NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia has yet to see Dr. James Andrews, a renowned orthopedist who specializes in arm injuries, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi does not expect the evaluation to uncover any elbow issues that will cause Sabathia to miss Spring Training or next season.
The visit is more precautionary, according to Girardi, who pointed to the left-hander's success at the end of the season as a reason to believe there are no major problems stemming from elbow inflammation that landed Sabathia on the disabled list in August. An MRI taken after New York's American League Championship Series loss to the Tigers reportedly showed a bone spur in Sabathia's left elbow, but the club believes he pitched through it since 2008.
"You're always concerned that maybe it's more than you think it is," Girardi said. "I think that's always your biggest concern. But you think about both the games he pitched against Baltimore were pretty good. The start before that was pretty good. September was pretty good. That makes me feel like it's something that we're going to get through and we're going to have him in Spring Training."
The Tigers knocked Sabathia around for six runs -- five earned -- over 3 2/3 innings in Game 4 of the ALCS, but he was strong before that, pitching at least eight innings in his five prior starts, including two AL Division Series wins against the Orioles.
Sabathia also spent time on the disabled list with a groin strain, contributing to his lowest innings total since 2006, when he was with the Indians.
Visits to Dr. Andrews often spell bad news -- he counts Joba Chamberlain among his clients for Tommy John surgery -- but Girardi is confident that Sabathia's ability to pitch successfully after his DL stint means there is little cause for concern.
"[Sabathia] pitched very well for us down the stretch, which made me feel pretty good about what's going on," Girardi said, "but you know at times, people have to be evaluated to be sure everything's OK."