Just when it seemed like Yankees fans were finally comfortable with the new version of CC Sabathia, the long wear and tear on his body struck again. Just a couple days after coming up big with a shutout performance against the Orioles, Sabathia has hit the disabled list with a left groin strain. The Yankees have not yet announced who will be taking his spot in the rotation, but the logical go-to is Ivan Nova since he was their de facto sixth starter in spring training. Joy.
The scariest proposition is the immediate roster move solution. To take Sabathia's spot, the Yankees will call on a name that would have seemed shocking just a few weeks ago: Phil Coke. Since being dealt from the Yanks after the 2009 season, the lefty spent five years with the Tigers bouncing back and forth between "competent" and "Jim Leyland nicotine addiction driver" before splitting last season with the Cubs and Blue Jays. He only made it in 18 games and had a 5.68 ERA. On Opening Day 2016, he was with the Independent League's Lancaster Barnstormers.
The Yankees could have brought back James Pazos one day after sending him down due to injury but likely chose not since he's not really a long reliever. They probably didn't want to hook Luis Cessa or Chad Green from their regular starts either, and any other reliever wouldn't be able to give them long relief outings like Coke. I still would have called on Pazos or the likes of Tyler Webb over Coke, but so it goes.
Now, Phil Coke is suddenly a Yankee again. This is real life. Holy hell.
Sabathia hitting the DL couldn't come at a worse time. Going back to last season, he had a 2.98 ERA and 3.73 FIP in 10 starts wearing his new knee brace. It is certainly possible that this is just small sample size at work, but it really seemed like he was turning a corner after some rocky years. Hopefully for the Yankees' sake, he mends quickly from the groin strain and the team doesn't have to deal with Nova in the rotation for too long. Maybe Nova will recapture his late 2013 form, even though that was a Tommy John surgery and two and a half years ago at this point.
If anyone needs me, I'll be in the angry dome.
phil coke points to the sky and a meteor falls down and hits the team— angry about baseball (@leokitty) May 6, 2016