HOUSTON — Though the Yankees haven’t released their 25-man roster for the American League Championship Series — they don’t have to do so until late Saturday morning — CC Sabathia sure talked like a player who will be on it.
“I feel good enough in my bullpens to hopefully go out and help the team,” the lefthander said late Friday afternoon.
Sabathia, left off the Division Series roster because of a shoulder issue, then caught himself. “Hopefully,” he said. “We’ll see.”
But all signs indicate that the Yankees saw enough from Sabathia, who struck out two in a perfect inning when he made his first career regular-season appearance out of the bullpen Sept. 24 against the Rays, to include him on the ALCS roster.
The Yankees had planned for Sabathia, 39, to make one or two more relief appearances during the final three games of the season against the Rangers but instead took the cautionary approach.
“Having that extra time off has my shoulder feeling that much better,” he said.
The Yankees, who will make their final determinations on the roster Friday night, also seem likely to include Aaron Hicks. The switch hitter, who last played in a big-league game Aug. 3 because of a flexor strain in his right elbow, worked out with the Yankees for two days in New York this week, then went through a full workout Friday at Minute Maid Park. Tyler Wade, who was on the ALDS roster, was not seen on the field during the workout and did not have a locker in the visitor’s clubhouse.
“We did have a big roster meeting and talked through a lot of things yesterday for quite a while,” Aaron Boone said before the Yankees’ workout. “And then, obviously, with the game last night [ALDS Game 5 between the Astros and Rays] and now flying this morning, we’ll kind of get together again and hope to nail it down here pretty soon. But we have not made the final call.”