The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


How bad were the Yankees? Brendan Ryan’s pitching was the highlight

Ivan Nova

There have been nights when the Yankees’ offense has disappeared, and there have been nights when their pitching has disappointed. Tonight, they managed to pull off both at the same time. The end result was a 15-1 embarrassment at Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees’ lineup had more innings pitched than runs scored, and the Yankees’ pitching staff had the same number of base runners as outs.

As the Yankees shuffled their players just to get through the game, utility infielder Brendan Ryan played one inning in right field (his first outfield appearance since 2008), then he pitched the final two innings (each one scoreless in his first ever Major League pitching performance).

The Yankees’ problems started with Ivan Nova, who started the game with two fairly quick outs, then let five runs score before getting the third. On the fourth batter of the inning, Jacoby Ellsbury tried to make a diving catch and played the ball into a triple. The next five batters reached base. After Nova allowed a two-run homer in the fifth, his ERA had jumped from 3.72 to 4.50. Nick Rumbelow allowed two more runs and Chris Capuano let the game get completely out of hand with a six-run seventh.

It wasn’t an ideal night for the pitching staff to fall apart because the Yankees were facing Astros’ ace Dallas Keuchel, who made short work of the Yankees’ lineup. He struck out nine, walked none and allowed just three hits through seven innings. The Yankees got one run in the ninth, which really didn’t matter.

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 at 10:15 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 125: Yankee vs. Astros

Mark TeixeiraYANKEES (69-55)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Chris Young LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
John Ryan Murphy C
Didi Gregorius SS
Brendan Ryan 2B

RHP Ivan Nova (5-5, 3.72)
Nova vs. Astros

ASTROS (69-57)
Jose Altuve 2B
Jed Lowrie 3B
Carlos Correa SS
Colby Rasmus RF
Evan Gattis DH
Carlos Gomez CF
Luis Valbuena 1B
Marwin Gonzalez LF
Jason Castro C

LHP Dallas Keuchel (14-6, 2.37)
Keuchel vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network

WEATHER: Feels a little more hot and humid than it’s been in recent days. Maybe that’s just me, though.

UMPIRES: HP Eric Cooper, 1B Sam Holbrook, 2B Tripp Gibson, 3B Gabe Morales

IN THE STANDINGS: The Yankees enter this game tied with the Blue Jays for first place in the American League East. Each team is 69-55 at this point, tied for the second-best record in the American League and the fifth-best record in the Majors.

LEFTY KILLER: The only left-handed hitter on the Yankees’ roster who’s ever had a hit against Dallas Keuchel is Jacoby Ellsbury who’s 1-for-4 with a strikeout and a walk against him. The Yankees’ hitter who has the most experience against Keuchel is Chris Young who has a .353/.389/.588 slash line in 17 head-to-head at-bats.

ON THIS DATE: It was on August 25, 2011 that the Yankees became the first team to ever hit three grand slams in a single game. Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson each hit one en route to a 22-9 win. Jorge Posada made his first career appearance at second base that game and got the game’s final out on a ground ball.

UPDATE, 7:20 p.m.: Well, Nova got two quick outs and seemed to off to a terrific start. Then he walked a guy. Then Jacoby Ellsbury couldn’t make a diving catch on what turned into a triple. Then another walk. Then an RBI double. Suddenly it’s 2-0 Astros and Nova’s already thrown 25 pitches while getting just those two outs.

UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: Man, the wheels have come thoroughly come off. Five runs. Still just two outs. That, by the way, is the same damage Chris Capuano did during that awful start in Texas.

UPDATE, 7:31 p.m.: Five runs on four hits and three walks, all with two outs in the first inning. Ellsbury probably should have let that ball drop in front of him for a single, but even if that had happened, Nova would still have needed to get that third out eventually. That inning just got completely out of hand. Nova’s already thrown 40 pitches. Now, here’s Dallas Keuchel.

UPDATE, 8:11 p.m.: This is predictable: Keuchel is having a good game so far.

UPDATE, 8:23 p.m.: Man, Teixeira really can’t run. Looked bad going to first on that 6-3 putout. Even without him being able to run, I might prefer the chance of a home run from Teixeira rather than the left-on-left at-bats by Bird.

UPDATE, 8:32 p.m.: Two-run homer for Gattis, and that’ll be all for Nova. He’s booed as he walks off the mound, and here comes Nick Rumbelow out of the bullpen.

UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: Well, there’s a two-run home run, a hard-hit double, a clean single and a costly error. Yankees down 9-0.

UPDATE, 9:03 p.m.: Carlos Gomez flipped his bat and did  some shouting after a fly ball to center. Looks like the Yankees’ bench had some words for Gomez on his way to first, he began telling the bench to “shut up,” and then he got into a mild altercation with Murphy at home plate. The whole thing was weird and a lot more smoke than fire. Gomez does have a way of ticking people off.

UPDATE, 9:32 p.m.: Well, an ugly game just got worse. After a scoreless sixth inning, Chris Capuano just pitched a six-run seventh that included a home run by Gomez. It’s now 15-0.

UPDATE, 9:41 p.m.: For the first time in his career, Brendan Ryan is pitching. There are two innings left.

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 at 7:00 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: “It’s just a bad knee, like we knew”

CC Sabathia

The second opinion on CC Sabathia’s sore right knee was basically the same as the first. Another trip to another doctor revealed nothing Sabathia and the Yankees didn’t already know.

“It’s just arthritic,” Sabathia said. “It’s just a bad knee, like we knew. I think getting this rest will help.”

There’s no surgery planned, and Sabathia hopes that rest and rehab will get him back on the active roster as soon as he’s eligible to return from the disabled list in roughly two weeks. Of course, the specifics of Sabathia’s return are thoroughly up in the air and subject to change.

CC SabathiaWill he be a starter? Is he better off in the bullpen at this point? Can he be reliable enough to have a spot in the postseason?

“I think we just have to see what his body can physically handle at this point what that knee can handle,” Joe Girardi said. “And then you try to make some decisions. … The thing is you hope it calms down, you rehab it, you strengthen it and you hope that he can be a player for us sometime in September. And you’re really not gonna know until you go through everything but it was better than what the alternative news could have been.”

Simply getting Sabathia off the disabled list won’t answer the bigger questions about his long-term health, durability and effectiveness. Even Sabathia himself acknowledged that for now his protocol is only designed to get him through another month (another two months all goes extremely well). At some point, though, he’ll have to tackle bigger issues.

“I think this is stuff that’s going to get me through the season,” Sabathia said. “I think what’s going to keep me pitching for years is just proper rehab and making sure that I go out and keep working and making sure everything is strong and going out and making sure my body’s good, I guess.”

It really does feel like guesswork. The Yankees know the problem, the question is what to do about it. Sabathia said that, short of simply not pitching, there’s really nothing he can do to fix the issue. The trick is figuring out how to deal with it. For now, he has no plans to continue babying the knee. When he comes back, Sabathia said, he’s going to be pitching at full force despite the obvious risk. He won’t be holding back like he was earlier in the season.

“It’s not that time for that,” Sabathia said. “That’s why I wanted to make sure I’m healthy and hopefully this rest will allow me to do that.”

For now, Sabathia said he simply wants to get back and find a way to be helpful in the short term. The long term will be an issue worth addressing in the winter. Even if he’s in the bullpen, Sabathia said, he simply wants to pitch again this season.

“Helping this team in any way I can is what I’m here to do,” he said. “If that means pitching out of the bullpen, then it is what it is. I’m not here to make that decision. That’s not (a decision) for me to make. If I’m healthy enough, I know I can start on any team. Let them make the decision.”

Orioles Yankees Baseball• After last night’s game, Mark Teixeira told Girardi to plan on having him in the lineup. It’s a good time to get him back because Dallas Keuchel is holding left-handed hitters to a .137/.167/.198 slash line this season. “We talked last night and he said, ‘Pencil me in,’” Girardi said. “And I said, ‘I’ll pencil you in.’ Saw him today, said ‘I’ll pencil you in, you go through everything and if something comes up and you feel like you need another day, take it.’ But the plans are for him to play.”

• How will the Yankees use Greg Bird now that Teixeira is back? “In Atlanta, obviously there’s pinch hit possibilities there,” Girardi said. “If you decide to give Alex a day off, maybe you DH Tex. If you give Tex a day, (Bird will play). We have a long stretch coming up. After this six, I think it’s 30 out of 31, so you’re going to have to spell the guys once in a while.”

• Dustin Ackley plans to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Trenton on Thursday. I can’t imagine him being activated before rosters expand on September 1. Ackley said he expects his return to depend entirely on how he’s playing and feeling.

• Chase Headley’s surprisingly bad defensive season continued with his 20th error last night. “I think the last six weeks he’s played a lot better at third,” Girardi said. “I think the errors have not come at a rapid pace for him. He made a tough play yesterday and threw the ball away but I feel good about Head there. It’s just for whatever reasons he’s made a few more errors this year but he continues to work at it.”

• The Yankees have four left-handed hitters on the bench, obviously in reaction to Keuchel’s incredible success against left-handed hitters this season. Righties have a .606 OPS against the Astros’ ace, which isn’t great, but it’s a lot better than the lefties who have a .365 OPS against him. One bright spot: Keuchel hasn’t been overwhelming on the road. He has a 1.35 ERA at home this year, but a 3.65 ERA on the road.

Associated Press photos

 
 

Advertisement

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 at 5:33 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Teixeira back in lineup vs. Keuchel

Little surprise, the Yankees are sitting as many lefties as possible.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Chris Young LF
pAlex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
John Ryan Murphy C
Didi Gregorius SS
Brendan Ryan 2B

RHP Ivan Nova

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 at 3:26 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

McCann showing improvement against the running game

Brian McCann, Johnny Giavotella

When the Astros put the potential go-ahead run on base in the ninth inning last night, they brought Jake Marisnick off the bench to pinch run. Since the end of June, Marisnick had been successful in six of seven stole base attempts. On the sixth pitch of the ensuing at-bat, he took off.

The pitch was a slider for a strikeout, and McCann’s throw was on the money for a caught stealing to get the Yankees out of trouble.

“It’s good to put the ball on the bag there,” McCann said.

Of the past eight runners who have tried to steal on McCann, six have been thrown out. Of the 55 who have tried to steal on him all season, McCann’s caught 22, a 40-percent caught stealing rate, which would be the highest of his career. Last year McCann threw out 37 percent, which was the first time he’d ever caught more than 30 percent of base stealers.

Granted, throwing out base stealers often has as much to do with the pitcher as the catcher, but McCann’s individual numbers stand out, and he said he knows he’s gotten better at it. McCann credits Yankees’ bullpen coach Gary Tuck, who’s known as something of a catching guru. Tuck works closely with everyone behind the plate beginning in spring training.

“Gary Tuck and me, we work every single day on it,” McCann said. “I’ve gotten better as the season’s gone on. … He’s got me (so that) I’m getting the ball out quick, no wasted movement. He’s changed the way I catch, the way I catch and throw. We work on it every day.”

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 at 12:15 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Sabathia going for second opinion today: “We’ll have to wait and see”

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia had no answers last night. Can he come back this season? If so, how soon could he be back? Even in a best-case scenario, is he limited to the bullpen at this point?

He really had no idea.

“I just have to wait and see what the doctor says,” Sabathia said. “(Find out) the plan we can put together. We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.”

SabathiaSabathia is going to see the doctor later today, looking for a second opinion on the knee soreness that he said he basically the same as it was last season when he missed everything beyond early May. He’d been trying to hold back much of this season to protect the knee, but when he went full force in his most recent starts — when his numbers were significantly better — the pain became too much.

“That’s kind of what happened,” he said. “If I can’t push myself to a certain limit, then I’m not helping anybody. I’m not helping myself, not helping the organization, the team. I want to get to a level where I’m comfortable to pitch at sometime this year. … That’s the plan, to try to be back out on the field. That’s always been the plan. We’ll see what happens.”

Without Sabathia, it becomes jarring in both a good way and a bad way just how young the Yankees’ rotation has become. At 28 years old, Ivan Nova is now the oldest starter on the staff. Adam Warren and Bryan Mitchell — presumably the next two starters on the depth chart — are also younger than 28. With that youth comes inexperience.

Nova is the only Yankees starter who has even one inning of playoff experience. If the Yankees went with a playoff rotation of Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi and Luis Severino, each one of their starters would be pitching in the postseason for the first time.

“One of those guys is going to have to step up and lead the starting group,” Joe Girardi said. “Everyone is going to have to pitch in. I’ve said it the last three or four weeks, (Sabathia)’s the one guy that’s been through this and understands it. I think his influence in the clubhouse is really important.”

Although Sabathia won’t be on this upcoming road trip, he plans to make the rest of the trips. He wants to be around as much as possible. Best-case scenario, he’ll be a part of the active roster again. Worst-case scenario, he wants to be the veteran presence he’s been since spring training.

“I’ll try to be,” Sabathia said. “It’s hard when you’re not out on the field, but I’ve grinded with these guys all season. One thousand percent I’ll stick around and try to be here as much as possible, go on road trips and see what happens.”

Associated Press photo

 
 

Advertisement

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Tuesday, August 25th, 2015 at 9:00 am. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Postgame notes: “Tonight was the best I’ve felt about an outing”

Nathan Eovaldi

The guy who keeps winning ballgames just delivered his finest start of the season, and of course that’s the one he couldn’t win. Not that Nathan Eovaldi seemed too concerned about his win-loss record tonight. After eight scoreless innings against a pretty explosive and dangerous lineup, Eovaldi seemed to recognize he’d done something pretty special.

“Tonight was the best I’ve felt about an outing,” he said.

Carlos Beltran was the one mobbed on the field, and Andrew Miller got the win, but there was little doubt in the clubhouse who deserved the most credit for this one.

Nathan Eovaldi“(Eovaldi) was filthy,” Brian McCann said. “He did whatever he wanted tonight, and that was the game. He came out and pitched an amazing game, and I feel like he’s been pitching like that since the Miami game. It’s been getting better and better. It’s great to watch.”

Since that game in Miami on June 16 – when Eovaldi couldn’t pitch out of the first inning – he’s gone 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA in his past 12 starts. Tonight he showed his usually upper-90s fastball, which still topped out at 100 even in his final inning, but he also had that much-improved splitfinger and a slider that manager Joe Girardi said was the best it had been all season.

“All of his other stuff was really good,” Girardi said. “But now you’re throwing a fourth pitch that can be extremely effective. He got some strikeouts early on in the game. That kind of stood out to me early on.”

Last season, Eovaldi leaned heavily on that slider as his go-to offspeed pitch, but he was mostly a fastball pitcher. He went to the four-seamer 60-70 percent of the time in the past. This year, it’s been more like 45 percent of the time, and the split has become his most-used offspeed pitch.

“Last year I had to rely on my fastball a lot more than this year,” Eovaldi said. “That and my slider, then I’d get behind in counts with my slider. I didn’t have a great feel for my curveball last year, and then I didn’t have the split. This year I’ve been using my curveball a lot better and all my offspeed pitches (have been better), which is helped me out a lot.”

Eovaldi still gives up a plenty of hits, but lately he’s given more distance lately, and his past two games have been two of his three highest strikeout totals of the year. He’s been good for more than two months now, and tonight he was brilliant for a team that needed a lift and wouldn’t have won without that sort of pitching performance.

“Today was a great game,” Beltran said. “I think the player of the game today would have to be Eovaldi. He just pitched an amazing game and he was able to basically chop the opposing team down and allow us to win this one for him, so we’re happy about that.”

Stephen Drew, Carlos Beltran, Nathan Eovaldi • Beltran’s daughters sit near the on-deck circle, and he said they were telling him, “Come on Papi, do it,” before he came to the plate with the bases loaded in the ninth. “In that particular at-bat, I’m just trying to be aggressive, as aggressive as I can,” Beltran said. “Hopefully do what just happened. Try to hit a fly ball deep in the outfield to allow the runner to score.”

• Girardi on Beltran coming through: “It’s a game that we have to win when you have the bases loaded and nobody out. The guy that’s been coming through a lot in the last two or three weeks came up in that spot and got it done.”

• This was Beltran’s 12th career walk-off and his first since June 20 of last year. He extended his hitting streak to eight games with a seventh-inning single.

• Beltran became the only active player to have played 1,000 career games in each league. The only others to have done it are Bob Boone, Vladimir Guerrero, Fred McGriff, Frank Robinson and Dave Winfield.

• That ninth-inning run came with the Yankees getting a hit. Three straight walks, then the sacrifice fly. “We’ve got guys who don’t chase out of the zone,” McCann said. “We’re going to make you throw strikes and we were able to get three walks in the ninth.”

• This was the Yankees’ second shutout of the season. This was their first shutout at Yankee Stadium of the season. This was the team’s fourth walk-off win.

Gabe Morales, Brian McCann, Hank Conger• On the decision to send McCann home on the medium fly ball in the seventh inning. “I think you have to there,” Girardi said. “It’s fairly bang-bang. I did not have a problem with that. I think you have to.”

• McCann reached base four times today and threw out Jake Marisnick trying to steal second in the top of the ninth.

• When Beltran got the winning sac fly, Mark Teixeira was on deck to pinch hit for Greg Bird. Girardi, though, said Teixeira would not have stayed in to play defense had the game gone into extra innings. He was going to bring Brendan Ryan in for defense if the Yankees hadn’t scored in that inning.

• Could Teixiera play against lefty Dallas Keuchel tomorrow? “I’m hopeful,” Girardi said. “We’ll see when he gets here. My hope is that he can play tomorrow.”

• Final word goes to Girardi: “This team has bounced back pretty good all year long. We had a hard time scoring runs over the weekend. We struggled a little bit tonight. Fortunately, we got a great pitched game from our guys tonight. I was curious. This is a good team that we’re facing. They pitch extremely well, they hit the ball out of the ballpark like we do. They run. They play good defense. I knew going in that this was going to be a tough series.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, August 24th, 2015 at 11:19 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Beltran delivers game winner after Eovaldi delivers eight-inning gem

Nathan Eovaldi

Carlos Beltran drove a fly ball deep into the outfield, and the Astros’ center fielder didn’t even attempt a throw home. It was a scoreless game in the bottom of the ninth, and the Yankees had the win from the moment the ball left the bat. Beltran’s walk-off sacrifice fly gave the Yankees a 1-0 win against the Astros at Yankee Stadium on Monday. The win pulled the Yankees back into a tie for first place in the American League East.

Given strong run support all year, Yankees’ starter Nathan Eovaldi came into the game with the highest winning percentage in the majors. He’d won his past eight decisions, but when he delivered his best start of the year, Eovaldi took a no decision.
Against the team that leads the Majors in home runs, Eovaldi went eight scoreless innings. He struck out seven, walked three and gave up four singles.

Back-to-back strikeouts stranded two runners in the second inning, a base-running blunder gave the Yankees a key out in the sixth, and Eovaldi pitched around Chase Headley’s 20th error of the season in the eighth. Andrew Miller entered in the ninth pitched a scoreless inning with help from Brian McCann, who threw out a baserunner on a strikeout-throw out after a leadoff single.

Before the ninth, the Yankees’ had opportunities. The leadoff man reached base in the second, third and fourth innings, but only the leadoff single in the third actually advanced beyond first base. The Yankees best chance to give Eovaldi a lead came in the seventh when back-to-back singles put runners at the corners with no outs. Bird had the first chance to drive in a run, but he struck out. Headley then hit a fly ball to medium center field, and the Yankees took a chance that it was deep enough. Slow runner McCann broke from third, slid head-first into the plate and was tagged out on a good throw from center fielder Carlos Gomez. Houston starter Scott Feldman, like Eovaldi, also went eight scoreless innings.

Associated Press photo

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, August 24th, 2015 at 10:01 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Game 124: Yankees vs. Astros

Nathan EovaldiYANKEES (68-55)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Greg Bird 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
Stephen Drew 2B

RHP Nathan Eovaldi (13-2, 4.24)
Eovaldi vs. Astros

ASTROS (69-56)
Jose Altuve 2B
Marwin Gonzalez LF
Carlos Correa SS
Colby Rasmus RF
Carlos Gomez CF
Evan Gattis DH
Luis Valbuena 3B
Chris Carter 1B
Hank Conger C

RHP Scott Feldman (5-5, 4.05)
Feldman vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., WPIX and MLB Network

WEATHER: Been nothing but blue skies, but the forecast says there’s a solid chance of rain.

UMPIRES: HP Gabe Morales, 1B Eric Cooper, 2B Sam Holbrook, 3B Tripp Gibson

THE HUNT FOR .200: Stephen Drew enters this game with a .198 batting average for the season, and this might be a good opportunity to get above .200. He’s a career .462/.588/1.231 hitter against Astros starter Scott Feldman.

WHO NEEDS A BATTING AVERAGE: The Yankees have one player in today’s lineup hitting below .242 (that’s Drew, obviously). They have two starters hitting below .252 (Drew and Brian McCann). The Astros, on the other hand, have five starters hitting .236 or below (Rasmus, Gattis, Valbuena, Carter, Conger). Carlos Gomez is hitting .246 for the year but only .188 since coming to Houston.

STREAKING: Nathan Eovaldi has a career-high winning streak going 8-0 with a 3.29 ERA in his past 11 starts. It’s the longest winning streak by a Yankees starters since Ivan Nova went 15-0 from June 10, 2011 to April 20, 2012.

UPDATE, 7:12 p.m.: Six pitches, two strikeouts for Eovaldi. Then a single. Of course.

UPDATE, 7:20 p.m.: Eovaldi settled for three strikeouts on 11 pitches. Alas, the perfect game is gone.

UPDATE, 7:50 p.m.: Three scoreless for Eovaldi.

UPDATE, 8:09 p.m.: Everybody’s raising their batting averages tonight. Stephen Drew is up to .200 after an infield single in the third inning, and now Brian McCann is up to .246 after his second single of the night in the fourth.

UPDATE, 8:53 p.m.: Scoreless game after six innings. Each team has four hits. Not much action, really, but Greg Bird’s heads up play to get Colby Rasmus out in the top of the sixth was big.

UPDATE, 9:10 p.m.: Good throw. Slow runner. McCann is out at the plate. Still scoreless.

UPDATE, 9:18 p.m.: Yet another error by Headley. Not a great job by Bird, either. I think at that point you have to come off the bag and make sure to catch the ball without letting the runner get to second. The error, though, is clearly on Headley.

UPDATE, 9:24 p.m.: Eight scoreless for Eovaldi, who was still hitting 100 mph well beyond his 100th pitch of the night.

 
 

Advertisement

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, August 24th, 2015 at 7:00 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Pregame notes: “We were pretty lucky up until yesterday”

Steve Donohue, CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia’s season might be over.

The Yankees today put Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list, and manager Joe Girardi acknowledged he’s not sure Sabathia will pitch again this year. An MRI revealed no new damage in his surgically repaired right knee, but the existing damage has obviously become a bigger problem this late in the season.

“It’s been maintenance all year long for us,” Girardi said. “We knew that going in, and we knew it could rear its ugly head. There were times where he had some shots before and was able to pitch and it didn’t seem to be an issue. But we knew it would take a lot to get him through the season, and yesterday was the first day that we had to pull him out.

“I didn’t necessarily think that we’d get to 24 starts before we had to pull him out of a game. I wasn’t sure of that going into spring training. I felt like we were pretty lucky up until yesterday.”

Sabathia said yesterday that he only recently started pitching with full force on the mound. He knew he was risking a setback, but the results when holding back simply had not be good enough. He let it go for a few starts and wound up on the disabled list.

Girardi said he was aware Sabathia had been trying to balance a need to protect his knee with a need to pitch well.

“I think it was extremely gutsy what he tried to do every fifth or sixth day,” Girardi said. “He knew if he gave everything he had, there was a better chance the knee would rear its ugly head. And if he gave a governor, he knew his stuff wasn’t quite as good as if he gave everything he had physically. So it was a balance for him that I think was difficult.”

For now, the plan is to give Sabathia rest and treatment. He won’t make the upcoming road trip to Atlanta and Boston.

“When we get back, we’ll see where he’s at,” Girardi said. “Is it possible that he doesn’t pitch the rest of the year? It’s a possibility.”

Bryan Mitchell• With Sabathia on the disabled list, the Yankees will scrap their plan to have a six-man rotation going forward. Essentially, Michael Pineda will take Sabathia’s spot and the Yankees will have a five-man rotation — plus occasional spot starts — in the month of September. “If you have to be creative to give the guys an extra day, you can because you’ll have more guys in the bullpen,” Girardi said.

• Specifically, Bryan Mitchell will move into the bullpen once he’s healthy and cleared to come off the concussion disabled list. “Basically in long relief,” Girardi said. “We’ll still use him as a guy that could pitch out of the bullpen and give us a little distance.”

• Mark Teixeira took batting practice and fielded some ground balls this afternoon. He said swinging the bat felt much better today than it felt yesterday, and the ground balls were fine, but running is still a probably. Girardi said he would check with Teixeira to determine whether pinch hitting would be a possibility. Teixeira said he feels for the first time like he could pinch hit, but he obviously wouldn’t be able to do much running the bases.

• Sounds like today’s drills were encouraging for Teixeira — “Hitting was a lot better; fielding ground balls was a lot better,” he said — but that’s not the concern at this point. It’s running that continues to be a problem. “Once I can run close to normal, then I should be able to play,” he said. “… If I’m running at 50 percent, I’m no good at first base and no good at the plate, running around the bases.”

• Teixeira said doctors originally told him he’d likely need a week, and he’s now missed a week. Girardi said he fully expects Teixeira to be available by Friday when the Yankees will want a full bench for a National League series. If he’s not able to play by Friday, the Yankees will have to really consider putting him on the disabled list. “If I’m not (ready by Friday, I’m very disappointed,” Teixeira said. “I want to play tonight. I want to play every night, but it’s just not quite there yet running.”

• Chris Capuano was scheduled to start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight. Instead, he was brought back to New York to yet again serve as basically an emergency long man. What a weird year that guy’s had.

Associated Press photos

 
 

Posted by:Chad Jenningson Monday, August 24th, 2015 at 5:14 pm. InMisc with Comments Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post


Sponsored by:
 

Search

    Advertisement

    Follow

    Mobile

    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.

Advertisement

Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581