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Sabathia feels good throwing off mound first time since surgery

Associated Press CC Sabathia wasn’t surprised his first pitch was well inside off the plate in Tampa, Fla. The important thing was the New York Yankees’ ace felt good. Sabathia threw off a mound on Saturday for the first time since arthroscopic surgery Oct. 25 to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. The left-hander made 29 pitches during Saturday’s session, which was watched by several team officials including pitching coach Larry Rothschild and spring training instructor Billy Connors. “No problems,” Sabathia said. “Probably didn’t throw a strike, but that’s normal for my first bullpen. I got a little nervous when I first got up there. Hadn’t been up there. Didn’t know how I was going to feel, but I immediately felt good and I felt comfortable.” Sabathia was part of a scheduled bullpen group that included two of the pitching staff’s elder statesmen: 43-year-old Mariano Rivera and 40-year-old Andy Pettitte. As Sabathia and Pettitte walked toward the main field to loosen up, Rivera already had started his bullpen workout. “Why is Mo already throwing?” Sabathia said with a smile. By the end of his mound session, Sabathia’s control improved and the sound of his fastball popping in the catcher’s mitt got louder. Sabathia had two trips to the disabled list last year. A strained left groin kept him out from June 24 to July 17 and an inflamed left elbow sidelined him from Aug. 8-24. The 32-year-old left-hander was 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA, his fewest regular-season wins since 2006, and 2-1 in three playoff starts.


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