CC Sabathia To Make Spring Debut On Tuesday

Before Friday night’s game between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters he expects left-handed pitcher CC Sabathia to start his first game of the spring next Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Sabathia, who only made eight starts last season, has been recovering from right knee surgery. The 34-year-old felt no discomfort on Thursday when he mixed some sliders and change-ups into a 29-pitch session against Minor League players in the Yankees organization.

“He’s on schedule,” Girardi said.

Girardi said he hopes Sabathia can start 30 games this season, also adding, that Thursday was one of the biggest days of camp so far with Sabathia and right-handed pitcher Masahiro Tanaka each throwing. Girardi called the day a success.

Since 2009, Sabathia’s fastball has lost velocity each year. Last year, his fastball dropped to a career low 88.8 mph. The former ace is due to make $48 million over the next two years.

Sabathia posted a 5.28 ERA with 48 strikeouts in 46 innings en route to a 3-4 record last season. Prior to last season, Sabathia hurled at least 200 innings a season for seven consecutive seasons. He led all of baseball in games started (34) and innings pitched (241) in 2007.

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