The left-handed pitcher was placed on the disabled list with stiffness in his pitching elbow. Not good.
Sabathia was spotted icing his elbow in the trainer’s room before Saturday’s night against the Seattle Mariners. He first detected pain after pitching a complete game on August 3 at Yankee Stadium, manager Joe Giradi said.
He had an MRI that came back clean, so Sabathia made his next start five days later in Detroit, but left after 6 1/3 innings and just 94 pitches.
Girardi said the stiffness resurfaced after that start, but the decision to put Sabathia on the DL was not made until about 4 p.m. Saturday.
“As far as our concern, it’s pretty low,” Girardi said. “It’s not like it got any worse. He wants to pitch on Monday, which I’m not surprised, because he said he’s dealt with it before. We just decided, let’s try to get it cleaned up now.”
Girardi said Sabathia would see a doctor on Monday after the Yankees return to New York, but no further tests were scheduled.
“It’s a tough decision,” Girardi said. “Do you let him pitch and try to fight through it, or is it enough of a concern that we have him maybe miss just two starts and we’ll get him back?”
Sabathia missed three starts between June 28 and July 16 while sidelined with a left groin strain. After his return, Sabathia made five starts and won three; his record is 12-3 with a 3.56 ERA.
“We’re going to deal with it; that’s the bottom line,” Girardi said. “We don’t want to, but we need to have him healthy. If we’re going to continue to move on, we’re going to need to have him healthy.”
Girardi said no decision has been made on who will take Sabathia’s place in the rotation.