Yankees: CC Sabathia set to return from the IL and start on Wednesday
After spending the last 11 days on the injured list CC Sabathia is ready to return to the Yankees rotation and start on Wednesday in Detroit. Domingo German is scheduled to follow CC out of the pen as the team looks to limit his innings and get him accustomed to pitching in relief as we get closer to the postseason.
CC has been fighting through the same right knee injury for years now and it’s forced him to four separate IL stints throughout his final big league season. He’s been pitching through a lot of pain all season long and told reporters on Monday that he probably would’ve retired by now and undergone surgery if the Yankees weren’t in a great position to win another championship.
We’ll have to wait and see how the knee responds on Wednesday but apparently, CC is feeling good enough to give it another go after he no issues during a bullpen session on Monday. That’s encouraging news because when he was forced to leave his last start early on August 30th I don’t think anyone expected to see him return this soon if at all.
CC probably won’t pitch more than a couple of innings with German set to follow him, but this will be an opportunity for him to show that he could still be a contributor this postseason. I think right now it’s safe to assume that he won’t be a part of the playoff rotation, but there are some open spots in the bullpen that are up for grabs. CC is still very effective against left-handed hitters (.202 OPP BA) so I could see him making the roster as long as his knee holds up.
At this point in his career CC has made it clear that he doesn’t care what his role is come October which comes as no surprise. All he cares about is helping his team win #28.
Domingo German to pitch out of the pen in October?
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As for German, it looks like the Yankees have now pivoted to using him out of the bullpen down the stretch and during the postseason. The 27-year old right-hander has already set a career-high with 136.2 IP but a couple of weeks ago GM Brian Cashman basically said German would have no restrictions once the playoffs started.
I’m sure part of the reason the Yankees are now trying to limit his workload is the emergence of J.A. Happ along with the impending return of ace Luis Severino to the rotation. At the time Cashman said “all safeties are off” for German we didn’t know if Sevy would be able to return as a starter if at all and Happ was pitching terribly.
Before James Paxton’s incredible past eight starts German had been the Yankees best starting pitcher and probably the front runner to start Game 1 of the ALDS. He still might end up starting at some point this postseason, but now the Yankees have more options to pick from so it makes sense to limit German’s workload, at least for the remainder of the regular season.