Even despite a handful of injuries as Sabathia has aged, only once (eight in 2014) in his 18-year career has he not made at least 27 starts in a season. He has averaged 30 starts per season over the past three years, including the postseason.
The six-time All-Star has been a workhorse throughout his career, throwing at least 188 innings 12 times. Of course, his durability was never more on display than it was when he threw 253 innings in 2008, including 130.2 innings in 17 starts—featuring seven complete games—for the Milwaukee Brewers after a midseason trade for a playoff push.
The veteran southpaw may not be the ace he once was, but he has been effective enough in recent seasons (14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 2017) to lead to the Yankees re-signing him this past offseason. In 2018, he is 7-4 with a 3.32 ERA, a 1.28 WHIP and 106 strikeouts in 22 starts.
New York relies on Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ to anchor the rotation at this point. However, Sabathia had improved in each of the past three seasons, becoming an arm the team could depend on consistently. Losing him for an extended period of time will tests the Yankees' depth and potentially cause the bullpen to receive more work.
Then again, New York's offense is powerful enough to take the pressure off the pitching staff. With Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius and Co. lighting up the scoreboard, the Yankees are a team that isn't afraid to get into a slugfest.