PHOENIX — CC Sabathia is set to return to the Yankees’ rotation.
The lefthander, on the DL since May 5 with a left groin strain, will start Friday against the A’s, the second game of a four-game series in Oakland.
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“Our plan is still Friday,” Joe Girardi said.
Sabathia, 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA this season, threw a 45-pitch simulated game Sunday and came through it Ok.
The 35-year-old lefthander will be coming off what by far was his best start of the season, May 4 in Baltimore when he threw seven shutout innings in a 7-0 victory.
A-Rod on target
Girardi said Alex Rodriguez, on the DL since May 4 with a strained right hamstring, is still on target to return Thursday in Oakland, the first day he’s eligible. A-Rod traveled with the team Sunday night and took early BP on the field Monday.
Mateo’s first start at 2B
Top infield prospect Jorge Mateo, a much-hyped shortstop who has been hitting all season for High-A Tampa, made his first start at second base Monday as the Yankees look to make the 20-year-old more versatile.
“His skill set translates everywhere,” one opposing team minor league scout said. “It’ll just be about him getting used to the new angles. He should be even better there.”
Joe Torre, MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer, isn’t making too much of the Yankees being in last place entering Monday night.
“It’s early, we’re in May now,” Torre said. “Whether you’re in first or second or last, that stuff can change as soon as you get on a little streak . . . it’s too early to count them out that’s for sure.”
Mark Teixeira, coming off a 4-for-31 homestand and slashing .200/.314/.300 this season, was among those taking early BP Monday . . . RHP Michael Pineda (1-4, 6.28) starts Tuesday against RHP Zack Greinke (3-3, 5.26), whom the Diamondbacks signed in the offseason to a six-year, $206.5 million deal. Pineda has a 15.43 ERA in the first inning this season and a 10.29 ERA in the second inning.