Lefty's precautionary consult expected to take place no sooner than Thursday
NEW YORK -- Already on the 15-day disabled list with right knee inflammation, CC Sabathia has requested to see Dr. James Andrews for a precautionary visit and an additional opinion, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said on Monday.
Sabathia was sent for an MRI exam following his start against the Brewers on Saturday. The exam did not reveal any structural damage, showing only a buildup of fluids in the knee, and Sabathia was scheduled to be seen by team physician Christopher Ahmad in New York on Monday.
"He's going to want to have Andrews look at him, regardless," Cashman said.
Cashman said that in the process of setting up his appointment with Ahmad, Sabathia also asked head athletic trainer Steve Donohue to schedule an evaluation with Andrews. The earliest that visit could take place is Thursday, according to Cashman.
A noted orthopedist, Andrews is more commonly known for handling issues relating to pitchers' arms, but Cashman said that Sabathia's visit with Andrews would strictly be about the knee.
"My first reaction was, Andrews is more of a shoulder and elbow guy," Cashman said. "Stevie said, 'No, he does knee stuff, too,' and I know [Sabathia] has a long history with Dr. Andrews."
Sabathia, who is 3-4 with a 5.28 ERA in eight starts this season, said that he first felt the discomfort during a May 4 start against the Rays. Sabathia is scheduled to have the knee drained and has said that he hopes to rejoin the rotation in two weeks.
The Yankees were encouraged by the fact that Sunday's MRI results showed no structural damage to the knee. Sabathia had surgery on the same knee to repair a torn meniscus after the 2010 season.
"The best-case scenario is, CC gets the knee drained, rests for five days and gets a couple of bullpens under his belt and he takes the start after he comes off the DL," Cashman said. "That's the best-case scenario. I'm not saying that's the scenario we're dealing with yet, but that's the best."
Losing Sabathia marks yet another body blow for the Yankees, who have lost Ivan Nova for the year to Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and Michael Pineda until at least June with a Grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle behind his right shoulder.
David Phelps and Vidal Nuno have already been promoted from the bullpen to the rotation, with long reliever Alfredo Aceves perhaps to follow.
Cashman also said that right-hander Chase Whitley, who was scratched from a scheduled start on Sunday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, could be used to take Sabathia's place in the rotation for Thursday's Subway Series finale against the Mets.
"It's not optimal," Cashman said. "We've done it with Nuno and Warren so far; we'll have to do it with somebody else. We have no choice. There's a lot of guys that want the ball, and they want the opportunity.
"They're going to get it. They'll earn their stripes that way, hopefully, and hopefully over time everything self-corrects with recovery and we can start plugging the guys in that we expect to be there."