This season veteran southpaw hurler CC Sabathia has meant a great deal to the New York Yankees.
However, he is once again injured, as his right knee, the one he wears a brace on, has started to give him problems again. Sabathia left Tuesday’s game, a loss of 4-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays, after only making 57 pitches, due to tweaking his right knee at some time during while pitching the third inning.
Sabathia simply said that it was the same feeling he gets when his knee hurts, just pain. He said he was frustrated because the knee has been healthy since the start of the season.
Sabathia was returning to New York from Toronto on Wednesday. He will see a team doctor but it remains unknown if the 37-year old veteran will have to be placed on the disabled list. Earlier in the season, Sabathia sat out three weeks because of a strained left hamstring.
Manager Joe Girardi said there was concern over what Sabathia did to his knee.
New York is 13-6 when Sabathia starts and overall is just seven games over .500. Sabathia has had his problems during his most recent three starts, pitching to an ERA of 8.10 including allowing two two-run homers on Tuesday to the Blue Jays.
Sabathia said following the game that it was hard for him to land, get over his front side and finish his pitches. He added that when he cannot accomplish that, he does not know where his pitch is going.
If the veteran is placed on the team’s DL, Jordan Montgomery the rookie southpaw who is 24 could be back up in the major this week. Montgomery was optioned by the Yankees to Scranton in Triple-A earlier this week and was scheduled to start there on Saturday.
The Yankees, who want to cut their starting rotation to five from the current six, planned on shortening the outings for Montgomery in the minors so he would be on pace for 180 total innings.
Montgomery in 21 starts is 7-6 with an ERA of 4.05 in 115 innings and just 36 innings shy of a career high he set in 2016.
Bryan Mitchell pitched four shutout innings after relieving Sabathia and he too could take a turn in the rotation if needed.
Pitching is not the only problem the Yankees have been having. Offensively, they have scored two runs or fewer in five of their last six games played. What concerns Girardi the most is the middle of the batting order, where Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez have not produced since returning from the All-Star break.