Sabathia made it clear a World Series title helped him through stints on the IL.
“It’s the only thing,” Sabathia told the New York Post. “I think if this team wasn’t in a position to win a championship, I probably would have had the surgery a long time ago.”
Sabathia, 39, has made four total trips to the IL this season, which he has said will be his last. The three most recent — May 23-June 2, July 28-Aug. 18 and Aug. 31 to his expected return Wednesday — have been caused by his right knee. He had fluid drained from the knee and a cortisone shot at the end of August.
Despite all of the speed bumps, Sabathia said the 2019 season has gone “way better than I thought.”
“I didn’t think I was gonna get to this point, not with this knee,” said Sabathia, who plans to have the knee replaced after his career is over. “I think we knew coming into this season it was gonna be a battle. To still be able to have a chance to make starts is all I wanted.”
Sabathia is expected to be activated in time to start Wednesday at the Detroit Tigers.
He is 5-8 with a 4.93 ERA in 20 starts this season and has struggled recently. Over his last five starts, Sabathia is 0-4 with an ERA of 8.84, lasting no more than 4 1/3 innings in any start.
He said he wouldn’t mind being moved to the bullpen during the postseason if necessary, as long as he has a role.
The Yankees entered Tuesday at 95-50, tied with the Houston Astros for the best record in baseball.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)