Sabathia Spotty in Trenton Rehab Assignment
(Trenton)- New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia toed the rubber for the Thunder at Arm & Hammer Park on Wednesday night for his second rehabilitation start against the Portland Sea Dogs. In his first outing for High-A Tampa on Saturday, Sabathia allowed three hits and two earned runs after throwing 34 pitches over 2.1 innings. Because of heavy rain forecasted to fall in New Jersey on Thursday, Sabathia was pushed up a day to throw on short rest.
The 33-year old southpaw has been on the disabled list since May 11 with inflammation in his right-knee which was later determined to be a degenerative condition. Thunder Pitching Coach Tommy Phelps indicated that Sabathia would be regulated to a four inning-60 pitch limit on Wednesday.
On a humid 91-degree evening in Trenton, Sabathia fell behind early, allowing two hits and an RBI sac-fly by reigning Eastern League Player of the Week, Sean Coyle to put Portland ahead 1-0.
After a smooth nine-pitch second inning, Sabathia faced more trouble from the potent Sea Dogs order in the third. Center fielder Derrik Gibson greeted Sabathia with a leadoff triple into the right field corner and came around to score on an errant throw from the cut-off man, Dan Fiorito. After walking the next batter, catcher Blake Swihart crushed his 17th double of the year over the head of Mason Williams in center field to plate another run and make the score 3-0 in favor of Portland.
Trenton would answer back in the bottom-half of the frame with a run of their own. After a leadoff single by Fiorito, shortstop Carmen Angelini roped an RBI double into the left field gap to cut the Portland lead to 3-1.
In his final inning in the forth, Sabathia allowed two runners to reach on a single and an error committed by third baseman Rob Segedin and was pulled with two-outs in the frame. Reliever Fred Lewis came on and allowed both inherited runners to score. Sabathia went 3.2 innings, allowed five hits, five runs, three of them earned, with a walk and two strikeouts.
“I felt good,” Sabathia said. “Secondary pitches were not that good., but the fastball I thought was coming out pretty good. I feel good health wise and I am ready to go.”
According to an AL East scout in attendance, Sabathia’s fastball velocity on his radar gun sat between 88-90 mph. and reached as high as 91. Both of the strikeouts that Sabathia recorded were via his change-up.
“I need to work on my secondary pitches a little more,” Sabathia said. “The change-up was cutting but the slider was not as sharp as I would like it to be.”
Sabathia added, “I think you guys make too much of my velocity. I have been pitching for 14-15 years; velocity is what it is. As long as I am healthy and have no problems, velocity is going to be what it is going to be.”
After his outing on Wednesday, Sabathia says he is basing his success on health and how he feels rather than actual on-field results.
“With me, it is just feel right now,” explained Sabathia. “Results will come when they matter. Right now, I am just making sure that I can give maximum effort out there.”
Sabathia will likely need at least two more rehab starts before the Yankees would contemplate activating him. The lefty has thrown 89 pitches in his first two outings. He has surrendered five earned runs, eight hits and has fanned four batters in six combined innings of action.
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