Yankees LHP CC Sabathia said he felt good after throwing two innings against Phillies minor leaguers, the first time he has faced opposing batters for the first time this spring as he looks to return to the mound from a heart procedure he underwent this past offseason.
"It felt good. No problems," Sabathia said, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "I felt like I was letting the ball come out of my hand pretty good. All positive. You've got to throw the results out and go on how you feel. I feel great, so I'm just ready for the next step."
Sabathia threw 26 pitches in two innings against the Detroit Tigers' Triple-A team on Thursday at the Yankees' minor-league complex, striking out three batters and allowing one run and two hits.
"I'm two innings in," Sabathia said. "Just keep going. The slider was a lot better than it has been all spring, that's encouraging. The changeup was good, the two-seamer was good. It's just finding the lane on the cutter. After the homer, the cutter got better."
Sabathia won't start the season with the Yankees. It is likely he will serve his five-game suspension, stemming from a retaliatory HBP against the Tampa Bay Rays last season, on Opening Day, then will be placed on the injured list.
But his next outing will come Tuesday when he takes on the Phillies. The Yankees have been cautious when handling Sabathia's rehab, given he underwent an angioplasty in December and an arthroscopic right knee cleanup in October.
The 38-year-old Sabathia, who said 2019 will be his final season in the majors, went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts last season. He is four wins shy of 250 and 14 strikeouts away from No. 3,000.