Last night C.C. Sabathia left the game in the third inning with one out to go. Once again he was bothered by knee problems.
I guess you know that I haven’t been too high on Sabathia in the last seasons. He isn’t his old self. This showed early in the season. He tried a different mechanic to lighten the burden on his knee and that didn’t help his pitching. He was hit hard and lost often.
During the last three starts he returned to his old mechanics and the results were obvious. He pitched a lot better but of course it was an accident waiting to happen. And it happened yesterday.
Sabathia will undergo MRI scans to see what the damage to his knee is. Again it was his knee that he lands on after the windup that was hurt.
It all remains to be seen how severe the injury is, but to me a C.C. Sabathia on the DL is a blessing in disguise.
In this way there is no need to move someone of the rotation to the bullpen or to send someone down to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. It is expected that Michael Pineda will return soon and so will Bryan Mitchell. Now Joe Girardi has the plan to move to a six man rotation to give each pitcher some extra rest (especially useful for Tanaka). We can have to following rotation for the time being (in random order): Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda and Bryan Mitchell. When it comes to Mitchell, he has done most of the work out of the bullpen. His ERA is decent, so why not move him back to the pen and move Adam Warren back to the rotation? Warren has shown that he is a reliable starter.
Don’t get me wrong. I want Sabathia to succeed as much as you do because when he does well, the Yankees will do well (probably). But returning to his old pitching style may work for a short period but eventually it will lead to another injury. Pitching in a way to lighten the burden for his knees won’t work either because he will be bashed.
I know that I haven’t been very positive about Sabathia in the recent past, but I think I have to tip my cap to him for the fact that he tried to pitch through the pain in his last three outings.
But right now I think that you cannot rule out that Sabathia may have thrown the last pitch of his career (and no, that is not wishful thinking).