Notes: Joe tells CC to 'stay positive'

MINNEAPOLIS -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi told members of the media Friday that it’d be “fair to say” that CC Sabathia's right knee injury, an injury that might call for microfracture surgery, could cause the pitcher to miss the rest of the season.

Girardi didn’t have much of an update Saturday afternoon, but said he has talked to the lefty since the news broke Friday night.

“I told him that we’re going to get through this,” Girardi said Saturday. “We don’t know what the course of action is going to be yet, but I told him that he has to stay positive.”

CC Sabathia

CC Sabathia

#52 SP
New York Yankees

2014 STATS

  • GM8
  • W3

  • L4

  • BB10

  • K48

  • ERA5.28

Sabathia, who was having one of his worst seasons as a pro before being placed on the disabled list, hasn’t pitched since May. He hasn’t yet officially been shut down for the season, but it definitely doesn’t look good for the ace pitcher.

“CC loves to compete,” Girardi said, “so I’m sure he’s down, but that’s all part of the game. We know injuries are part of the game and we’ve got to figure out a way to get through them.”

Now what for the Yankees?

Sabathia’s potential season-ending injury is yet another blow to a Yankees rotation that has been plagued by injuries all season.

Now, what looked like one of the team’s main strengths heading into the season, has become perhaps its biggest weakness.

“It alters it some, definitely, because obviously that’s more depth,” Girardi said of the Sabathia injury messing with his starting rotation. “That’s just one guy, though. And we’ve got to get distance out of a couple other guys as well.”

Ivan Nova underwent Tommy John surgery early this year and Michael Pineda is out with a strained back. Those injuries have left the Yankees with a rotation comprised of Hiroki Kuroda, Masahiro Tanaka, Vidal Nuno, David Phelps, and Chase Whitley.

Not a whole lot of depth, to say the least, but Girardi said Saturday he has no plans of changing up the rotation.

Girardi said Saturday that Pineda is progressing well and said he hopes to get him back in the rotation before the end of the season. He definitely won’t get Nova back this year and Sabathia could soon be in the same boat.

GARDY GETS A BREAK: Derek Jeter, Brian McCann, and Zelous Wheeler all got the day off on the Fourth of July.

It was Brett Gardner’s turn Saturday afternoon.

Girardi was clear that this had nothing to do with injury concerns, just a little break amid the grind of the season. The Yankees have had just one day off since June 16.

“I don’t remember the last time Gardy has had a day off,” Girardi said. “He’s played a bunch of games in a row, he’s had two day games after night games, and he’s about the only guy that hasn’t had a day off.”

Alfonso Soriano will man left field as the Yankees look for another win against the Twins.

PINO, FOR THE STEAL: The Twins have lost three straight games and are 2-8 in their Past 10 games.

Yohan Pino will take the mound Saturday afternoon as Minnesota tries to steal a game from the Yankees.

Pino was called up last month. He has pitched in three games this season and is 0-2 with a 6.32 ERA.

This will be his first start against the Yankees.