Sabathia finds good news in rough outing: His knee is OK
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) CC Sabathia found a big positive during a rocky spring training outing – no issues with his troublesome right knee.
The New York Yankees left-hander lasted just two-thirds of an inning Sunday, allowing six runs and six hits in a 10-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
”The body feels good,” Sabathia said. ”I was letting some (pitches) go, and I had no problems. As far as the knee, you want to get that out of the way. Make sure you can push off as hard as you can, land and be good. I wanted to accomplish that in the game and I did.”
Sabathia was making his second exhibition start since arthroscopic surgery last October on his knee. His ailing knee caused him to go on the disabled list in 2014 and 2015.
On Sunday, he was pulled after 10 batters and 33 pitches.
”I’ve got to do a better job of not letting it unravel,” Sabathia said. ”I didn’t make pitches.”
The 36-year-old Sabathia is in the last year of his contract and hasn’t had a winning season since 2013. He made 30 starts in 2016, going 9-12 with a 3.91 ERA. He is 223-141 overall in his 16-year career.
Sabathia has been making the transition from power pitcher to finesse pitcher. To that end, he has worked with former Yankees star Andy Pettitte, a left-hander known for a cutter that helped propel him to 256 victories, including 219 with New York.
”I thought my cutter was pretty good,” Sabathia said. ”The action was pretty good.”
Pettitte was at Yankees’ camp last week as a guest spring training instructor.
”He’s been working hard and we’ve been talking about it really since I retired,” Pettitte said. ”I think last year, he started seeing a lot of success and started to make that adjustment into the kind of pitcher that he’s going to need to be moving forward. When you have the stuff that he had and was a power pitcher like he was, throwing in the mid to upper 90’s, it was a big adjustment for him to almost learn how to pitch again.”
Sabathia and Pettitte talk throughout the year.
”Obviously, my style of pitching now is close to what his was at the end of his career so we have a lot to talk about,” Sabathia said. ”I can call him any time of the night, and he’ll answer and talk me through my problems, so it’s a lot a fun to be able to have that relationship.”
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman had his fourth hitless inning, walking one, getting a double-play grounder and inducing a fly in the third. The hard-throwing left-hander threw eight of 12 pitches for strikes.
”A located fastball is the best pitch on the planet,” Yankees spring training instructor and Hall of Fame closer Rich Gossage said. ”If you can command and throw hard, man, I think it’s one of most exciting things in the game, power against power.”