Preview: Sabathia Will Start vs. Jays
While the New York Yankees survived without their staff ace for three weeks, it seems unlikely the Toronto Blue Jays can make a playoff push should their best slugger end up on the disabled list.
The Yankees will activate CC Sabathia from the disabled list and he'll take the ball Tuesday night looking to continue his dominance over a Blue Jays team that will be without Jose Bautista.
Sabathia (9-3, 3.45 ERA) hasn't pitched since facing the New York Mets on June 24, going on the DL a few days later with a strained groin. His first trip to the DL since 2006 was tough to take for the six-time All-Star known for his durability.
"You feel like you're not contributing and helping the team," said Sabathia, who has thrown at least 230 innings in each of the last five seasons and is second in the majors with an average of 111.6 pitches per game. "For me it's a little embarrassing."
The Yankees (55-34) did just fine in his absence, winning 12 of 18 and extending their AL East lead over second-place Baltimore from 2 1/2 games to nine. They won Monday's opener 6-3 on Raul Ibanez's tiebreaking grand slam with two outs in the eighth inning.
Sabathia missed two scheduled starts while sidelined but kept his same between-start throwing routine. He said the pain in his groin has been nonexistent since a bullpen session June 26, and the time away might help his arm endurance down the stretch.