The Yankees have announced that lefty CC Sabathia has been diagnosed with a grade 2 strain of his hamstring after undergoing an MRI, as WFAN’s Sweeny Murti tweets. While no official move has been made, it seems clear that Sabathia will require a DL stint.
An expected timetable isn’t yet known, but in all likelihood the Yankees will need to cover at least a handful of starts. As you might expect, a grade 2 strain falls in the middle of the severity chart, representing a partial tear of the muscle. Many other details of the injury, along with the individual’s actual progress, will obviously bear on the amount of rest that’s required.
It’s obviously unfortunate news for Sabathia, who was off to a rather impressive start to the year even as he closes in on his 37th birthday. Through 75 1/3 innings, he owns a 3.46 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9, including a stellar 0.99 ERA over his past six trips to the hill. While he’s obviously not likely to return to his former dominance, the veteran has shown himself more than capable of being a productive rotation member while preparing to re-enter the open market at season’s end.
The injury comes at an interesting time for the Yankees, who currently pace the AL East by three games. While the organization has emphasized its desire to build for the long run, it’d be hard to pass up entirely on a chance to capitalize on that kind of position. Generally, then, the Yanks are lining up as deadline buyers, even if they shouldn’t be expected to push in significant chips for rental players.
Though the staff has been a rather pleasant surprise, the depth has always been somewhat in question. The club has used just five pitchers for all but one start thus far, but that’ll soon change. With questions also hanging over the struggling Masahiro Tanaka, and long-term rotation openings also factoring into the equation, it’ll be interesting to see whether New York ends up wading into the starting pitching market this summer.
It’s not yet clear who’ll take over for Sabathia in the meantime, though at least that’ll give the club a chance to take a closer look at another arm. Chad Green has already made one start this year and could move over from the bullpen. Luis Cessa and Domingo German are other 40-man members with MLB experience.