CC Sabathia made his spring debut yesterday against the Marlins and it went about as well as the Yankees could have hoped for. In his first game action since October surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow, Sabathia allowed two runs over five innings while walking one and striking out a pair.
Sabathia was touched up for two runs on three hits and a walk in the first inning, but he kept the Marlins off the board the rest of the way. He was clocked around 90 mph, down a little bit from his usual velocity, but the veteran southpaw told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that he is satisfied with where he is at this point of the spring. Of course, the most important thing is that his elbow wasn’t an issue.
“I started letting it go early and didn’t have any problems. I felt good,” Sabathia said. “I’ll just keep building in the bullpen, make sure my fastball command gets better and just go from there.”
Sabathia is projected to make two more Grapefruit League starts leading up to his Opening Day assignment against the Red Sox on April 1.
Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. has gotten a lot of press lately and for good reason. He has absolutely torched Double-A pitching so far this season, entering Sunday’s doubleheader batting .407/.456/.676 with seven home runs and 41 RBI in 170 plate appearances.
Guerrero stayed hot, going 4-for-4 in the first game of the doubleheader, ending it in the bottom of the seventh inning — doubleheaders in the minors can be two seven-inning affairs — with a two-run homer.
Guerrero started off the back end of the doubleheader with an RBI single in the first inning, so he’s overall 5-for-5 with four RBI on the day as of this writing. He also now has 21 multi-hit games out of 39 total games this season. Today’s performance marked his second four-hit game; his other one occurred last Wednesday.
MLB Pipeline ranks Guerrero as the No. 1 prospect in the Jays’ system and No. 2 overall in baseball behind the Braves’ Ronald Acuña. The Jays may be forced to summon Guerrero to the big leagues if he keeps hitting like this. In a similar situation, the Nationals promoted hot-hitting 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto earlier today after just 35 plate appearances at Double-A, skipping Triple-A entirely.