CC Sabathia, the ace of the New York Yankees pitching staff, is headed to the DL with stiffness in his pitching elbow.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced the move Saturday after the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 5-2, and a few hours after Sabathia was spotted icing his elbow in the trainer’s room at the Rogers Centre.
According to Girardi, Sabathia first felt the stiffness after pitching a complete game against the Mariners on August 3 at Yankee Stadium. A subsequent MRI came back clean, so Sabathia made his next start 5 days later in Detroit, but left after 6 3rd innings and just 94 pitches.
Girardi said the stiffness resurfaced after that start, but the choice to put Sabathia on the DL wasn’t made till about 4 p.m. Saturday.
“As far as our concern, it’s pretty low,” Girardi said. “It’s not like it got any worse. He wants to pitch on Monday, which I’m not surprised, because he announced he’s dealt with it before. We just decided; let’s try and get it cleaned up now.”
Girardi expounded Sabathia would see a doctor on Monday after the Yankees return to NY, but no further tests were booked.
“It’s a tough decision,” Girardi claimed. “Do you let him pitch and attempt to fight through it, or is it enough of a concern that we have him perhaps miss only 2 starts and we’ll get him back?”
Sabathia didn’t make himself available to reporters after the game but a Yankees spokesperson recounted the pitcher would address the media later on. Basketball spreads
Sabathia missed 3 starts between June 28 and July 16 while sidelined with a left groin strain. After his return, Sabathia made 5 starts and won 3; his record is 12-3 with a 3.56 ERA.
Sabathia is the very latest in a long line of key New York Yankees to serve time on the disabled list, beginning with Michael Pineda (rotator cuff) in spring coaching, Brett Gardner ( elbow inflammation) in April, Mariano Rivera (torn ACL) in May, Andy Pettitte (fractured ankle) in June and Alex Rodriguez (broken left hand) in July.
Still, the New York Yankees have maintained a hold on 1st place in the American League East; their 5-2 victory on Sat. lengthened their lead over the Baltimore Orioles to 6 games, pending the result of Saturday’s night action.
“We’re going to handle it; that’s the bottom line,” Girardi related. “We do not really want to, but we actually need to have him healthy. If we’re going to need to move on, we’re going to need to have him healthy.”
Girardi related no call has been made on who will take Sabathia’s place in the rotation when the Yankees open a 4-game series against the Texas Rangers on Monday night at home. David Phelps, a starter by trade who has been pitching out of the bullpen, is a serious possibility, as is somebody from the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“We’ll have to decide,” Girardi recounted. “Our job is to win tomorrow and then we will see where we’re at.”