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CC Sabathia says he’s “a little” concerned about his left elbow

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While CC Sabathia refuses to blame his left elbow for his poor performance in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Tigers on Thursday, he told George A. King of the New York Post today that he’s a little concerned about his upcoming visit to Dr. James Andrews.

“A little bit,” the Yankees ace said Saturday regarding his level of worry. “It’s something I never felt before. … I’ve never had a problem with the elbow.”

Sabathia had a brief stint on the disabled list in August due to elbow soreness, but he was very effective upon his return, posting a 2.93 ERA over his final eight starts during the regular season. The southpaw allowed three runs over 17 2/3 innings during two starts in the ALDS against the Orioles until his clunker on Thursday.

An MRI in August ruled out any structural damage in the elbow while Sabathia maintains that his elbow didn’t affect him during games and was only an issue between starts. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told David Lennon of the New York Daily News today that Sabathia will see Dr. Andrews “in about 10 days,” so we should get an answer on his status soon.

Sabathia tossed exactly 200 innings this season, his sixth consecutive 200-inning campaign and the seventh of his 12-year major league career. The 32-year-old southpaw is under contract for at least another four years and $99 million.

UPDATE: Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York was told by a source that Sabathia probably just needs a bone spur cleaned out of his elbow. He’s not expected to have any ligament damage, so it’s not considered serious. As of now, it sounds like he’ll be good to go for the 2013 season.

Astros avoid arbitration with Mike Fiers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Starting pitcher Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros walks to the dugout after pitching an inning during a game against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 17, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Astros won the game 2-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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The Astros avoided arbitration with pitcher Mike Fiers, agreeing on a $3.45 million salary for the 2017 season, per Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle. The right-hander was in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Fiers, 31, made 30 starts and one relief appearance for the Astros in 2016. He finished the year with a 4.48 ERA and a 134/42 K/BB ratio in 168 2/3 innings.

Fiers had a much better showing in 2015 as well as in limited action in 2014, so the Astros are hoping he rediscovers that effectiveness going forward. He’ll slot into the back of the starting rotation.

Raines to wear an Expos cap, Pudge to wear a Rangers cap on their Hall of Fame plaques

1990:  Outfielder Tim Raines of the Montreal Expos in action. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule  /Allsport
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There is little if any controversy to be had about the caps this year’s inductees will wear on their Hall of Fame plaques, but in case there was any doubt at all, it was put to rest this afternoon at the Hall of Fame press conference: Tim Raines will wear a Montreal Expos cap and Ivan Rodriguez will wear a Rangers cap. Jeff Bagwell, of course, never played for a team other than the Houston Astros at the big league level.

Though Raines had some good seasons with the Chicago White Sox and though he helped provide a nice kick start to the Yankees dynasty in the mid-1990s, his best seasons, by far, took place while he was an Expo. It’s also the case that the bulk of his Hall of Fame push came from Expos fans. He was particularly boosted by Jonah Keri, who recently wrote a book detailing the history of the Expos. So, yeah, that’s easy.

Rodriguez played 13 of his 21 years with the Texas Rangers, including his MVP 1999 season. He did have some notable years elsewhere, particularly in Detroit where he remains a fan favorite, but it was always going to be the Rangers for him, one would think. Maybe a slight, slight chance that he’d do the blank cap thing, Greg Maddux-style, but smart money was on the Rangers.

With Bagwell, the only question is which Astros cap he’ll wear. There are a couple of applicable ones: the brick red star, which he wore to the World Series in 2005. There’s also the shooting star cap he wore during his best seasons and which Craig Biggio’s plaque displays. He was around for the classic “H” over the star look, but he was just a kid then, so I doubt he’d wear it.

Anyway, sorry to the Marlins fans who wished that Raines and Pudge would wear the fishy-F.