After missing the ALDS sweep over the Twins with a sore left shoulder CC Sabathia is hopeful he’ll be on the Yankees roster for the ALCS. Game 1 doesn’t start until Saturday so CC has a couple more days to get himself healthy and ready to contribute.
According to George King III of the New York Post CC had a throwing session on flat ground for the second straight day on Monday and will throw a bullpen on Wednesday. If all goes well he’s confident he’ll be ready to go for the ALCS but we’ll still have to wait and see if the Yankees think he’s healthy enough to be an option for them out of the bullpen.
He was supposed to be one heading into October until his shoulder started bothering him after he had a perfect inning in relief against the Rays on September 24th. He was scheduled to make another appearance out of the pen before the regular season ended but his shoulder didn’t respond well to a cortisone shot so the Yankees kept him off the ALDS roster.
If CC proves to be healthy enough to pitch during the ALCS it will be interesting to see whose spot he takes on the roster. Lefty specialist Tyler Lyons replaced CC on the ALDS roster and was impressive in Game 2 with a 1-2-3 inning and two strikeouts. The Yankees like how Lyons has looked against lefties over the past couple weeks so I don’t see him being kept off the roster. Especially if the Astros are the Yankees’ ALCS opponent because two of their top hitters are lefties in Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez.
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Lyons’ spot on the roster should be safe which means if CC is going to take anyone’s spot it’s probably going to be either Luis Cessa’s or Jonathan Loaisiga’s. Cessa didn’t pitch during the ALDS while Loaisiga pitched an inning to close out the Yanks Game 2 win and allowed a run on two hits.
Neither one of them is likely to pitch in a game unless it’s a blowout like it was in Game 2 but if I had to guess who the odd man out would be to open up a spot for CC it would be Loaisiga. Cessa had the better regular season and despite being very inconsistent at times he has a really good slider which could be a weapon against right-handed hitters.
It’s hard to see CC playing that big of a role regardless of the Yankees opponent in the ALCS but if he’s healthy he’s a better option than both Cessa and Loaisiga. And considering this is his last postseason before he retires there’s no doubt he deserves to be on that roster.