Monday, May 19, 2014

CC Sabathia out until at least July: Brian Cashman

Things already looked pretty bleak for the New York Yankees starting rotation even before CC Sabathia received a stem cell treatment injection in his inflamed right knee from Dr. James Andrews late last week.

The Yankees were informed that even if the process worked on the "degenerative changes," it would be a minimum of six weeks before the slimmed down lefthander could return. Now the team has resigned themselves to that fact.

“It will be no sooner than six weeks from now,” Cashman told the N.Y. Post in discussing a potential return date for the 33-year-old workhorse.

Sabathia was to stop using crutches Monday and begin therapy in a pool Tuesday, according to Cashman. The hope is to steadily build strength in the knee and then put Sabathia through an abridged spring training to get him back on the mound.

“Our dialogue with Andrews has been good and the small sample of stem cell procedures, the results are very successful,” Cashman said. “But he has to be pain free before strengthening, so there is a way to go. Because he is a starter it will take longer. I have no idea how long it will be and if it will be successful. We are hoping it is six weeks to a major league return.”

Not that the Yankees haven't become accustomed to bad news on the medical front.

 With Ivan Nova out for the season following Tommy John surgery and Micheal Pineda out until the middle of June, pinning a winning season on a rotation which now includes David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Chase Whitley joining Masahiro Tanaka and Hiroki Kuroda looks like a stretch.

And Cashman is reportedly thinking trade but "nothing has materialized."

"Generally at this time of year, nothing materializes," Cashman said. "We will keep an eye out to see if something does."

Experienced hurlers like the Phillies' Cliff Lee or the Cubs' Jeff Samardzija are rumored to be high on the list of potential acquisitions using catcher Gary Sanchez and pitchers Dellin Betances or Adam Warren as trade bait.

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