Thursday, January 18, 2018
Sports

Yankees name Sabathia fifth starter, for now

MIAMI — CC Sabathia won the fifth starter's job over Ivan Nova, the Yankees announced Friday. How long the left-hander gets to keep it is another story.

"CC's got it for now," general manager Brian Cashman said. "We hope he keeps it the whole year. But we'll see how it goes."

Sabathia, who was confident throughout spring training, hardly reacted when asked about the news that manager Joe Girardi delivered to him Thursday.

"Ready to go," Sabathia said. "Just ready to go. Now it's time to really work."

Sabathia is scheduled to start against the Tigers in Detroit next Saturday. Nova will be in the bullpen for Monday's opener against the Astros at Yankee Stadium.

"I still consider myself a starting pitcher," Nova said. "I told you guys from the beginning this was going to be a tough competition. We're talking about CC Sabathia. Even though I think I did my part to stay in the rotation, I knew and I was preparing for that moment. I'm good."

Nova, who threw six shutout innings against the Braves on Wednesday, had a 4.13 spring ERA. Sabathia's ERA was 5.51.

Girardi said the Yankees hope Sabathia will resemble the pitcher who had a 2.17 ERA in five starts last September and October, not the one who has been injured and ineffective for most of the last two seasons.

"A lot of it came down to CC's September last year," Girardi said. "He's been there so many times."

Girardi hedged, though, adding: "The decision that sometimes you make in April isn't necessarily what happens in May."

MORE YANKEES: Andrew Miller was cleared by a hand specialist to pitch with a broken bone in his right (non-throwing) hand and plans to be in the bullpen for the opener. Miller, who suffered a fractured pisiform bone in the heel of his hand when he was hit by a line drive Wednesday, was examined by Dr. Patrick Owens at the University of Miami.

FERNANDEZ STRONG: Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez, a former Alonso High standout, was pleased with his final spring training start. He struck out seven and allowed one run in four innings in a 3-2 loss to the Yankees. Brett Gardner homered off Fernandez, who allowed two hits and no walks. He threw 41 of 50 pitches for strikes. His first start of the regular season is April 6 against the Tigers. "I was pitching the seventh game of the World Series today," Fernandez said. "I took everything that I normally do in the regular season I did today so to me this was a very important game."

SUSPENSION: Former major-league catcher Taylor Teagarden was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball, which said he violated the big-league drug program but did not specify the nature of the violation. Teagarden played eight games with the Cubs last year and spent most of the season in Triple A. He became a free agent in October.

RULE CHANGES: Major League Baseball made several minor rule changes for this season. Fielders can no longer get an out call for touching a runner with only the hanging laces from the glove. Also, the top-to-bottom length of a first baseman's mitt and a fielder's glove was increased by an inch to 13 inches.

ATHLETICS: Right-hander Jarrod Parker had surgery on his right elbow, the team said.

CUBS: Kris Bryant's streak of reaching safely ended at nine games. He struck out to lead off the game in his only plate appearance in a loss to the Mets.

METS: Pitchers Jim Henderson and Logan Verrett made the opening-day roster along with backup catcher Kevin Plawecki. Pitchers Josh Edgin and Zack Wheeler, both recovering from Tommy John surgery, went on the 15-day disabled list.

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