Indians ace's 100th start will have to wait

Updated: April 27, 2004, 3:57 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Indians ace C.C. Sabathia was removed from the lineup before his scheduled start Thursday against Kansas City because of a sore left shoulder.

The team announced the decision about five minutes before what was to have been the 100th start of Sabathia's career.

C.C. Sabathia
Starting Pitcher
Cleveland Indians
3 1 0 0 18 1.71

He complained of soreness in his shoulder and was taken for a precautionary MRI exam, the team said.

Trainer Lonnie Soloff said the MRI revealed that Sabathia had irritated the biceps muscle while throwing. Sabathia will be re-examined on Friday in Detroit.

Soloff said the team was optimistic Sabathia will be pitching again soon.

"We're very encouraged by it," Soloff said.

The Indians are off next Monday and Thursday, which will give Sabathia more time to heal.

Sabathia warmed up in the center-field bullpen, and didn't appear hurt when he walked to the dugout about 15 minutes before he was supposed to throw his first pitch.

The 6-foot-7 left-hander entered the game 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA in three starts. He had no-decisions in his first two starts when Cleveland's relievers blew leads.

Sabathia's start had been pushed back one day when Wednesday night's game was postponed by rain.

Jeff D'Amico, who had been scheduled to pitch Sunday in Detroit, started in place of Sabathia. The umpires pushed back Thursday's afternoon start seven minutes so D'Amico could loosen up.

When he makes his next start, the 23-year-old Sabathia will become only the second pitcher in club history to start 100 games before his 24th birthday. Hall of Famer Bob Feller made 175 starts before he was 24.

Sabathia went 13-9 last season with a 3.60 ERA in 30 starts. He has a 43-25 record in his first three seasons.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press