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Sabathia getting on the mound this morning

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Baseball puts a very real emphasis on stats, and surely CC Sabathia realizes he’s nine away from 200 career wins. Is that number in his mind as he enters this season?

“No, just 30 starts,” Sabathia said. “Just trying to make all my starts and make sure I stay healthy. After having the season I had last year, being on the DL a couple times, getting a little older, I just want to concentrate on staying health. Any kind of numbers I feel will be there if I’m healthy, so that’s the only thing I’m worried about.”

Sabathia is scheduled to throw his first bullpen this morning. Most likely, it won’t mean much — hard to put much meaning into a guy’s first bullpen of the spring — but there will be considerable attention because Sabathia just might be the least replaceable part of the Yankees roster. A healthy elbow and a dependable season are essential, and they can’t be taken for granted with Sabathia coming off of elbow surgery.

“I haven’t thrown any breaking balls or anything like that, but just letting the ball go feels good,” Sabathia said. “I’ll go fastball-changeup in that first bullpen. … Hopefully all that (discomfort) is gone and I can go out and have a healthy year.”

Associated Press photo