TAMPA, Fla. — CC Sabathia is feeling stronger after losing 25 pounds during the offseason.
The New York Yankees ace reported to spring training at 290 pounds after surgery in October to repair a minor tear in his right knee.
“My stamina, especially coming out of the bullpen and going straight to the mound, I feel good,” Sabathia said. “I just don’t get tired. Early in spring training years past, I would get a little gassed in my bullpens getting later into the ‘pen.”
After warming up on a bullpen mound, Sabathia threw 25 pitches during his first batting practice session Thursday.
“My bullpens are better,” Sabathia said. “Thirty, 40 pitches in and I feel pretty good, and I was able to keep my mechanics together and work on stuff I needed to work on. My pitches weren’t doing anything different. It’s all the same. My stamina is a little better.”
Sabathia, who went 21-7 with a 3.18 ERA in 34 starts last year, has had no problems with his knee since throwing off a mound at spring training last week.
“After the first bullpen, I didn’t feel anything,” Sabathia said. “All that went out the window. It’s fine.”
Sabathia would like to pitch another eight-to-10 years.
“It was the knee and just me getting older, not feeling the same I did when I was 25,” the 30-year-old said. “Combination of both of those things and trying to pitch as long as I can in my career and not have that affect me is the reason why I tried to lose the weight.”
Sabathia doesn’t plan on losing additional weight.
“I’m good right now,” he said. “We’ll see how the season goes. I’ll try and maintain this and see how it goes.”
Sabathia is scheduled to make his first spring training start on Monday against Detroit.
NOTES: Spring training instructor Yogi Berra watched Sabathia throw from behind a screen in the area back of the mound. … Closer Mariano Rivera said he felt fine, one day after his first bullpen session. He has taken a slower approach at spring training the past few years. … C Russell Martin (right knee) caught Sabathia and did simulated blocking of pitches in the dirt for the first time. He is expected to miss the first three or four spring training games. … DH Jorge Posada (left knee), who might see limited time catching this season, caught his first bullpen sessions. … Rivera’s son, Mariano Jr., pitched for Mariano’s All-Stars against Hank’s Yanks — a team sponsored by New York co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner — after the Yankees workout. The teams consist of youth players in the New York area from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.