You can stop worrying about the amount of home runs the Yankees hit and start worrying about something that could actually stop them from winning games.
The Yankees announced Wednesday that they have placed starting pitcher CC Sabathia on the disabled list with a strained groin. Sabathia said he first felt some pain on Sunday night against the Mets, but didn't say anything until it recurred during a bullpen session on Tuesday.
Freddy Garcia will start against the White Sox on Friday night and it looks like Adam Warren will be summoned from the minors to take Sabathia's spot on the roster. The injury means that Sabathia won't be able to take his deserved spot in the All-Star Game in two weeks, although the timing could wind up working out well for the Yankees.
With 12 games left before the All-Star break, the Yankees could get away with losing just two starts for Sabathia before he's eligible to return from the disabled list. The break gives the Yankees a few extra days to make sure all is well before running Sabathia out to the line and, when all is said and done, they could get a three-week rest before returning their ace to the rotation.
The Yankees are optimistic about that timeline, although a little caution is probably the wisest course of action over the long haul. The recent hot streak makes it much easier to make sure Sabathia is 100 percent before putting him back on the mound and it might even make for a fresher Sabathia down the stretch now that he'll be doing a little bit less pitching than he has in past seasons.
Rosy overall outlook or not, there's still a short-term effect on the Yankees. Sabathia hasn't dazzled all that often this season, but he has been the same consistently good workhorse that he's been since coming to town in 2009.
Without him, the Yankees will need more from Andy Pettitte, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda because the bullpen will be taxed more heavily with Unsteady Freddy taking over CC's spot in the rotation. It's just two games, but if they come after disasters from other starters there will be a cumulative impact on a bullpen that's already seen Cory Wade start to fray.
If all goes well, it will be a minor bump in the road for the Yankees. But nothing feels all that minor when you're talking about the physical condition of your number one starting pitcher.
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