Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yankees play it safe with ace CC Sabathia

I knew things were going too well for the New York Yankees.

The good vibes from a terrific performance by Phil Hughes extending the Yankees winning ways and the controversy over the catch that wasn’t a catch have been quickly cast aside by news that CC Sabathia is heading to the disabled list. It appears to be a relatively minor injury, but the Yankees, cautious by nature, are nottaking any chances with their ace, putting him on the DL instead of just skipping his turn in the rotation in the hope of a quick recovery. Can’t say I blame them.

CC being injured explains a lot about his inability to hold a four-run lead against the New York Mets last weekend. Yes, his defense failed him miserably, but he usually pitches around errors. And perhaps my expectations for CC are unfairly high (though he has mostly lived up to and surpassed them in his Yankee years). But the fact that he allowed that game to be tied by the Mets really took me by surprise. It’s not like the CC we know and love to blow that kind of a lead and the injury may explain why (although Sabathia would never use it as an excuse because he is a no excuses kind of guy).

Joe Girardi didn’t seem too pleased by Sabathia’s failure to inform the team of the injury he first felt on Sunday night. But he can’t really be surprised either. His ace is a bulldog who always wants the ball. He wanted to only miss a start rather than go on the DL with what he probably sees as a nuisance injury rather than a serious one. But CC lost that argument to Brian Cashman and Girardi, who know it’s more important to have their ace on the mound in September than late June, particularly with the Yankees on such a winning streak.

With the Yankees going so well, they can afford to be without their ace for two weeks, particularly with the All-Star break coming up. But it can’t be for much longer than that or the Yankees could find themselves in trouble. 

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