The Yankees will place left-hander CC Sabathia on the disabled list due to a right knee injury, and manager Joe Girardi told reporters, including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch (Twitter link) that “it’s a possibility” that Sabathia will not pitch again in 2015. As a result of the injury, the Yankees have re-signed Chris Capuano, who had briefly elected free agency, according to a team announcement.
The 35-year-old Sabathia exited yesterday’s contest due to knee pain after just 2 2/3 innings. If his season is indeed finished, he will end the year with a 5.27 ERA with 7.4 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9 in 138 1/3 innings. It would also mark the second straight year in which a right knee injury ended Sabathia’s season early. He has one more guaranteed season remaining on his contract and will earn $25MM in 2016, but his 2017 vesting option for the same amount will become guaranteed if Sabathia’s left shoulder remains healthy in 2016. The only ways for the option not to vest are if Sabathia ends the season on the DL due to a shoulder injury, if he spends 45 or more days on the DL due to a shoulder injury or if he makes six or more relief appearances due to a shoulder injury.
For the Yankees, it further depletes the team’s rotation depth, although as Jack Curry of the YES Network noted earlier today (on Twitter) that Michael Pineda threw a bullpen session today and is slated to return to the rotation on Wednesday vs. Houston. Pineda, then, would join Masahiro Tanaka, Ivan Nova, Nathan Eovaldi and Luis Severino in the rotation, with Capuano (and perhaps eventually Bryan Mitchell) serving as depth options.
Capuano, who turned 37 earlier this week, has pitched 33 innings for the Yankees in 2015 but struggled to a 6.55 ERA. He’s averaged 8.5 K/9 but also yielded 4.4 BB/9, hit three batters and served up five homers. Capuano has, somewhat incredibly, been designated for assignment and outrighted three times in the past month. As the Yankees announced, he technically rejected his most recent outright in order to sign a new Major League contract and expedite his return to the big league roster.