CC Sabathia Appears To Be Headed To The DL And Might Have Pitched His Last Game In Pinstripes

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Last night CC Sabathia struggled mightily and only lasted three innings against the Jays. He exited the game early after “tweaking” his knee, and said he felt pain in it all throughout the outing. BAD NEWS.

I’m no expert in body language, but I can tell you for certain CC thinks this bad news. The dude sounded about as dejected as can be speaking to Meredith Marakovitz after the game. It’s his landing knee, which is very problematic because he won’t be able to finish any of his pitches if it’s bothering him. CC’s right knee has bothered him his whole career. In 2010 he tore his right meniscus. In 2014 he required micro-fracture surgery on the same knee. And at the end of last year he underwent a cleanup on the same right knee. So yeah, this is really bad news and it couldn’t come at a worse time as the Yankees enter the stretch run in hopes they can make the playoffs or possibly win the division. They need CC in the back of the rotation, giving them six solid innings like he has most of the season. A DL stint seems likely and if surgery is in play, it’ll mean the end of Sabathia’s long career with New York. If this becomes the case, I’ll write up a well-deserved tribute blog because the big guy gave us literally everything he had in his nine seasons in pinstripes.

So the big question is what happens to the Yankees rotation? Masahiro Tanaka will pitch tonight, we know that for certain. Right now, Sonny Gray is expected to start the final game of the series against the Jays on Thursday night. It would be ideal to push Gray to Friday and find a spot start for Thursday’s game. That way you can go Jaime Garcia on Saturday and Severino on Sunday against Chris Sale. We need to have our best guys going this weekend against the Sox and not have Bryan Mitchell starting Sunday Night Baseball against the consensus future AL CY Young winner.

Then we have to see what happens to Montgomery now. Do the Yanks call him back up right away and scrap the innings limit plan? That doesn’t seem like something Girardi and Cashman would support. I still think they want to stick to their plan and have his starts spread out in AAA with limited innings until September. Once September hits they plan on bringing him back up to start. Does that potentially change if CC’s injury is as badd as we fare? Of course. But the Yanks tend to side with caution and don’t panic with their young arms. The other option is to go out into the waiver market and go grab a veteran starter. A lot of these options are super pricey like Cueto and Verlander so it would have to be a guy that makes sense. Lance Lynn peaks my interest, but his price tag may be too high.

For the immediate future I would find a spot start or mix and match for the Thursday series finale in Toronto. The Yanks need to have our best guys going against the Red Sox with the current state of the standings. Having Bryan Mitchell pitching against Chris Sale Sunday night would be problematic. This sudden injury has really put Girardi and Cashman in a bind, but this is a move they need to do.