Yankees: CC Sabathia set to make season debut on Saturday
After a delayed start to his season, the Yankees announced CC Sabathia will return from the IL to make his debut on Saturday in the Bronx.
This is big news for the Yankees pitching staff and it comes just a day after the team announced that their ace Luis Severino has a Grade 2 lat strain and will be shut down for six weeks. There’s no telling if or when Sevy will return, but having CC back in the fold to begin his final big league season should provide an emotional boost to a team that’s really struggling right now.
While CC was sidelined and rehabbing top pitching prospect Jonathan Loasiga filled his spot in the rotation and made two starts, pitching to a 3.86 ERA. His season debut he was impressive over four innings of one-run ball but Tuesday night against Houston he really labored, allowing two runs in three innings on 71 pitches.
Loaisiga has elite stuff to get big league hitters out but he needs to cut down on the nibbling around the strike zone and focus more on attacking if he’s going to find success as a starter. Considering he’s never even pitched at Triple-A during his pro career he could use some more fine tuning down at Scranton before he gets a call back to the main roster.
After Tuesday’s game, Loaisiga was sent down as expected and RHP Joe Harvey was called up. The 27-year-old made his big league debut Wednesday night and it was a debut to remember, pitching two scoreless innings and striking out three. Despite his successful debut, Harvey’s first big-league stay could be a short one because the Yanks will have to send someone back down before Saturday’s game against the White Sox.
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As for CC now that he’s healthy and has worked his way back from the offseason heart surgery I expect more of what we’ve seen from him over the past couple years. CC has been a steadying presence for the Yanks and has reinvented himself from a power pitcher to crafty lefty who now relies on mixing speeds and location.
He’s not the ace he once was at this point in his soon to be HOF career and doesn’t give the Yankees a lot of length during his starts but more times than not he usually limits the damage and keeps his team in the game.
That’s really all the Yankees could hope and ask for from CC from here on out which is fine because he projects as the team’s fifth best starter moving forward. I’d give Domingo German the edge over him right now because of how he’s pitched to start the season and because of his immense potential.
As long as CC can give the Yanks anywhere from four to six innings per start and continue to induce all the soft contact he has in recent years he’s going to make a solid impact. The Yankees rotation will still have some question marks even after CC’s return but with him back there’s no doubt they now have a better five-man staff than they started the season with.