Sabathia on his knee: “I have no complaints”

The Yankees continue to search for pitching this offseason as they look to bolster a rotation that is full of injury risks. Masahiro Tanaka has a partially torn elbow ligament, Michael Pineda‘s shoulder is a perpetual question, and Ivan Nova won’t be back until at least May following Tommy John surgery. All of that is on top of Hiroki Kuroda possibly (likely?) leaving the club, either as a free agent or through retirement.

Stalwart left-hander CC Sabathia is returning from a knee injury that required a clean out surgery, not a much more serious microfracture procedure. Microfracture surgery may have ended his career. Sabathia has been throwing off flat ground for weeks but he recent decided not to throw off a mound before the holidays as initially planned. During a recent television interview (h/t Chad Jennings), Sabathia discussed his current workout routine and expectations for 2015.

“The knee, I have no complaints. I’m able to do all of my workouts … I’m changing a few things. Not as much pounding and running. I’m in the pool a lot, on different machines to get cardio, (on the) bike. Just adding a few different things to get some cardio in,” said Sabathia. “I feel like I can (throw 200 innings). If you asked me that a couple of months ago, I would have said, ‘I don’t know,’ but the way I’m feeling now and being able to work out, definitely.”

For what it’s worth, Steamer projects a 4.00 ERA (3.97 FIP) for Sabathia next season, and holy crap I would take that in a heartbeat. Don’t even care about strikeout and walk rates. After the knee surgery and his performance the last two years (4.87 ERA and 4.22 FIP), I’m in full blown Freddy Garcia mode with CC. Just get outs, I don’t care how. I’m glad Sabathia’s knee feels strong and he thinks he can throw 200+ innings next year. I’m not counting on anything from Sabathia though. Just hoping for the best.

Brett Gardner underwent core muscle surgery last month

Brett Gardner underwent core muscle surgery to repair his right rectus abdominis muscle on October 16th, the Yankees just announced. The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Philadelphia Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, PA. The team didn’t give any details about Gardner’s rehab timetable, but his agent told Dan Barbarisi it’s not serious and he will be back to 100% this month. Gardner played through an abdominal injury for most of the second half.

Injury Updates: Sabathia, Claiborne, Murphy

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Even though the Yankees haven’t played a game in nearly a month now, there are still some injuries that need updating. Here’s the latest on the walking wounded, courtesy of Pete Caldera, Dan Martin, George King, and Josh Norris.

  • CC Sabathia (knee) is still throwing twice a week and he feels “pretty much back to 100%.” He has decided against throwing a bullpen session sometime before Thanksgiving, however. “I thought about that, but what’s the point of throwing a bullpen at Thanksgiving? That was more me not knowing if I was gonna feel good. Now that I know I feel pretty good, I don’t think there’s any reason for me to crank it up at that time. I’ll wait and probably go down to Spring Training a little early in January,” he said.
  • Preston Claiborne missed six weeks with an unknown arm injury while with Triple-A Scranton this past season, and it has now been reported that he had a separated shoulder and an inflamed AC joint. He returned in August and was called up in September. “I was pretty scared. I didn’t know what was going on,” said Claiborne. “Going into the offseason I am healthy and strong. I am in much better shape already.”
  • And finally, retiring VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman confirmed John Ryan Murphy suffered a concussion late in the season. This is the injury that sidelined him for two weeks in August while he was with Triple-A Scranton. Murphy was healthy in September and he started behind the plate in two of the final three games of the regular season, including Game 162.

Sabathia close to throwing off mound, says knee has “been feeling great”

Via George King: CC Sabathia is close to throwing off a mound as he rehabs from surgery and stem cell treatment on his right knee. “I will play catch at 90 feet for three or four days and then go to 120 feet and after that probably get off a mound,” he said following the end of the season last weekend. “It feels good after the stem cell. It’s been feeling great. I am definitely coming back.”

Sabathia, 34, was limited to eight starts and 46 innings (5.28 ERA and 4.78 FIP) because of knee problems this year. He says he’s anxious to pitch after missing almost the entire season — “Having almost a year off has gotten the fire back in me. Having baseball taken away from me stunk. I am excited to get going,” he said — but the Yankees have to assume Sabathia can give them nothing in 2015. If he comes back and pitches well, great. But they have to prepare for the worst case scenario, which means adding pitching depth and maybe penciling Shane Greene into the sixth starter’s spot rather than the number five.

Jagielo out 4-6 weeks with broken bone in face following hit-by-pitch

3:44pm: Jagielo had to undergo surgery to repair the fracture, he announced on Instagram. (The picture isn’t gross.) Everything went well.

1:01pm: Third base prospect Eric Jagielo is out 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his face, VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman confirmed to Josh Norris. Jagielo took a fastball to the face during an Instructional League game over the weekend. He will be replaced on the Arizona Fall League roster, according to Newman.

Jagielo, 22, was the Yankees’ first round pick in the 2013 draft. He hit .259/.354/.460 (132 wRC+) with 16 homers in 85 games around an oblique injury with High-A Tampa this year. The broken bone stinks but that seems like the best case scenario whenever you talk about a pitch up around the head. Jagielo could have suffered a concussion or serious eye damage. All things considered, this is good news. Heal up and get ready for 2015.

Carlos Beltran undergoes successful elbow surgery

Carlos Beltran had “loose pieces” and the bone spur removed from his right elbow earlier today, the Yankees announced. The team says he can begin throwing and hitting in approximately six weeks and can begin playing in approximately 12 weeks. The procedure isn’t expected to have any sort of impact on his usual offseason routine. Beltran has said he will stay in New York to rehab this winter.

Beltran, 37, finished his first season in pinstripes with a .233/.301/.402 (95 wRC+) batting line and 15 homers in 449 plate appearances. He mashed early in the season but never seemed to put it together while playing through the bone spur. Hopefully Beltran will get back to being a middle of the order force once healthy next season. Hope is pretty much all the Yankees can do at this point.

Update: Eric Jagielo takes fastball to the face in Instructional League

Sunday, 2:30pm: Kiley McDaniel says it sounds like Jagielo escaped major injury and is going to be okay. There has not been any sort of official word yet, however. Scouts at the game said he was on the ground for 20 minutes waiting for the ambulance.

Saturday, 12:41pm: Sherman says Jagielo’s helmet absorbed some of the blow but the ball did partially hit his face. He is heading for concussion tests and I’m sure much more.

12:14pm: Via Joel Sherman: Third base prospect Eric Jagielo took an 87 mph fastball to the face in Instructional League earlier today. He was down on the ground for an extended period of time and had to be taken away in an ambulance. No word on the severity of his injuries or anything like that. It’s too early to know. Make sure you check back for updates.

Jagielo, 22, was the Yankees’ first round pick in the 2013 draft. He hit .259/.354/.460 (132 wRC+) with 16 homers in 85 games around an oblique injury with High-A Tampa this year. Jagielo was slated to play in the Arizona Fall League starting next month, but obviously this incident could change plans. Hopefully everything is okay and he escapes with relatively little damage, like Chase Headley did when he took a fastball to the chin a few weeks ago.