CC Sabathia Had His Knee Drained Prior To His Last Start

Struggling New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia had his right knee drained prior to his start this past Wednesday, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com.

In a move that did not surprise many, the Yankees elected to give their veteran workhorse extra rest. Considering his struggles over the past two seasons and his unsightly numbers thus far in 2015, perhaps the former AL Cy Young award winner needed more than a few starts to recoup and work on some issues.

But as it turns out, Sabathia's right knee was giving him problems, so when the team returned from their recent disappointing west coast trip, the California native got his knee drained. This, of course, would have prevented Sabathia from pitching on his scheduled day regardless.

"It would have been difficult," Sabathia told Matthews "It leaves you pretty sore."

Instead, the Yankees trotted out another pitcher recovering from injury, right-hander Ivan Nova, who is trying to regain his pre-Tommy John surgery form. However, Nova was roughed up in his start on Sunday afternoon, lasting just five innings and giving up four runs in a losing effort. Despite the performance, Sabathia did see the positive in getting some extra rest.

"We knew that I had to get it drained and I had the off-days coming up, so why not get these young horses out there and kind of let the old man get a couple of days off?" Sabathia told Matthews.

Conversely, Sabathia returned to mound this past Wednesday to face the surging Oakland Athletics. While it was far from the Sabathia of old, he did pick up his fourth victory of season, pitching 5 1/3 innings and allowing just two runs. The start brought his season totals to 4-8 with a 5.47 ERA. 

The ERA is still nearly two full runs above his career average of 3.69. Also, if Sabathia finishes with a losing record, it will be the first time in his career his finishes a season in which he made nine of more starts with record below .500. To take Sabathia's struggles even further, he has recorded a 4.44 ERA and a 3.96 FIP in the first three and a half years of the six-year contract he signed with the Yankees after the 2011 season, as noted by Mike Axisa of RiverAveBlues.

However, Sabathia is happy with the results his last start yielded and looks forward to building off of it in his future starts.

"I felt fresh and the knee felt good," Sabathia told Matthews. "I'm going to definitely try to put this in the memory bank, work off of it and try to build on it."

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