The New York Yankees announced on Monday that starting pitcher CC Sabathia will be shut down with a grade 2 hamstring strain and will not make make his final start of the season on Wednesday in Tampa Bay.
The injury happened in the second inning of Friday night’s victory over the San Francisco Giants. Although Sabathia suffered the injury early on, the work horse lefty remained in the game, allowing one run on seven hits through seven innings of work.
While most Yankees fans have accepted that the Yankees would need a miracle to find their way into the postseason, the Sabathia news is, in fact, the final nail in the coffin, for even the most optimistic of observers.
For fans, it’s disappointing that the Yankees will be missing only their second postseason in the last 17 years, but General Manager Brian Cashman was already addressing the hopes for next season when asked why the Yankees decided to play it safe and shut Sabathia down for the remainder of the season.
“We have hopes and beliefs that next year will be a better year for him and for us,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “There’s no point in having him make his last start with an injury.”
Resting Sabathia is probably a good idea, after the hefty lefty posted by far his worst season in 2013. After losing a significant amount of velocity on his fastball, and struggling throughout the season, Sabathia finished the year with a career high 4.78 ERA, and also allowed a career high 27 home runs. The 14 wins for CC in 2013 also mark his lowest win total since the 2006 season.
“He’s had an interesting year, to say the least,” Cashman said. “The home runs really killed him. But we think he’s retained a number of abilities that should allow him to pitch at or near the top of our rotation next year. ”
Cashman is being generous when describing Sabathia’s year as interesting, in reality, it was a terrible season for the Yankees ace, who is too important to the success of this team to have his production fall off so dramatically. While the miles on Sabathia’s left arm are getting into increasingly troublesome territory, maybe a little extra rest, compounded by not playing October baseball, is exactly what Sabathia needs to come back stronger in 2014 for a Yankees team that will need a big contribution out of their high priced players.