CC Sabathia insisted after last night’s ugly outing that the elbow problems he dealt with earlier in the season weren’t an issue, but general manager Brian Cashman noted that the Yankees will ask him to get checked out anyway.
“Let’s put it this way, we’re going to look at that elbow, no doubt about it,” Cashman said, via Marc Carig of New York Newsday. “That will be on the list of things we have to look at now that the offseason’s here. Whether he wants to or not, we’re going to go look into this thing and make sure everything’s OK.”
Sabathia failed to make it out of the fourth inning against the Tigers, allowing six runs on 11 hits, but said afterward that his elbow “felt good” and “it felt good enough to pitch tonight.” And six days earlier Sabathia tossed a one-run complete game against the Orioles, striking out nine while allowing just four hits.
Sabathia, who signed an extension almost exactly one year ago, is under contract for at least another four years and $99 million.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.