CC Sabathia could be at least six weeks away from returning after throwing his first bullpen session Monday. Joe Girardi indicated Tuesday it was fair to compare this to the start of spring training for him. But Sabathia is hoping to return sooner than later. His problematic right knee has been cooperating.
“I’ve been throwing the whole time,” Sabathia said. “I feel pretty good. Obviously you have to be cautious, not wanting to hurt my arm. But we’ll see. I feel good. Hopefully we can skip some steps.”
The 33-year-old lefty was just 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA when he was done with his last start on May 10.
“It’s hard to watch the games and sit here and not be a part of it,” Sabathia said. “This is one of toughest things I’ve ever had to deal with as far as my career goes.”
Sabathia is scheduled to throw another bullpen today.
“We’ll just continue to increase the amount of pitches and the pitches that he throws,” Girardi said. “He threw fastball, changeup the first day. I think he’s going to mix in some other pitches (today), mix in his slider as well. And then just kind of go day by day with him for me.
“If he gets through (today), then he’ll probably throw another bullpen and we’ll increase the number there. And then if he gets through that, eventually you start to see hitters and BP and then you get the games.
“So it’s really just taking it a step at a time. … He’s been out for a little bit. We’ve said when you’re a starter and you have not thrown a lot, we have to somewhat rebuild you up. So it’s fairly similar (to spring training).”
Masahiro Tanaka just continues to win. Here’s my story on his victory over the Blue Jays last night. Francisco Cervelli is back and ready to help in any way possible, while John Ryan Murphy is now back in Triple-A. Here’s my story on Cervelli’s return and other Yankees notes. And Chase Whitley will take the ball tonight against Toronto. Here’s my feature story on Whitley and his success as a rookie.