The Yankees announced plans for a six-man rotation on Saturday. One day later, they are already back to five starters.
CC Sabathia was forced to exit his start against the Indians this afternoon in the third inning with right knee pain. The veteran left-hander is scheduled to undergo an MRI, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that he’s expected to be placed on the disabled list.
It’s a concerning development for Sabathia, who underwent season-ending debridement surgery on the very same knee last July. He has a degenerative condition in the knee which must be managed. In fact, Cashman told Brandon Kuty of the Newark Star-Ledger that he had it drained within the last week. Still, the pain is proving to be too much right now.
Sabathia had two strong starts earlier this month, but he has struggled for the most part this season, posting a 5.27 ERA over 24 starts. Only two qualified starters in MLB have a higher ERA. The 35-year-old has allowed 26 home runs in 138 1/3 innings, tied for fourth-most in the majors.
Things haven’t gone according to plan for the Athletics and closer Sean Doolittle this season, but here’s some good news to pass along.
Doolittle has been limited to just one appearance this season due to a partially torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He missed the first six weeks of the season before making his return on May 27, but he went right back on the disabled list a few days later.
While there was some question about whether Doolittle would pitch again this season, he has made solid progress of late and there were positive reports during his minor league rehab assignment. He allowed one run in four inning and struck out the side in each of his last two appearances. Jane Lee of MLB.com notes that he was sitting in the 90-92 mph range while topping out at 93 mph.
Tyler Clippard functioned as the closer while Doolittle was sidelined, but he was traded to the Mets last month. It has been a bumpy ride in the A’s bullpen since, so Doolittle could get a chance to reclaim his old job. At the very least, he could go into the offseason with some peace of mind about his health.
Doolittle, 28, owns a 2.95 ERA with 10.6 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 over 176 appearances in the majors. He saved 22 games for Oakland last season.
After missing back-to-back games with a hamstring injury, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in the lineup for tonight’s game against the Astros.
Puig left Tuesday’s game after legging out a single in the eighth inning. An MRI revealed what was reported as a “very mild” strain of his right hamstring, but fortunately it’s not as serious as the left hamstring strain which cost him about five weeks earlier this season.
Puig electrified (and polarized) over his first two seasons in the majors, but this year has been a struggle for him. He’s batting just .250 with 10 home runs and a .754 OPS over 284 plate appearances.