The scheduled return of CC Sabathia to the rotation to start Saturday against the White Sox put a spotlight on just how banged up the Yankees have been during the first month of the season.
The 38-year-old lefty is due to be activated from the injured list after rehabbing from offseason knee surgery and a December heart scare, while many of his teammates have since gotten hurt or seen their recoveries stalled by setbacks.
“We’ve had a bunch of injuries that you can’t control,’’ Sabathia said Friday, before the Yankees lost their fourth straight, a 9-6, rain-shortened defeat to the White Sox in The Bronx. “All you can do is to try to weather the storm ’til we get all our players back.”
That might take a while, with 12 players on the IL and several showing no signs of improvement.
Sabathia, though, had a relatively smooth comeback. He rehabbed in Tampa and served a five-game suspension stemming from hitting Jesus Sucre, then with the Rays, with a pitch last September.
Sabathia has said this will be his final season, but was in no mood for nostalgia on Friday. He reported no issues in his rehab start for Single-A Tampa, and he will join a rotation that has not given the Yankees much length so far.
“I’m excited to be back,’’ he said. “I wish I could tell you this start felt different, but I’m just looking forward to getting started and getting us a win.’’
“I felt great,’’ he added. “I had no problems getting warmed up. I just feel normal.”
Manager Aaron Boone said he was pleased not only to have Sabathia back in the rotation, but with the team, as well.
“Obviously what he brings to us between the lines [is important], but there’s no question that his presence in our room is one of the intangible things that he brings that’s really valuable,’’ Boone said.
With Sabathia getting Saturday’s start, followed by Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday, Domingo German will be available out of the bullpen this weekend, according to Boone. The right-hander has pitched well in his two starts and will be back in the rotation Thursday, followed by Sabathia.
Stephen Tarpley was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Friday’s game to open a roster spot for Sabathia.
Published at Sat, 13 Apr 2019 09:56:52 +0000