UPDATE: According to Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said following tonight’s game that the MRI showed swelling in Sabathia’s knee. A visit to Dr. James Andrews will determine the next step.
6:42 p.m. ET: Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia struggled in his second minor league rehab start yesterday and now he has suffered a setback with his right knee.
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said earlier this evening that Sabathia will go for another MRI after he experienced renewed swelling in his knee. His rehab is on hold pending the results.
Sabathia last pitched in a major league game on May 10. “Degenerative changes” were soon found in his knee, so he received a stem cell injection in an effort to help the recovery process. The Yankees were hoping that his recent progress would put him on track to return around midseason, but that scenario obviously appears in doubt right now.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.