CC Sabathia Knee Puts Him on Shelf, Yankees Struggle to Find Starters

Will CarrollSports Injuries Lead WriterMay 14, 2014

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The New York Yankees elected to play it safe with their ace, placing CC Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his knee. Sabathia was scheduled to have the knee drained, but while initial expectations were that this was a minor issue being treated conservatively, Sabathia's trip to see Dr. James Andrews complicates things.

The Yankees did say the fluid buildup was not a result of a meniscus tear, which is the most common cause. While this sounds like good news, the question becomes less about what it isn't than what it is. Sabathia's knees carry a lot of mass and generate a lot of force. 

If Sabathia's knees have been problematic for longer than we know, it may explain some of the velocity issues he's had this season. The legs generate force, and if the knees are sapping some of that force, it makes perfect sense that there would be reduced velocity on the ball.

Andrews will check Sabathia's knee, but there's some question about what he could find that the Yankees' physicians couldn't. One possibility is that Sabathia might be getting his mechanics checked. Sabathia, while he was with the Cleveland Indians, went to ASMI to have his mechanics checked after a minor shoulder injury. His results have certainly paid off. 

Sabathia is just the latest injury to the Yankees staff. With Michael Pineda on the DL with a shoulder injury and Ivan Nova done for the season due to an elbow sprain, the Yankees are looking for any starter to hold up the back of the rotation. Chase Whitley will get the first shot after Alfredo Aceves was used in relief, but the worry is that the back of the rotation will come up with short starts, taxing the bullpen.