CC Sabathia had reinjured the knee that has caused him so many issues for several years late last month and I honestly thought he was pretty much done, but he’s back to face the Tigers Wednesday night. Yay!
Everyone knows I love CC. I went on the radio last week and confessed to the New Orleans faithful that he is the wallpaper on my phone.
What is really really interesting, to me, is that the Yankees are going to have Domingo German follow Sabathia out of the bullpen tonight in Detroit. There are a couple of reasons that the Yankees made this decision, so let’s talk them out.
First and foremost, this is the Yankees finally limiting Domingo German’s workload a little bit. He’s already thrown more innings this year (136.2) than he’s ever thrown in a year before (123.1 in 2014 before Tommy John surgery) and they need him to be good not just for the playoffs but for next season and other seasons to come. He’ll throw just three innings or so today, probably, which will keep his workload down.
German has also been generally not as good over the last month as before. He’s been far from a detriment and he’s avoided big blowups for the most part, but there has been more traffic on the basepaths for sure. He has a 4.96 ERA and a 6.12 FIP in 32.2 IP across his last six starts. The decrease in workload gives him slightly extra rest to work with and also could give him increased effectiveness as he can unleash his stuff in shorter bursts as his arm tires. It’s worth a shot.
Also, CC will not be going long into this game. He doesn’t give length anymore anyway and it’s his first start back from yet another IL stint. Someone has to eat the bullpen innings.
Finally, with JA Happ having a few excellent starts in a row and the potential for CC to be effective, it could make sense to start one of those two in a playoff game then handing it over to German for another turn through the lineup, assuming Happ and Sabathia are effective down the stretch. German would be able to change the pace a bit and also have (slightly) less pressure on him than if he were starting a playoff game, where CC and Happ have experience with such pressures before.
Of course, it could end up just being the workload management thing and German will be the Game 2 or 3 starter in the ALDS in less than a month. wouldn’t hate that either. The extra rest in itself is worth it for what the Yanks need right now