Pregame Notes 8/5: "It'll Never Be the Same"

When Dr. Neal ElAttrache went in to clean up CC Sabathia's right knee last week, he made a discovery that led to more optimism for the Yankees' lefthander: a bone spur. How is that a good thing?

"[The doctor] got in there and saw it, and was able to shave that out of there," Sabathia said. "I think that was good - having him go in there and at least get a scope in there and see what is going on, try and put a plan together going forward."

The removed bone spur wasn't initially found in Sabathia's MRI, but represents a sense of optimism in the future, that his knee is completely clean. More so, he was able to avoid microfracture surgery, saying the procedure "isn't an option" considering it would likely mark the end of his career.

That doesn't mean all Sabathia's problems will dissipate, though.

"I'm always going to need something," Sabathia said. "Whether it's getting it drained, or PRP shots, or something, going forward there's always something I'm going to need to do. We'll see how it goes. If it swells up, we can drain it. I just have to get used to it."

The lack of cartilage under his kneecap means that Sabathia's knee will continue to act up. "It'll never be the same," he admitted.

For now, Sabathia will have a stem cell procedure done on his right knee in the coming weeks, one he had done previously this season. This time, he hopes, things will go better.

I'll have time to let it sit in there and try to work this time instead of rushing back to pitch," he said. "I have 5, 6 months to let it sit in there and see if it'll work." After that, he says he plans to have a "normal offseason."

He's already been throwing in a chair, unable to do anything standing due to his crutches. It won't be until 2-3 weeks after his stem cell procedure that he'll be able to test his knee and stand. With that plan in mind, Sabathia said seemed encouraged that he could get back out there in the future, and so did Joe Girardi.

There was talk that there was going to be microfracture," Girardi said. "They got in there and said you know what this is just a cleanup. So that’s extremely encouraging for us. He’ll be ready to go for spring training."

Other notes:

  • Brian Cashman said letting Matt Thornton go via waivers was a flexibility move, giving the Yankees more flexibility without his 2-year deal to go down to the minors and get pitching. He said he believed Rich Hill was able to get lefthanders out in the same way Matt Thornton did.
  • Cashman also mentioned Manny Banuelos' name as a possibility for a September call-up. He also mentioned Jacob Lindgren, the Yankees' 1st Round pick in this year's draft as a guy making a quick rise through the system. He called it an "outside shot" he would be called up to help. Though he did say "If you ask who we’re keeping on our mind, it’s him, it’s [James] Pazos, it’s [Tyler] Webb, Banuelos is starting to string some real positive starts now with double-A. Those are some of the names to throw out there."
  • Michael Pineda was throwing from the windup and the stretch in the Yankees outfield, maybe 70%, and looked pretty good. Brian Cashman said they're going to take him start-by-start now, hoping he can throw 90 pitches. Depending on what's going on with the MLB club, they'll decide whether or not to call him up and pitch. "If he’s better than what we’ve got, we’re going to have to pull him," he said. No Pineda Friday, though.
  • Masahiro Tanaka threw 50 times during a session of catch with increased intensity.
  • Mark Teixeira says he's "all good" after being scratched last night with light headedness.