If CC Sabathia spends a significant amount of time on the disabled list, New York Yankees prospect Chance Adams may finally get his shot.
When CC Sabathia was officially diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain on Wednesday, the New York Yankees were dealt a significant blow to their starting rotation.
Is the burly southpaw the Cy Young candidate that he was when he signed with the organization in 2009? Far from it. But Sabathia reworked his mechanics and revitalized his career in the process.
Before going down with the injury, Sabathia was one of four Yankees’ starters to have an ERA below 3.70, a number that leads Major League Baseball. In 13 starts this season, he’s leading the team with seven wins, accompanied by an ERA of 3.46, a batting average against of .244, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 62:24 in 75.1 innings.
Despite the diagnosis, there isn’t yet a timeframe for when Sabathia will return to pinstripes.
The general consensus is a short stint on the DL, which is why the Yankees will bring Domingo German back to the Bronx, according to sources. The 24-year-old — who has a combined 3.34 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A this season — impressed the coaching staff in his brief 2.2 innings of relief on Sunday. The organization is currently undecided if German or Chad Green will start in Sabathia’s place.
But if Sabathia is on the shelf for a long period of time, it may lead to a promotion all fans have been looking to.
The Yankees could bring up Chance Adams.
Adams, of course, has been the latest Baby Bomber to receive the adoration of Yankees’ fans. Once upon a time, he wasn’t on the radar — but after a standout 2016 season, the right-hander became the seventh-best prospect in a star-studded farm system, picking up where he left off in the process.
Starting the season with the Trenton Thunder, Adams steamrolled over Double-A competition. In six starts, he surrendered just four runs and 23 hits in 35 innings pitched as batters had an average of just .183 against him.
The next logical step was a promotion to Triple-A. He hasn’t been as dominant across the board with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders but has continued to impress. He’s allowed fewer hits (18) and walks (12) in more innings (35.2) but has been prone to allowing more runners to cross the plate. But despite his ERA jumping from 2.52 compared to 1.03 with the Thunder, his adjustments against superior competition has paid off.
He may have gaudy numbers but Adams does need more seasoning. One major league scout said, “He’s super aggressive with no fear but fastball lacks angle which hurts. He may be better suited as a high-powered reliever instead of a starter but the Yankees will give him every chance to get into the rotation.”
In the short term, German and Green will do their best to fill in for Sabathia. But if the hamstring strain persists, the Yankees may have to go with a more permanent option as the veteran’s replacement.
It may be time. The organization may have to finally give Adams his chance.