CC Sabathia might have made the most productive pitches of any Yankee Saturday. His 36 throws in a pregame bullpen session gave him optimism to pack for his trip to Tampa and rehab.
"I'm feeling good, I'm excited, I'm ready to go," he said, adding that he plans to throw batting practice Tuesday and then pitch in a minor-league game Saturday. A brace on his right knee, which became inflamed and sent him to the disabled list, will be part of his equipment from now on, but it didn't limit his enthusiasm. "Today, I got after it a little bit," he said.
There is no telling, though, when he will be ready to rejoin the Yankees. "Hopefully, it's not five starts," he said.
He asserted that he will not have to change the way he pitches at all. He was both happy and relieved that he could see something positive ahead. "I've been sitting around here, just feeling sorry for myself, just watching the team grind. It's tough," he said. "You want to be out there and help these guys. I feel better that I do have a little light where I can see, hopefully, I can get back out there and help."
Pineda needs more time
Michael Pineda did not get a green light from the MRI on his right shoulder. "He still has a trace of inflammation so we'll give him one more week off and he'll start throwing next Saturday," Joe Girardi said.
J.J. Hardy of the Orioles, the only shortstop in the majors to have hit at least 20 or more home runs in each of the past three seasons, has had a surprisingly powerless season. That amounted to 339 at-bats (since last Sept. 5) without a homer. He ended his drought in the eighth inning Saturday against Jose Ramirez . . . Francisco Cervelli, after more than two months on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, started for the first time since April 13. The single in the third inning by the Yankees catcher was his first hit since April 8, also against the Orioles.