Just as CC Sabathia was beginning to look like an ace again, he suffered an injury that forced the New York Yankees to place him on the disabled list.
On Thursday, the Yankees placed Sabathia on the 10-day disabled list. He left his start on Tuesday night in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels after suffering an injury to his left hamstring. After undergoing an MRI on Wednesday, it was revealed that Sabathia has a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring.
Although Yankees general manager Brian Cashman decided to place Sabathia on the 10-day disabled list, there is a good chance that he will be sidelined for longer than that. He will reportedly be out for at least four weeks.
This injury is definitely a major blow to the Yankees starting rotation. The 36-year-old left-hander has been one of their best starters this season. Over his last six starts, Sabathia has an ERA of 0.99. In 13 starts this season, he is 7-2 with a 3.46 ERA.
Sabathia’s career appeared to be going downhill a few years ago. The 2014 season was a very rough one for him. Sabathia got off to a bad start and then started having problems with his right knee. He was placed on the disabled list and eventually had to undergo season-ending surgery on his knee. Before getting hurt, Sabathia made eight starts and went 3-4 with an ERA of 5.28.
Unfortunately, Sabathia was unable to bounce back the following season. He had perhaps the worst year of his career in 2015, going 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA in 29 starts.
The past few seasons, Sabathia has been able to reinvent himself as a pitcher. He does not throw as hard as he used to. However, he has still been able to get hitters out. This is evident in how he has performed over the past two seasons. In 2016, Sabathia posted an ERA of 3.91 over 30 starts. He only recorded 152 strikeouts in 179.2 innings pitched. This season, he only has 62 strikeouts over 75.1 innings pitched. The decrease in his velocity has predictably resulted in less strikeouts, but this has not been a problem for him.
Without Sabathia, the Yankees will have to rely even more on young right-hander Luis Severino, who is having a Cy Young caliber season. Severino is 5-2 with a 2.75 ERA in 12 starts this year. Additionally, the team will have to hope that Masahiro Tanaka starts to turn things around. Tanaka, who is supposed to be the Yankees ace, has had a disastrous season. He has an ERA of 6.07 over 13 starts.
It is unfortunate for the Yankees that Sabathia got injured, especially considering how well he has been pitching lately. He should be able to recover and be back in about a month. When he returns, it will be interesting to see if he is as effective as he was before the injury.
Flyers Remove Statue of Kate Smith
The Philadelphia Flyers have joined the New York Yankees in the removal of ties to singer Kate Smith, whose famous rendition of “God Bless America” was played at both Flyers and Yankees games.
Earlier this week, the Yankees decided to suspend the use of Smith’s rendition, which was played during the seventh-inning stretch, while they investigated allegations of racism against the later singer.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, there are conflicting claims about Smith’s 1939 song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born” which
originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals” and was considered satire but includes racist language, including the line;
“Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”
The song was recorded by Smith and Paul Robeson, who was black.
The Flyers put out the following statement on Sunday (h/t ESPN):
“The Flyers have enjoyed a long and popular relationship with ‘God Bless America,’ as performed by the late Kate Smith, a woman who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Honor for her patriotic contributions to our nation.
“But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Kate Smith performed in the 1930s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes.”
Smith, who was popular during the WWII era, recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among various other treats.
Smith also endorsed the “Mammy Doll” back in 1939 which was based on a racist caricature of a black woman similar to Aunt Jemima.
“The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information,” a club spokesman said. “The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”
The odds aren’t good that Smith’s songs will return to their prominent places during sporting events such as they were with the Yankees and the Flyers.
There is a lot of cleaning up to do when it comes to racism in sports, and weeding out songs attached to artists with questionable, and controversial, backgrounds such as Smith’s, is important in pushing forward towards the future.
MLB Investigating Racist Social Media Messages Sent to Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr.
Major League Baseball is investigating racial messages sent, via social media, to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. prior to his demotion to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs back on April 6th.
According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, the messages have caught the attention of both the Cubs and the MLB Players Association, leading to the launch of the investigation.
Mooney had been a solid bullpen option during the last few seasons, but had a nightmare start to the 2019 season posting a terrible 32.40 ERA in just 1.2 innings of work over four appearances.
Carlos Zambrano Attempting Comeback, Signs with Indy Team
Former MLB pitcher Carlos Zambrano is attempting a comeback and has signed with the American Association’s Chicago Dogs, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer.
Zambrano last pitched in the majors back in 2012 with the Miami Marlins, but earlier in his career he finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting in the National League three times as a member of the Chicago Cubs.
Zambrano started his comeback bid last fall when he took the mound for 7 starts in the Mexican League, pitching to the tune of a 5.18 ERA, and performing even worse during a short stint in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Given his recent lack of production, it is a longshot to believe that Zambrano will return to the MLB level, but stranger things have happened.
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