CC Sabathia is out until at least July with a right knee injury, but as more details emerge about the stem cell treatment he received it’s clear that the Yankees really have no firm idea of when he’ll be back on the mound.
Manager Joe Girardi more or less said as much yesterday in talking to Brendan Kuty of the Newark Star Ledger:
I think there’s always that possibility a player may not make it back. But I feel pretty good about he’s had done so far and the steps that were taken, and you just kind of keep your fingers crossed.
As far as quotes go, “there’s always that possibility a player may not make it back” and “you just kind of keep your fingers crossed” are not an encouraging combination.
Sabathia is out for a minimum of six weeks, at which point he’d need multiple minor-league rehab starts to build back his arm strength. And even if he does return early in the second half, Sabathia has a 4.87 ERA in 40 starts dating back to last season. He’s a huge question mark and the Yankees still owe him another $75 million or so.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.