The Yankees were dealt some bad news on Monday afternoon. According to reports, the team has placed CC Sabathia on the disabled list with right knee inflammation. That’s the same knee that has landed him on the DL multiple times over the last few years. As a corresponding move, the club selected the contract of reliever George Kontos.
Sabathia made yesterday’s start against the Rangers. And he pitched well, too, holding Texas to just one hit over six innings. He struck out seven in the process. At no point did it look like he was in any pain. Sabathia did make a difficult play on a ball that trickled towards the mound. There seemed to be miscommunication between CC and Austin Romine, and the former ended up fielding the ball, and throwing to first from his knees.
The 38-year-old is in the midst of a stellar campaign. He’s pitched to a 3.32 ERA over 119.1 innings this season. His peripherals aren’t anything to look at (4.38 FIP), but they don’t treat soft contact guys all that well to begin with. Sabathia has shown that he’s capable of getting outs without overpowering stuff. Losing him for any period of time hurts.
Meanwhile, the Yankees have called up Kontos to temporarily round out the bullpen. The 33-year-old reliever rejoined the organization on August 4th. He came over in the a minor trade with the Cleveland Indians. In 27 appearances between the Pirates and Indians, Kontos owns a 4.68 ERA with a 5.92 FIP. He’s not the most inspiring option, but the Yankees’ bullpen has been running on fumes lately.
Now the question becomes who will replace Sabathia in the rotation? Sonny Gray represents the in-house option. Considering his struggles, I can’t imagine that ending well. Luis Cessa seems to be the perennial spot starter, and he’s not listed in the upcoming Triple-A rotation. Then there’s Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield, although the odds are less likely.
For now, the Yankees will have to hope Sabathia only misses a start or two. Losing him for an extended period of time will hurt the team in a big way.