Ted Lilly to begin season on disabled list following neck stiffness

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According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly announced yesterday that Ted Lilly will begin the season on the disabled list. The veteran left-hander hasn’t started a Cactus League game since March 16 due to neck stiffness and while he was able to throw a bullpen session without incident yesterday, he simply won’t be stretched out in time for the season.

The current plan calls for Lilly to pitch a simulated game on Monday and make a minor league rehab start on April 8. If all goes well, he’ll make his season debut when the Dodgers need a fifth starter for the first time on April 14 against the Padres. The Dodgers were previously planning to skip Chris Capuano’s first turn, but now he’ll move up to the third spot in the rotation.

Lilly, 36, had a 3.97 ERA and 158/51 K/BB ratio over 192 2/3 innings last season. Only 16 pitchers have logged more innings since the start of the 2007 season.

CC Sabathia wants to return to the Yankees in 2018

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CC Sabathia‘s contract is set to expire this offseason, but for the long-tenured left-hander, nowhere feels more like home than New York. “I want to see this through,” Sabathia told reporters after a devastating Game 7 loss in the ALCS. “This is where I want to play.” Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman spoke warmly of the veteran starter, but would make no public guarantees that he’d return to the team next spring.

Sabathia, 37, just topped off his 17th season in the big leagues and his eighth career postseason run. He went 14-5 in 27 starts and put up a 3.69 ERA, 3.0 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 148 2/3 innings, good for 1.9 fWAR. He looked solid in the playoffs, too, propelling the team to a much-needed win in Game 5 of the ALDS and returning in the Championship Series with six scoreless innings in Game 3. His season ended on a sour note during Game 7, however. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings against a dynamic Astros’ offense, allowing one run on five hits and three walks and failing to record a single strikeout for the first time in 23 career postseason appearances.

Heading into the 2017 offseason, Sabathia finally arrived at the end of his seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees. While he’s repeatedly expressed a desire to keep pitching, despite rumors that his career might be on the rocks following the diagnosis of a troublesome degenerative knee condition, the decision isn’t his alone to make. Brian Cashman will also be seeking an extension with the Yankees this winter, so it’s difficult to say which impending free agents the club will try to retain — and Sabathia’s name isn’t the only one on that list. If it were up to skipper Joe Girardi, who is awaiting a decision on his own future with the organization, the decision would be a no-brainer. From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

CC will always be special to me because of what he stands for and the great player that he is, the great man that he is,” Girardi said. “The wonderful teammate that he is. How he pulls a team together. He’s as good as I’ve ever been around when it comes to a clubhouse guy, a guy that will take the ball when you’re on a losing streak or that you can count on, and knowing that it could be the possible last time.