CC Sabathia
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Yankees activate CC Sabathia from injured list

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The Yankees have activated left-hander CC Sabathia from the 10-day injured list, per a team announcement on Saturday. He’s scheduled to make his first start of the season against the White Sox later this afternoon.

At long last, Sabathia is poised to begin the final season of his multi-decade career in the majors. The 38-year-old southpaw was absent for the team’s first 13 games in 2019 after serving an initial five-game suspension, which he incurred at the tail end of his 2018 campaign when he intentionally struck Rays catcher Jesús Sucre with a pitch to his thigh. He missed additional time on the mound due to his ongoing recovery from a knee surgery and angioplasty, both of which he underwent over the course of the offseason.

While it’s still unclear what kind of results the club can expect from the oft-injured Sabathia in 2019, the veteran pitcher is coming off of a decent run. He worked up to a 9-7 record with a 3.65 ERA, 3.0 BB/9, 8.2 SO/9, and 2.4 fWAR across 153 innings in 2018. Whether or not he can replicate those numbers (or improve on them) is another question, but he should help stabilize a rotation that’s currently waiting on Luis Severino to return from a Grade 2 lat strain, with Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, J.A. Happ, and swingman Domingo Germán fleshing out the rest of the group.

In a corresponding move, lefty reliever Stephen Tarpley was optioned to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre to clear a spot on the 25-man roster. Tarpley, 26, appeared in just four games for the Yankees this spring, allowing two runs, two walks, and striking out three of 14 batters faced.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.