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#pounditTuesday, January 25, 2022

Yankees may put CC Sabathia in bullpen to start season


CC Sabathia may not have a spot in the starting rotation waiting for him.

According to ESPN’s Andrew Marchand, Sabathia is in a battle with Ivan Nova for the fifth and final spot in the Yankees’ rotation, and the team isn’t afraid to relegate him to the bullpen if Nova outpitches him.

“This is a hard decision,” said manager Joe Girardi. “CC has meant so much to this club. Nova has been here. It is something that has to be well thought out.”

Nova pitched Friday and didn’t really do himself any favors, allowing five earned runs in 4.2 innings against Baltimore, so the door is definitely not closed on Sabathia pitching his way into the starting rotation.

Sabathia is clearly in his decline phase – his 4.73 ERA in 2015 was actually the lowest he’s posted over the last three seasons. He’s also due $25 million in 2016 and another $25 million in 2017, provided he doesn’t encounter any left shoulder injuries before the option vests. Sabathia is trying to overcome an alcohol problem that ended his 2015 prematurely, but has struggled thus far during spring training, giving up twelve runs – eight of them earned – in 12.1 innings.


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