Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday that CC Sabathia, who pitched effectively but failed to get his 20th victory Wednesday against the Rays, won’t get another start before the postseason.
With the first game of the ALDS falling nine days after Sabathia’s start Wednesday, there was no good way to have him pitch again during the regular season. The current plan is for him to throw a simulated game Sunday, allowing him to work next Friday on something close to a normal schedule.
Girardi said today that Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett and Ivan Nova would start the three games against Boston this weekend.
As for Phil Hughes, he could get a start against the Rays next week. He said Thursday that his back is improved after Wednesday’s epidural. He’ll throw a bullpen this weekend and could start Tuesday or Wednesday. His performance then will likely dictate whether he’s included on the ALDS roster.
Barring a change of heart from the Yankees, Sabathia will end the season 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA and 230 strikeouts in 237 1/3 innings. It’s the third time in his career that he’s won exactly 19 games. His lone 20-win season came last year. It’s his second-highest strikeout total behind his 2008 mark of 251 K’s for the Indians and Brewers.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.