Welcoming back CC Sabathia

The Implication of Gardner's Latest Setback
Pirela returns to prospect relevance
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Other than Robinson Cano, left-hander CC Sabathia is pretty much the last guy on the roster you would expect to visit the disabled list. A left groin strain sent him to the sidelines for the first time in six years, but the Yankees will welcome their ace back this evening after a brief little two-week hiatus. He’s thrown a handful of bullpen sessions and one simulated game during the time off, and everything has checked out a-okay. No need for a minor league rehab start or anything like that.

“Hopefully I just don’t come back and mess it up,” joked Sabathia yesterday. “I’m going to throw until they tell me to stop. I feel good. My arm feels good. I haven’t felt (the groin strain) since the first week of the injury … I think the rest was good for my arm, even more so than my legs. I don’t think I’ll have any limitations on pitches. I’ll be ready to go.”

Joe Girardi indicated that he won’t run Sabathia out there for a typical Sabathia-length outing tonight even though he supposedly has no restrictions, so expect something like 100 pitches instead of 120. No reason not to play it safe at this point, especially with a big nine-game lead in the division. Command is the primary concern after a layoff like this and frankly CC has been battling his command all season anyway. Maybe the rest will do him some good in that department, that would be nice.

Sabathia only missed two starts thanks to the All-Star break and the Yankees split the two games — the Adam Warren disaster and a win behind David Phelps in Tampa — which is pretty much all you could realistically ask. In fact the Yankees went 12-6 while Sabathia was out and they stretched the division lead from three games to nine games because the rest of the team really clicked. Almost all of those games were played against division rivals too. Hooray for that.

There’s no good time to lose a pitcher like CC, but losing him for two starts sandwiched around the All-Star break with a big division lead is about as good as it gets. Brett Gardner and Andy Pettitte aren’t coming back anytime soon, but at least Sabathia will return tonight and that makes this team even more dangerous. Hopefully there’s no rust and if there is, he can shake it off in short order. The Yankees have the best record in baseball, and they’re about to get one of the best pitchers in the game back into their rotation.

The Implication of Gardner's Latest Setback
Pirela returns to prospect relevance
  • Robinson Tilapia

    You can tell I’m massively distracted lately. I didn’t even realize he was pitching tonight. Get ’em, big man.

  • Dg

    The Yankees are doing so well without him. I say we trade him and let Phelps start in his place. And while we’re at it, we should start Cody Ransom in place of A-Rod. What? We don’t have Cody Ransom anymore? That guy could jump 8 feet!

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Real aces look at a strained groin, laugh, stretch it out further, and go pitch perfect games. CC for Shane Victorino.

      • Rooting for U.S. Steel

        We gots too much pitching, anyways.

    • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

      Perhaps a deal…

      CC, Nova, Gardner, Cano

      Cody Ransom, Shelly Duncan

      I don’t care if they aren’t on the same team, get it done CASH!

      • jjyank

        Not a snowball’s chance in hell that happens. We’d need to thow in A-Rod and eat most of the contract to get that done. Maybe add in Ramiro Pena too if need be.

        • Rooting for U.S. Steel

          No, no, no. No way in hell the Yankees do this. They’d want at least a Sergio Mitre-caliber pitcher as well.

          • jjyank

            Mitre sucks. They should go after Sindey Ponson. Then we might be able to make that deal.

            • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

              Ooh! Ooh! We need to solve our catching problem. Kelly Stinnett, anyone?

              • Strat

                Only if Sal Fasano can’t be acquired for a ‘stache to be named later.

            • Drew

              Wow, you guys are all so dumb. Why would the Yankees do that trade? It’s not like Shelley Duncan and Cody Ransom were that good on the Yankees. I would definitely keep CC.

              • jjyank

                I know sarcasm is difficult to pick up on the internet sometimes, but I figured this conversation was pretty obvious.

                • vin

                  I have to assume Drew has some sort of reverse sarcasm going, no?

                  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

                    Hope nobody confuses me with that guy….

                  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

                    Also you guys are all wrong. Javier Vaquez is rested up and ready for his third tour in pinstripes, but if we really must trade Cano I spoke to the Twins GM recently and Pavano is available, but we would have to throw in Sanchez.

                  • http://www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Drew

                    Also you guys are all wrong. Javier Vaquez is rested up and ready for his third tour in pinstripes, but if we really must trade Cano I spoke to the Twins GM recently and Pavano is available, but we would have to throw in Sanchez.

              • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

                A little part of my soul died with this comment.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                You’re right.

                We should just go ahead and correct the awful sins of Cashman’s past.

                One-up: CC for Zach McAllister

                Cashman failed.

                Once Mo is healed, Mo for Jose Quintana.

                • jjyank

                  Cano for John Axford?

                  • Get Phelps Up

                    Cano for IPK. Then him and Melky for Axford.

                    • jjyank

                      And then Nova, Martin, Stewart, and a ball boy for Tyler Clippard.

  • jjyank

    Welcome back indeed, CC. Hopefully Andy joins your soon and you go on a huge stretch run!

  • CountryClub

    Muscle strains are funny injuries. I’m sure he feels fine right now. But the test will come when he becomes fatigued. If he gets through this start and one more with no issues, I’ll believe he’s out of the woods.

  • yooboo

    No No No… It will kill Phelps’ chance to return to the rotation. Damn!!

    Anyway, who is out? McDonald or Mitchell?

    Trading Betances for non 40 man roster will free up a spot. That way Yanks can keep McDonald a little bit longer. Keenyn Walker would be a dream. Jared Mitchell or Brandon Short (DL) can be done if the value is right.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/Clay_Bellinger Clay Bellinger

      “Trading Betances for non 40 man roster will free up a spot.”

      Jumping into something like this just to retain McDonald seems a bit much.

      • yooboo

        Maybe. McDonald is right handed hitter and all Yankees’ OF insurances are lefty. I can see Yanks will hold on him until Yanks find a starting caliber in place of Gardner.

        All of White Sox aforementioned OF are not on 40 man roster and at least AA level player, give or take. That way Yanks can package Melky Mesa and someone else for Shane Victorino.

        Losing Victorino, Mesa, Swisher and maybe either Gardner or Granderson for 2013 season in both MLB and AAA is kind of too much.

        I also feel that Yanks have enough of pitching for those levels without Betances.

        To clear it up, it is not necessary to rush and deal away Betances because I expect Mitchell will be optioned. It is just about between now and July 31st.

        • Bunt Gardner

          Why would they lose Granderson for the 2013 season?

  • Rooting for U.S. Steel

    Before we jump all over him, consider that he does have a point. We’re talking about swapping CC for Kelly Stinnett when Butch Wynegar is unsigned.

    Really, it’s enough to make your head spin.

    • Rooting for U.S. Steel

      Arrgh, that was supposed to be in response to Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost’s comment…

  • YankeeFrankee

    How ’bout Juan Pierre as a Bret Gardner look alike who’s affordable and can play CF?

    • RI$P FTW


    • MannyGeee

      2003 called, they want their CF of the future back

  • newguy

    We need to hold on to Betances and sell high. We’re selling very low if we move him now. (thats on the hope that he improves)

  • Freddy’s Mom

    I’m just gonna go ahead and risk some know-it-all blowhard – who was prolly browbeaten half to death by his sports freak dad or god knows how he got to be such a cock – coming down on me all “you obviously know nothing about baseball,” and say this:

    I think we should just let CC rest for the remainder of the season, don’t take a chance on him getting hurt. Here’s why. I done the math and, unless I mis-cyphered it, even if we play .511 (Boston’s record right now) for the rest of the season and our rivals play .618 (in other words, the winning tendencies exactly reverse) we still win more games than Boston. Obviously an extreme proposition, and one that assumes Baltimore continues to correct.

    Now, I am not really serious, as I realize he needs to stay limber and sharp, but I would not let him ever pitch more than 7 innings till October comes.

    OK, let me have it. I can take it.

    • Jim Is Bored

      That’s just a really odd opening paragraph.

      As to your point, I’m very indifferent. it hey want to limit him to 7 innings, whatever. Not worth worrying about.

      • MannyGeee

        this. I think they should not feel that they are in a position to get 8IP out of CC every 5 days in order to save the bullpen. Siting him until the playoffs is an extreme here, but I get what you’re saying.

        However, I would comment that whey should they care what it would take to ‘beat Boston’ at this point in the season? I would worry MUCH more about beating Tampa, as while neither team can hit, at least Tampa can pitch and that is enough to keep you in the race these days…

  • forensic

    Cc might be the only pitcher in the league who could argue that he’s not happy that Bautista is out tonight. He’s owned him through their careers.

  • LiterallyFigurative

    Welcome back, big man!

    Let’s just keep building the lead. Winning series.