After undergoing open heart surgery over the offseason, Yankee pitcher CC Sabathia now has a five-game suspension from the MLB to deal with. The Yankees made things official today when they placed Sabathia on the MLB’s suspended list to begin serving his five-game punishment.
So just how did Sabathia get suspended?
CC Sabathia Suspension: What Happened With Yankees Pitcher?
In the Yankees’ final regular season game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Sabathia didn’t take too kindly to Andrew Kittridge throwing inside on Austin Romine in an 11-0 blowout. The next time the Rays stepped to the plate, Sabathia drilled Jesus Sucre and earned an immediate ejection.
(Sabathia hitting Sucre starts around the 2:00 minute mark)
To Kittridge and the Rays’ credit, Sabathia did start the festivities by plunking Jake Bauers in the wrist the previous inning. That said, given CC’s reaction to Kittridge throwing inside on Romine, it would be fair to assume that hitting Bauers was not a part of Sabathia’s plan.
Although Sabathia and the Yankees would go on to play in the postseason without any reprecussion, MLB did hand down a regular season suspension that Sabathia would be forced to serve at the start of next season. That leads us to where things stand today!
Yankees Pitching Staff Without CC Sabathia
Despite Sabathia being a shell of his former Cy Young self, Sabathia has morphed into a steadying presence at the back end of the Yankees rotation over the past few years. Despite losing his fastball, Sabathia has become an increasingly crafty pitcher in his old age and is one of the smarter players in the game. Extremely reliable for six innings and three runs, Sabathia fits in perfectly with a dangerous lineup and serves as a stopper in what can at times be a volatile rotation.
A consummate professional, Sabathia does more than just serve as a stopper at the back of the rotation. A leader in the clubhouse, Sabathia is the only pitcher on the Yankees roster who was part of the previous generation and brings some much-needed old-school fight to a young and inexperienced Yankee team. Even his suspension reflects that as Sabathia is serving his sentence because he stood up for his teammate and threw back at the Rays.
Not only is Sabathia out of the mix right now but the Yankees are also missing ace of the staff, Luis Severino. Domingo German has assumed Severino’s spot in the staff and the Yankees intend to use Jonathan Loaisiga in some capacity in place of CC for the start he will be forced to miss. Masahiro Tanaka gets to lead the way while James Paxton and J.A. Happ round out the rest of the rotation for the time being. With Severino and Sabathia in the mix, the Yankees have one of the best rotations in the sport as they have a front-line ace, three extremely capable starters in the middle, and a reliable, veteran presence at the back of the rotation.
Thankfully Sabathia should be back before too long and will likely only miss one or two starts at most. His presence will be crucial in helping to keep the staff humming as they anxiously await the return of Luis Severino in early May.