That speculation was confirmed on Monday before the Yankees played the Tampa Bay Rays in the first of three at Yankee Stadium, as Sabathia will in fact start for the Thunder on Thursday when they play the Class-AA Portland Sea Dogs. The confirmation came from Yankees general manager Brian Cashman after Sabathia threw a bullpen at the stadium on Monday and reported no setbacks.
“Just take it one step at a time,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “Obviously we need to maintain health and we have to extend that pitch count.”
In his previous start on Saturday for Class-A Tampa, Sabathia went 2.1 innings and allowed two runs while striking out two and threw 37 pitches. In Sabathia's next start on Thursday, he's expected to throw about 50 pitches in the game.
While it's also been speculated on that Sabathia could return to the Yankees after making just three rehab starts in the minors, Cashman wouldn't commit to anything just yet regarding his tall left-hander.
“It's got to be one of those situations where you can't think about it until he's actually in a position to come back with his pitch count,” Cashman said. “It's nice to know that he could be coming back sooner than later but we don't have our hands on him yet. So you don't dream on it yet.”
Sabathia was 3-4 with a 5,26 ERA before landing on the disabled list with a knee injury on May 11 and is expected to return to the Yankees sometime in July after the All Star Game.
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