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Yankees Injury Updates: Sabathia, Tanaka, Bailey, Baker & Pinder

Injury update on the pitchers who have reported to spring training.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

CC Sabathia

Back in 2013, Sabathia showed up to spring training down forty pounds. He looked even thinner when he reported last year. For whatever reason, 2013 and 2014 turned out to be the worst seasons of his career and there have been discussions as to whether his weight loss led to a decrease in his velocity. Interestingly, Sabathia reported to camp heavier than he has been over the past two years. The weight gain was intentional, and he has said that he feels stronger now. It sounds slightly counter-intuitive to gain weight when you have a degenerative knee condition, but he said that the previous weight-loss made him feel off-balance, so it'll be interesting to see if gaining weight helps.

As for his knee, Sabathia reported that he's been getting regular PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections over the offseason, and that he'll probably get more during the All-Star break. He also indicated that he has changed his workout routine to protect his knee. He threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Saturday, mixing in fastballs and curveballs, and he didn't appear to have any problems.

Andrew Bailey

After missing the entire 2014 season due to setbacks from the shoulder surgery that he had back in 2013, Bailey is finally back on track and could be ready by Opening Day. He said that he feels "night and day difference" when comparing how his shoulder feels now to how it felt a year ago. Bailey has thrown four bullpen sessions so far, and is already throwing all of his pitches. He's on a slightly different program than the other pitchers though, and will long toss and throw off flat ground between bullpen sessions in order to get more rest. He sounds healthy and confident, and if he's truly ready by the end of spring training, he could land a spot in the Yankees' bullpen.

Masahiro Tanaka

It's shaping up that the major focus of spring training, and probably the entire 2015 season, will be on Tanaka's elbow. So far, so good. Tanaka has said that he is not feeling any pain in his elbow, and that he thinks he will be able to get through the season fine. He also said that his overall health feels better than last year. Tanaka apparently had an MRI in October to check on his elbow, and the doctor told him there was "no problem at all." He has successfully thrown two bullpen sessions since reporting last week.


The Yankees signed Scott Baker to a minor-league contract over the offseason. Baker had Tommy John surgery roughly three years ago, and has said that his arm feels significantly better now than it did last spring. Another pitcher, prospect Branden Pinder, was originally assigned to play in the Arizona Fall League over the offseason, but he ended up not participating due to some elbow soreness that he was experiencing at the time. His arm feels good now.