This is something of a theoretical suspension seeing as though Luis Vizcaino hasn’t pitched in affiliated baseball since the middle of 2009. But they test free agents, and Vizcaino is still registered as a technically active pitcher with someone somewhere, so he got tested too. The drug: Stanozolol. No, I don’t know either, but it’s a PED.
Before the test he pitched in the Dominican Winter League last year and signed a minor league deal with the Yankees, but he never made camp after tearing his achilles tendon back in February.
I would assume that this is the last time we ever write about Vizcaino on HardballTalk. I could be wrong, though. I said that to Gleeman, and he said that it’s entirely possible that Vizzcaino could murder someone or become a financial adviser or something, so never say never.
Wild Card teams get to set their roster for the one-and-done game and then reset it for the Division Series if they advance. As such, you sometimes see some weirdness with the wild card roster. The Yankees, who just set theirs for tonight’s game, are no exception.
Masahiro Tanaka will be tonight’s starter, but Luis Severino, also a starter, will be around as well in case Tanaka gets knocked out early and they need more innings. In all, the Yankees are carrying nine pitchers and three catchers. In addition, they have Rob Refsnyder, Slade Heathcott, and pinch-runner Rico Noel as bench players. In case you forgot, pinch running can matter a lot in a Wild Card Game.
Either way, it beats having a regular season-type roster with 13 pitchers or something. I mean, if you’re using more than nine pitchers, you ain’t winning anyway.
Here’s the whole roster:
It was inevitable that someone would report on what, specifically, was going on with CC Sabathia in the run up to his decision to go into rehab yesterday. And today we have that story, at least in the broad strokes, from the New York Post.
Speaking to an anonymous source close to Sabathia, the Post reports that the Yankees’ starter more or less went on a bender from Thursday into Friday and continued on to Saturday, which resulted in his Sunday afternoon phone call to Brian Cashman in which he said he needed help.
Notable detail: Sabathia is referred to as “not a big drinker” in the story. Which is something worth thinking about when you think of others who have trouble with alcohol. It’s not always about massive or constant consumption. It’s about the person’s relationship with substances that is the real problem. Many who drink a good deal are totally fine. Many who don’t drink much do so in problematic ways and patterns. For this reason, and many others, it’s useful to avoid engaging in cliches and stereotypes of addicts.