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Saturday notes: Nervous Sabathia finds comfort on the mound

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Feb 16, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

CC Sabathia’s first spring bullpen was more than a mere formality. It was his first time on a mound since offseason elbow surgery, and Sabathia had something to prove to himself.

“I got a little nervous when I first got up there just because it’s the first time doing it,” Sabathia said. “I hadn’t been up there and didn’t know how I was going to feel. I immediately felt good and felt comfortable after the first couple of pitches.”

Today’s 29-pitch session — all fastballs and changeups — wasn’t enough to get Sabathia through the woods completely, but it was a significant step. Asked if he was looking for a specific sign that would tell him his elbow is fine, Sabathia said this was it.

“I think today, getting back up there, actually throwing off a mound and not having any pain feels good,” Sabathia said. “… Playing catch I could feel the difference, but it feels even better on the mound.”

It’s odd to be in Yankees camp with both Sabathia and Mariano Rivera being less than sure things, and those two will still have some lingering uncertainty until they both get into games and leave no more room for doubt.

“I’m pretty confident they’re going to be OK, but I always say, in the back of my head, I want to see them out there before I make that assumption,” Joe Girardi said. “But I feel pretty good about it just because I know where they are in their rehabs. I think they’re pretty far along. They’ve had good winters.”

• Sabathia will not make a start during the first turn through the spring rotation. Girardi said it’s likely Sabathia won’t pitch in a game until March. It’s also very, very likely that Rivera won’t pitch in a game until March. “Very safe to assume that,” Girardi said.

• The first spring game is a week from today, but Girardi said he still doesn’t know who’s going to make that start. “We kind of want to make sure who’s ready,” Girardi said. It’s probably worth noting that both David Phelps and Adam Warren have already faced hitters. My guess is that one of those two will get the first start, but that’s just a guess.

• Sabathia threw 29 pitches today. Rivera said he threw roughly 30, but he wasn’t sure of the exact number.

• Will breaking balls be a bigger test for Sabathia’s elbow? “No, I don’t think so,” Sabathia said. “I’ll start throwing some breaking balls on flat ground coming up and try to throw some in the bullpens the next couple of days.”

• Today’s schedule was kind of odd and I missed most of the bullpens and batting practice sessions because I was either in the clubhouse or waiting for Sabathia to speak. Girardi said that everyone is healthy so far.

• Position playes report to camp tomorrow. Girardi said he’s expecting that everyone who’s supposed to be here will be here.

• Derek Jeter will address the media tomorrow. He’ll do his usual start-of-spring press conference.

Associated Press photos

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24 Responses to “Saturday notes: Nervous Sabathia finds comfort on the mound”

  1. randy l. February 16th, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    “And frankly, I think no matter how the Yankees approach this phase, no one is going to be happy”

    doreen-

    i’d be happy if they did either of two things: spend enough to honor to the yankees i grew up with or pull the plug and boldly start over.

    this mamby pamby wishywashy dumster diving and one year contracts is BS.

    i would watch a bold new start even if the yankees were in last place this year.
    this wishywashy approach has me already getting my baseball fix else where . i’m a baseball fan first and a yankee fan second. if hal wants me he has to do something worthwhile. otherwise i’m watching montero and myers once i’m done watching jeter and mariano.

    i think the yankees will lose at least 10% of their fans if the austerity program continues.

  2. randy l. February 16th, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    for no particular reason, i’m not really worried at all about sabathia. or mariano.
    but i suppose until they show all’s well, it’s necessary to wait and see to make sure.

  3. Doreen February 16th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    randy -

    I responded in the last thread.

    I understand concerns. I just take a wait and see approach. It could turn out well. They are actually forcing themselves not to depend on cash right now. This really could be good, but it could take some time. Or it could fail royally, and then it’ll be back to spending to fix the leaks.

    Historically, haven’t the Yankees always been the big bad guys that let the other teams do the developing? Even before there were minor leagues? Learning a new skill set at least shows some willingness to note the landscape and make adjustments.

    Did they jump into it willy nilly? I don’t think so entirely. I think they were moving slowly in the direction but at the last minute (new CBA) picked up the pace to breakneck speed.

    At the end of the day, I’ll root for the Yankees on the field, no matter who’s wearing the uniform and no matter who is choosing/paying those players.

    Since I do follow the minor leagues a little, there are some players that are gone that I will always keep my eyes on. And I do love going to those Trenton and Lakewood games.

  4. randy l. February 16th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    doreen -

    i’m not trying to be fatalistic here, but i think there is zero chance that hal’s austerity program will work.

    but yes, he will have the financial ability to change course.

    and if he doesn’t, there are lots of other things to do :)

  5. tomingeorgia February 16th, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Eight days from now, there’ll be a game thread!

  6. Chip February 16th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Interesting group of guys who are out of options that could be trade fits for the Yankees, mostly as rh outfield options:

    Justin Maxwell
    Casper Wells
    Jose Tabata

    Would Tabata for Eppley make sense?

  7. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Tom, I can’t wait, I need something to do mon ami :)

  8. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    A lot of people have their sights set upon the Yanks ( as usuall, the reason for it is well founded ) :D

  9. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I think double A learned you can’t go into a season with a half a$$ed rotation.

  10. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    ” Usual ” – my spelling let’s me down every effing time.

  11. Tar February 16th, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    “Would Tabata for Eppley make sense?”

    Could be wrong, but didn’t Tabata fail the Cashman “makeup” protocol? kind of like Melky and probably Montero as well. Not like Cash to change course once that ship has sailed.

  12. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Tar, thanks for the Johnny Depp, Alice link. I have to watch the movie!

  13. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I’m not taking a cruise anytime soon, Tom. Look what happened to that boat, and then, when they got to port, the damn bus broke down!

  14. yankee21 February 16th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    The Yankees brass when talking to the media either explicitly or implicitly communicate Yankee fans do not have the stomach nor the patience with young guys learning the ropes and taking their lumps as part of a rebuilding effort.

    Basically an astute journalist could easily say to the Yankee official that those comments are an insult to knowledgeable fans and also are an insult to a fan base that hear Yankee ownership year in year out say there is no goal except a WS title.

    I believe NYY fans are patient if they know there is a plan and ownership/management sticks to it. I also believe Cashman, Hal and company use this line as cover for the fact that they are the ones who are impatient and they are the ones who are inept.

  15. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Yanks21, I hearya’. Don’t become my Maple Leafs.

  16. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/z.....#038;rel=0

    History lesson

  17. Nilsson February 16th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Tabata signed a 6-year extension in 2011. Besides, I’m not sure why Yanks would want to add more corner outfielders with little pop.

  18. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I always liked Reed Johnson running into walls.

  19. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Dave Stieb, is la man!

  20. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Dave Stieb is la Man over Jack effing Morris.

  21. jmills February 16th, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Ok, I have a soft f…… Spot for Stieb!

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