Sabathia threw 50 pitches yesterday morning during a four-inning simulated game. He told reporters that he "felt good" and experienced "no problems." The left-hander also "felt strong" and believes he's "ready to go" for his Grapefruit League debut. He's expected to throw roughly 65 pitches during that first outing.
Over the offseason, Sabathia underwent surgery to remove a bone spur in his throwing elbow. He hasn't seen a doctor since reporting to spring training, according to Berry, and the elbow hasn't bothered him at all through his last two throwing sessions.
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At this point, Sabathia's goal is to "just keep getting stronger" and improving his velocity each time he pitches. He expects to "have something to work with instead of 88" mph this season, referring to his fastball.
Sabathia started 28 games for the Yankees last season, posting an ERA of 3.38 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.48 over exactly 200 innings. The 32-year-old owns a career ERA of 3.50 over 12 seasons in the majors.
The Yankees figure to count on the veteran and the rest of their starting staff even more to start the season considering the injuries they're facing on offense, including Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez.