Cliff Lee gave Mariners fans a scare earlier this month by undergoing surgery to remove bone spurs from his left foot, but it looks like reports of the operation being “minor” will prove accurate.
Lee is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session of the spring next Wednesday, which would actually put him slightly ahead of the initial recovery timetable issued by the Mariners. Here’s how Lee explained the situation to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times:
The doctor looked at it and found this bony mass at the top of my foot. I was told I could do two things: either have surgery on it right away or start taking these shots to numb the pain and keep taking them all season. No way I was going to do that, so I had the surgery. I’m getting around pretty good on it right now.
Definitely the right decision, because trying to pitch through the pain would have been a mistake and there’s still more than enough time for Lee to get ready for Opening Day. In fact, if he can get on a mound next week and avoid a setback he’ll basically be right on schedule with the rest of the pitching staff.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.