CC Sabathia threw about 20 pitches in a bullpen session this afternoon at Yankee Stadium and declared himself ready to pitch on Friday against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
“I felt good. I’ll throw a bullpen again on Tuesday and the plan is to be ready to go on Friday,” Sabathia said.
Sabathia said he felt no discomfort in his left elbow and, though he probably wouldn’t have mentioned the injury on his own, says that he believes it was the right decision to go on the disabled list for some time to heal.
“Looking back on it now, yeah,” he said. “It’s the same thing as with the groin. I probably wouldn’t have said anything, but I woke up that morning and couldn’t move my arm or touch my shoulder. I had to come in, but looking back, I pleaded my case to not go on the DL. After throwing today and the past couple of days, the way I felt, it seemed like that was the best way to go.”
NEW YORK — Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte has suffered a slight setback in his recovery from a fractured left ankle, the veteran first told the New York Post on Sunday.
Pettitte, 40, told the newspaper that he “did a little too much in Seattle” and that the ankle “hasn’t healed up as much as [the doctors] thought it would.”
He had been building arm strength by throwing on flat ground in the outfield before games, including on the club’s recent trip to play the Mariners, and was spotted on one occasion running the stairs in the lower seating bowl at Safeco Field.
“He pushed himself too far, so we will back off,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
Cashman added that Pettitte’s situation is part of the “ebb and flow to rehab,” and that the Yankees will “see him in September.”
Pettitte told the newspaper that he has been told to back off on his rehab temporarily to help reduce the swelling in the ankle.
The Yankees have expected Pettitte to return to their rotation in early September, and it is not believed that the latest issue with his ankle will affect the original timetable of six to eight weeks. Team doctors have been encouraged by periodic checkups on Pettitte’s injury, including X-rays that have showed healing, and he has been walking without the help of crutches or a boot.
Pettitte suffered a fracture of his fibula when he was hit by a Casey Kotchman one-hop ground ball during a June 27 start against the Mariners at Yankee Stadium. He came out of retirement this spring after sitting out for the 2011 season, joining the big league club in May and going 3-3 with a 3.22 ERA in nine starts.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman was on SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio channel this morning, where hosts Jim Duquette and Mike Ferrin asked about reports that closer Mariano Rivera may be able to play this season.
Cashman again splashed cold water on the idea, going a little bit further to call out Dr. Keith Pyne for unprofessional behavior. Pyne is the rehab doctor who is working with Rivera; he spoke to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman earlier this month, sparking what Cashman says is false hope of Rivera’s return in 2012.
Host/Jim Duquette: “Mo, is there a chance he could come back? We saw some reports that he might be able to come back.”
Brian Cashman: “No. I mean, his physical therapist that he’s working with, I thought was unprofessional and went public with things. I mean, medical personnel should be quiet. And it’s not our physical therapist, it’s someone he’s got that we’ve signed off on. But those guys should not be doing interviews and he provided an interview that was, you know, not a fair reflection of where this player’s at. His over-enthusiasm, I thought, provided improper information. He’s not coming back this year and I wish he was, I wish he was, but unfortunately people get excited. They want to get their name out there for whatever reason and so he got a day in the sun, but he’ll be proven wrong in the end unfortunately. So, he got all our fans excited and a lot more media attention for myself to deal with, but he’s not coming back this year. I wish he was.”
Rivera has said that his goal is to return in 2012 but he doesn’t want to commit to it for fear of creating disappointment. Yankees manager Joe Girardi has pointed out that it would be difficult for Rivera to prepare to pitch in postseason games since there is little Minor League action in September. After his right ACL injury, the all-time saves leader vowed to pitch in 2013.
Rivera spoke optimistically about a September return in an interview on Monday with ESPN Radio’s Michael Kay, addressing a published report that suggested his torn right ACL might not be a season-ending injury after all.
“That’s my goal,” Rivera said. “Definitely, that’s my goal. I’m not thinking about it because if it doesn’t happen, I will be disappointed. So I’m taking it day by day. I’m working hard and doing what I’m supposed to do. I don’t want to put something in my mind.
“I want to make sure that I do my things first. That’s what I’m doing, that’s the way I’m thinking. Day by day, positive, optimism. Whatever the Lord will allow to happen, that will happen.”
The New York Post reported last week that while Rivera’s working theory is that he is out for the season, his rehabilitation is ahead of schedule. The Post quoted Dr. Keith Pyne, who is overseeing Rivera’s rehab, as saying that “if I was putting money on it, I would put my money on Mo.”
Rivera was injured on May 3 in Kansas City while shagging batting practice fly balls. He did not undergo surgery until June 12 because of a blood clot in his right leg, but doctors have been impressed by how quickly he is recovering.
“I’m working. I’m feeling good,” Rivera said. “That’s all I can tell you. I feel good and the therapy is great. Everything is good. You have to continue working hard and wait to get on the field.”
The 42-year-old Rivera was 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA and five saves this year. He has 608 career saves and said he has been tossing baseballs with his children, but will not guarantee that he’ll be pitching to any big league hitters this season.
“I don’t know,” Rivera said. “I don’t know. I can’t answer that. I want to. I want to be there now. Only God knows.”
Brett Gardner came into the Tampa, Fla. training complex today feeling a little sore and was given the day off, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Girardi said that the soreness is “a concern” and called Gardner’s repeated troubles with his right elbow “puzzling.”
Another setback could knock Gardner out for the season. He hasn’t played in a Major League game since April 17.