Make no mistake: CC Sabathia doesn’t want the last start of his career to be the painful, three-inning affair he labored through during Friday’s 8-2 loss to the Athletics. A start where he allowed two walks and a first-pitch, 385-foot home run to Jurickson Profar, where his lingering knee pain reached a “level 10” as he utilized his full pitch arsenal to get Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman on back-to-back seven-pitch strikeouts.
But the Yankees placed Sabathia on the 10-day injured list on Saturday, marking the 39-year-old’s fourth trip to the IL this season. He’s scheduled to have his knee drained on Saturday as well, and will continue to receive additional treatment in the days that follow. None of this bodes well for his chances of returning to the mound sometime before the end of the season, when he’s expected to retire after wrapping a 19-year career in the majors.
“It’s frustrating, for sure,” Sabathia told reporters following Friday’s outing. “Especially because I feel like I can still get outs and help the team. The hardest part is not being able to be out there, and when I am out there, I’m not performing. It’s frustrating.”
He said he’s not worried that the team is coming up on their last month of regular-season games, though that gives him relatively little time to work back up to full strength. A definite timetable has not been given for his return just yet.
Whether or not he’s able to pitch again in 2019, however, the veteran southpaw is poised to finish his career with some impressive accolades: six All-Star nominations, a 2007 AL Cy Young Award, over 250 pitching wins and 66.7 fWAR, a World Series ring. Despite numerous setbacks this year, he currently holds a 5-8 record in 20 starts with a 4.93 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, and 8.6 SO/9 across 100 1/3 innings.