cause you're on a better schedule.”
With only a few weeks left in the 2023 Major league baseball season, Sabathia thinks Ohtani’s departure is a smart choice. “It's best for him to just get healthy and do whatever he can to be ready for the beginning of next season."
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