A handful of relatively small news and notes today, but we’ll start with the Big Man on the mound.
CC Sabathia threw a 30-pitch, two-inning simulated game this afternoon. Chris Stewart handled the catching. Dewayne Wise, Darnell McDonald and Jayson Nix did the hitting.
“I was just getting ready,” Sabathia said. “I wanted to face the hitters, that’s why I didn’t want the cage out there. I just wanted to get the feel of guys getting in the box. … Any time you’re hurt, you never know. You always wonder if you’re going to be 100 percent again. It felt good to be able to go out and throw a bullpen on Tuesday, to throw today and feel fine. I’m excited.”
Sabathia said Tuesday’s bullpen eliminated any sort of concern about his sore groin. By the time he got on the mound this afternoon, he was confident there would be no problem. And there wasn’t. Barring an unexpected setback — and absolutely no one is expecting a setback — Sabathia will throw a bullpen Sunday and start Tuesday. The Yankees have seen some groin injuries like this linger, but it looks like they’re going to get through it with Sabathia missing only two starts.
“If we get through Tuesday and he feels good, yes (it will feel fortunate), absolutely,” Joe Girardi said. “Because those can linger, especially in that push-off leg. You worry about it a lot. Everything was good today, and I feel fortunate about that. If he was only to miss two starts with this injury, we’d be fortunate. … It’s kind of strange not to pencil his name in there every five days, so it will be nice to do that again.”
• Brett Gardner is getting closer. He took full batting practice today, he’ll do the same tomorrow and he’s scheduled to play a simulated game on Sunday. “And then we’ll go from there,” Girardi said.
• Andy Pettitte is here. He flew into town yesterday. Turns out he’s actually been able to play catch regularly since breaking his ankle. Nothing over the top, just enough to keep his arm loose. “I think he’s bored to death,” Girardi said.
• The Yankees plan to stick with a five-man bench until Sabathia comes off the disabled list on Tuesday. “I can’t foresee any changes,” Girardi said. “But I can’t tell you exactly what’s going to happen tonight. For right now, I think we would probably stand pat.”
• Girardi said he’s encouraged by the fact Joba Chamberlain is scheduled to pitch two innings tomorrow. His return to the big leagues is starting to feel close. “It’s really encouraging that he’s out on the field competing again and he’s able to do the things he has to to pitch, cover bases and do those things,” Girardi said.
• The Yankees have signed outfielder Kosuke Fukudome to a minor league contract. He’ll report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, adding some outfield depth to the organization. Honestly, if a spot were to open, I have to think Chris Dickerson has the edge over Fukudome, but depth never hurt.
Associated Press photo