Yankees starter CC Sabathia expects to undergo a knee replacement in the future, the pitcher told reporters Saturday. For now, however, the veteran southpaw appears to have made a sufficient recovery from the recurring bone-on-bone arthritis that has compromised his career over the last five years.
Sabathia is expected to slot back into the Yankees’ rotation when they face off against the Red Sox for the series finale on Sunday evening. The 38-year-old is verging on his second full decade in the majors and still going strong: Through his last start on May 22, he boasts a 3-1 record in eight outings with a 3.48 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 7.4 SO/9 through 41 1/3 innings.
There’s no doubt that Sabathia has weathered more than his fair share of ailments over the last few seasons, however, from chronic arthritis to a worrisome artery blockage in his heart. With regard to the former condition, the lefty said that he’ll try to lose weight in order to alleviate some of the pressure on his knee; barring that, surgery may be inevitable if he intends to pitch through the remainder of his one-year contract with the club.
In a corresponding move, rookie reliever Nestor Cortes Jr. has been sent back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to clear a roster spot. The 24-year-old pitched to mixed results during his brief time in the big leagues this spring, allowing six runs and five walks and striking out 13 of 50 batters in his first 11 innings.
The Yankees are scheduled to take on the Red Sox at 7:05 PM EDT on Sunday. Opposite Sabathia, Boston will send southpaw David Price to the mound as the team looks to stave off a sweep and climb above .500.