CC Sabathia could be on the New York Yankees’ roster for the AL Championship Series after missing the previous round with an achy left shoulder.
The left-handed Sabathia sat out New York’s three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Division Series, but manager Aaron Boone said the 39-year-old from Vallejo is feeling “considerably better” after throwing a bullpen session Wednesday.
“Frankly, looked really good,” Boone said. “I was really excited about how he looked.”
Outfielder Aaron Hicks has also recovered from a right elbow flexor strain and is an option for the roster, and relievers Aroldis Chapman and Zack Britton are fine after suffering minor injuries Monday night, Boone said. New York will open the ALCS on Saturday against either Houston or Tampa Bay, which are set to play a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday.
Sabathia, a 19-year veteran who plans to retire after the postseason, spent the final week of the regular season preparing to pitch in relief for the AL East champions before his shoulder flared and kept him off the ALDS roster. Boone said Sabathia is an option for the ALCS, but the Yankees haven’t decided on their bullpen. If Sabathia is active, he’ll pitch in relief.
Sabathia was 5-8 with a 4.95 ERA in the regular season, notching his 3,000th career strikeout and 250th win.
Rays-Astros: All those regular season wins for Gerrit Cole and the Houston Astros have manager AJ Hinch feeling just fine entering a winner-take-all game with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.
“They’ve got to come into our house and beat us again,” Hinch said. “With Cole on the mound, I don’t know who could be more confident than us.”
Cole will start for the Astros in the decisive Game 5 of their AL Division Series. The right-hander hasn’t lost since May 22, winning a franchise-record 17 straight decisions, capped by a 15-strikeout gem in the Astros’ Game 2 victory in the ALDS. He’ll try to punch Houston a ticket to its third straight AL Championship Series, and he’ll do it at home because the team won a franchise-record 107 games to earn home-field advantage throughout the postseason.
Houston went 60-21 at Minute Maid Park in the regular season, but the Rays have shown fearlessness in downing the A’s in the wild card game before fending off elimination with their past two wins.
“I do think the mentality that these guys come to the ballpark (with is), they might not be superstars, but they certainly believe they are,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Tampa Bay used a parade of relievers Tuesday night but will return to a traditional starter in Game 5 with Tyler Glasnow.
Briefly: Buck Showalter and John Farrell have been added to the list of candidates who will interview for the Angels’ opening at manager. Former Cubs manager Joe Maddon interviewed Monday. … Catcher Brian McCann, 35, announced his retirement after 15 major league seasons — including 10 with the Braves.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/CC-Sabathia-s-shoulder-healing-could-be-on-14505388.php.