CC Sabathia’s postseason — and his storied baseball career — is over.
The Yankees took the veteran left-hander off their ALCS roster Friday morning after Sabathia was removed from Thursday night’s Game 4 loss to the Astros. He was diagnosed with a subluxation of the left shoulder.
The roster move means that if the Yankees were to win the next three games and advance to the World Series, Sabathia would not be eligible for the roster. He announced before this season that this year would be his last.
To take Sabathia’s spot, the Yankees activated right-handed pitcher Ben Heller, who was among the players staying ready at the team’s complex in Tampa. Heller had a 1.23 ERA in six September relief appearances.
An emotional Sabathia left the mound in the top of the eighth inning after suffering the injury and throwing one warmup pitch. The Yankee Stadium crowd gave Sabathia a standing ovation as he left the field.
“It’s heartbreaking to watch him leave the field like that,” Zack Britton said. “I know how much pain he was in. Even coming in, talking to him just a second ago, he was in a lot of pain. That sucks.”
After battling right knee problems through much of the latter part of his career, Sabathia began experiencing left shoulder discomfort shortly after he moved to the bullpen in late September.