Justin Verlander unavailable, CC Sabathia a possibility for Game 5

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While the Yankees are likely to have CC Sabathia available out of the pen for Thursday’s ALDS Game 5, the Tigers ruled out using Justin Verlander.

Both aces started Monday, so an appearance Thursday would come on just two days’ rest.

Doug Fister and Ivan Nova are the scheduled starters for Game 5.

Verlander threw 120 pitches over eight innings in winning Game 3 against the Yankees. Sabathia threw 106 pitches in 5 1/3 innings and took a no-decision. Both pitchers gave up four runs.

Neither Verlander nor Sabathia has ever made a relief appearance in the majors. Verlander has made 199 regular-season starts and six in the postseason, while Sabathia has made 355 in the regular season and 15 in the postseason.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.