For the first time in his Yankee career CC Sabathia will not be that horse taking the mound.
The Yankees announced Wednesday morning before their day game with the Indians that they will place Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list with a strained abductor muscle in his left leg. He is expected to miss two starts and return after the All-Star break.
“He doesn’t want to go on [the DL], but he understands it’s the best thing to do,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Missing two starts is better than seven or eight.”
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Sabathia struggled in his last start against the Mets, but there was no hint of injury. He went 5 2/3 innings and allowed nine hits. He surrendered five runs, but only one was earned.
"The bottom line is he felt sometime during the Mets game and didn’t tell anyone about it; then did his bullpen yesterday," general manager Brian Cashman said. "That’s when he still felt something and that’s when he told us about it. So during the game last night, we sent him over to get an MRI to kind of get a feel for what we’re dealing with and [he] had a low-grade strain so better safe than sorry."
"I knew it was hurt and I wanted to see if I could go out and try to pitch," Sabathia said. "Yesterday in the bullpen, I still felt it as intense as I did on Sunday. So I figured I’d better say something before Friday when I get out there in the bullpen because that would put us in a real tough spot."
Girardi said he wasn't at all mad that Sabathia didn't immediately come to him after feeling the pain initially.
"These guys if they had an issue every time they felt something and came in and told me they’d be in there everyday and they’d wear me out," Girardi said. "I wouldn’t be able to take it and I’d say ‘enough’ because I’d have 25 guys coming in. So they know their bodies and he was smart. After the Tuesday bullpen session, he knew that it was something more than maybe just a twinge and came in and told us."
He has thrown over 100 pitches in every start this season, including a complete game win over the Braves on June 18.
One of the selling points when the Yankees signed Sabathia prior to the 2009 season was his ability to take the ball every five days all season. He made 34 starts his first two seasons in New York and 33 last year. The last time he missed a start was in April 2006 when he was on Cleveland. He re-signed for one more year this past November after using the opt out clause in his contract as a negotiating chip. He has five years and $122 million left on his deal including this season.
"[Trainer Steve Donahue] was telling me, CC was like, ‘Maybe I’ll miss a start, I don’t know about DL.’ So I said start preparing because I’ll be here tomorrow morning and he’s going on the DL," Cashman said. "I came in here and it was a one-way conversation. I did all the talking. I know what he wants to do, but that’s what we’re going to do."
Adam Warren, a 24-year-old prospect from North Carolina, will join the team Thursday and start Friday while Freddy Garcia will start Monday in Tampa Bay. Warren is 5-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 15 starts for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre.
"That’s what we’re leaning towards, but it’s not official," Cashman said before Wednesday's game. "So I’ll let him get all excited."
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.