Ailing shoulder knocks Yankees lefty Sabathia out of ALDS

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              New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia talks to reporters at Yankee Stadium, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in New York. The Yankees will host the Minnesota Twins in the first game of an American League Division Series on Friday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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NEW YORK (AP) — CC Sabathia will be watching the AL Division Series from the dugout, unable to contribute from the New York Yankees bullpen because of a sore left shoulder.

“I didn’t want to put the team in jeopardy,” the 39-year-old left-hander said Thursday, a day before the opener against the Minnesota Twins. “I didn’t want to be selfish and go out there hurt and put the team in a bad spot.”

In his 19th and final major league season, the six-time All-Star made his first regular-season relief appearance on Sept. 24 at Tampa Bay, striking out two in a perfect fourth inning. While he has been on the injured list four times this season because of his chronically painful right knee, he had never publicly discussed his shoulder ailment.

“It’s been something that we’ve been trying to deal with the past couple months. Thought that we had a pretty good handle on it,” Sabathia said. “I threw in that game in Tampa, and it felt pretty good, but I woke up a couple days later, and it was pretty sore.”

Sabathia hopes to be able to pitch in the AL Championship Series if the Yankees advance.

“He ended up getting a cortisone shot, was able to go out and throw in a sim game Tuesday and, frankly, threw the ball pretty well,” manager Aaron Boone said, “but just not quite where it needs to be, to be in the kind of role we’re going to ask him to be in where he’s potentially getting up on the spot and then maybe having to get up later in the game.”

Sabathia was 5-8 with a 4.95 ERA, leaving his career record at 251-161 with 3,093 strikeouts.

“I do feel like the longer we go, it’s a better chance that I can get back out there,” he said.