The New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins on Monday night, in the American League Divisional Series and punching their ticket to the AL Championship Series. The Yankees don't know who they'll be playing yet -- the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays will -- but they may have already received good news as it pertains to their ALCS roster.
That's because left-hander CC Sabathia, who missed the ALDS due to a shoulder injury, appears hearty and hale -- or, at least, as hearty and hale as a 39-year-old with nearly 3,600 regular-season innings to their name can be. Here's what Sabathia told NJ.com's Brendan Kuty:
"I feel pretty good. It's just up to them. So, we'll wait and see how I bounce back. I'll throw the bullpen and, like I said, go from there."
Sabathia expects to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday, which may serve as an audition. Should all go well, he'd likely replace either Tyler Lyons or Stephen Tarpley on the roster. During the regular season, Sabathia held left-handed hitters to a .198/.270/.451 line, whereas right-handers thumped him to the tune of .284/.348/.529. It would stand to reason the Yankees would deploy him as more of a left-handed specialist than a reliable high-leverage arm.
Although Sabathia had never pitched out of the bullpen during the regular season prior to this year, he did make a relief appearance during the 2011 ALDS, throwing 1 1/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers in Game 5, permitting a run on two hits. The Yankees lost that contest.
Sabathia has made it clear he intends to retire after the season. His next appearance, then, could conceivably be the last one he makes.