OAKLAND -- After a late evening cheering his Yankees teammates from the bench at the Oakland Coliseum, Carsten Sabathia and his wife, Amber, plan to make the hour-long trek to their alma mater on Thursday morning, giving back to the students at Vallejo High School.
"It always feels good to come home to Vallejo, but for Amber and I to give back to the high school that gave us so much is really special," Sabathia said.
It is the type of activity that comes as second nature for the 18-year veteran, which is why he is being recognized as the Yankees' nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award -- an honor given to a player who exhibits "extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field."
Since establishing his PitCCh In Foundation in 2009, the Sabathias have hosted a number of events and made sizable donations on an annual basis. Thursday's pep rally will include a DJ and free backpacks filled with school supplies for approximately 1,700 students.
"CC and Amber Sabathia, along with the PitCCh In Foundation, have demonstrated their commitment to Vallejo High School ensuring that all students have the supplies they need to be successful," said Dr. Shiela Quintana, the principal of Vallejo High. "This day will be a day the students will never forget."
The Clemente Award is selected by a blue-ribbon panel and will be announced during the World Series. Three Yankees have been honored as the league-wide winner: Ron Guidry (1984), Don Baylor (1985) and Derek Jeter (2009); Andrew McCutchen is the only current Yankee to have received the award, in 2015 with the Pirates.
Masahiro Tanaka had some company for his bullpen session down the right-field line on Tuesday, as Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius grabbed bats and stood in to track pitches from the right-hander. Gregorius and Judge also ran the bases and worked in the field, on what manager Aaron Boone said was a "good day" for the rehabbing Yankees.
"In batting practice, you can't totally replicate Major League stuff or velocity or spin, different kinds of pitches," Boone said. "To stand in and see a pitcher and work on your load and getting ready to hit, there's the benefit of seeing an actual pitcher making pitches, and at least seeing it -- training your eyes and getting used to that timing and rhythm as best you can."
Gregorius took batting practice on the field and is expected to have a similar workload on Wednesday. If all goes well, Boone said Gregorius could be activated during the Yankees' weekend series in Seattle. Boone added that Judge felt good enough to replicate Monday's workload, when he took 25 dry swings and hit 25 balls off a tee.
"I heard he was able to really pop it again today, which is an encouraging sign that he was able to do it back-to-back days," Boone said. "Another good step forward for Judge."
Boone said left-hander Albertin Chapman -- who is not traveling with the club -- has resumed throwing on flat ground and is walking "at a good pace" on a treadmill.
This left feels right
McCutchen was tracking fly balls in left field on Tuesday afternoon, and Boone said he is entertaining playing the veteran there in place of Brett Gardner when the Yankees open their three-game series in Seattle. Left-hander James Paxton is expected to start Friday's series opener at Safeco Field.
"If I want to give Gardy a day off against a lefty, to have that option, I'd like to at least have it," Boone said. "You'll probably see [McCutchen] at least get some work over there the next couple of days, just trying to get him a little more comfortable with those angles over there to make it at least an option. Whether we go through with it, we'll see."
McCutchen has not played left field in his big league career, and has only appeared in right field this season. Boone said that his decision will also depend on the health of Giancarlo Stanton, who has played 31 games in left field this season but none since July 25, in part because of a tight left hamstring.
"Obviously he can play left, but he's been limited with the work he's been able to do because of his legs and stuff," Boone said.
This date in Yankees history
Sept. 4, 1993: Jim Abbott becomes the third Yankees left-hander to throw a no-hitter, defeating the Indians 4-0. It was the fourth no-hitter in Yankee Stadium history and the seventh by a Yankee overall.