If the Yankees are going to have any chance of winning this series, they have to win tonight. And winning tonight, against David Price, almost certainly means getting a good start out of CC Sabathia. A source of security for four years, Sabathia has become a mystery this season — mostly a disappointment with ongoing hope that he’ll turn it around before the end of the year.
“He’s had a tough year,” Joe Girardi said. “There’s a lot of things you could say. Could it be this? Could it be that? I think that’s just speculation. The bottom line is, his fastball has cut more and his changeup has cut more, and that’s what’s led to the problems.”
Is it a minor mechanical glitch?
“That could be part of it,” Girardi said. “That always plays a role in pitching. Whenever you don’t locate a baseball, it’s usually because your mechanics are off, or if the baseball does something it’s not supposed to do, your mechanics are off.”
Is it because of the considerable workload in his career?
“I think that’s something that people might attribute it to,” Girardi said. “We all kind of have our ideas what it is, but I think that might attribute to it.”
Is it because he’s too skinny this year?
“I don’t think so,” Girardi said. “It’s not like he’s 210 pounds. He’s not Mr. Ramirez that we used to have here. He’s still a big man. He’s still strong. I think he’s in tremendous shape.”
Yes, that was an Edwar Ramirez reference. Didn’t see that coming today.
“The one thing (with) CC, he has given us some innings and he’s gotten us some outs,” Girardi said. “And we’re going to need that down the stretch.”
• Girardi confirmed what Derek Jeter said last night. Jeter will play one more minor league game tonight, travel to Toronto tomorrow and join the Yankees on Monday. “I’m not sure if he has a scheduled workout or if he’s just traveling (tomorrow),” Girardi said.
• Brett Gardner had X-rays today and his right hand is fine. He’s just getting a day off against the lefty. Girardi said he’s like Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki’s at-bats against Price, so they’re playing. Gardner said he’s fully available.
• Eduardo Nunez said yesterday was the best his hamstring had felt since Boston. He said it’s still a little tight, but it’s getting better and he feels fine in the field and on the bases. He was encouraged by yesterday when he had to really race down the line a few times.
• Lyle Overbay is still a little sick. He’s here, but it’s not clear whether he’d be available to pinch hit. “He gets a little bit dizzy and he’s nauseated, so I’m not sure about that one,” Girardi said.
• Adam Warren said he expects to be available tonight. He said he actually felt pretty good yesterday too. Girardi said the same thing, that he’ll likely have Warren but maybe not David Huff. “I’ll probably have one of them, I guess,” Girardi said. “I’ll probably have Warren. And I might have both of them. I have to talk to them and see how they feel.”
• Quite a few GCL Yankees were at the Trop of batting practice today. It’s always funny how those young guys know a handful of the big leaguers because of rehab stuff. Eduardo Nunez and Ivan Nova were joking with some of them like long-lost best friends. None of the GCL guys hit or anything, but the one who stood out was Rony Bautista, a left-handed pitcher who’s massive. Looked bigger than Aaron Judge, who’s not playing but was with the group today.
• Two other minor league notes: Heard today that Manny Banuelos has been throwing batting practice at the minor league complex. Also heard Tyler Austin — out with a wrist injury — could begin playing some GCL games fairly soon.
Associated Press photos