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Sabathia throws off a mound in Tampa

02/16/2013 1:17 PM ET
By Jon Lane

CC Sabathia threw fastballs and changeups during his first mound session of Spring Training.(AP)
New York Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia threw 29 pitches on Saturday in Tampa, Fla., during his first mound session since having arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow last October. Sabathia threw fastballs and changeups, and told reporters his elbow feels fine while joking he "probably didn't throw a strike."

“I got a little nervous when I first got up there just because it’s the first time doing it,” Sabathia said. “I hadn’t been up there and didn’t know how I was going to feel. I immediately felt good and felt comfortable after the first couple of pitches.”

“I think today, getting back up there, actually throwing off a mound and not having any pain feels good. "Playing catch I could feel the difference, but it feels even better on the mound.”

Sabathia probably won't pitch during the first turn through the Yankees' Spring Training rotation. Last season he twice spent time on the disabled list, first with a strained left groin that kept him out nearly a month and then an inflamed elbow that sidelined him from August 8-24. He managed to go 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA and 2-1 in three playoff starts, including a complete-game victory over the Baltimore Orioles (9 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 9 K) in Game 5 of the American League Division Series.

Until last year's 28-start campaign, Sabathia made at least 30 starts for the Yankees every season since 2009. His goal is to get back to 30.

"Just trying to make all my starts and make sure I stay healthy," Sabathia said. "After having the season I had last year, being on the DL a couple times, getting a little older, I just want to concentrate on staying healthy. Any kind of numbers I feel will be there if I'm healthy, so that's the only thing I'm worried about."

NOTES: Closer Mariano Rivera also threw his second bullpen session of Spring Training. He remains on track for Opening Day. "There's no peace of mind where I say, 'Ok, I feel good now,'" Rivera said. "No. I knew the job that I put in during the whole year, it's been a hard job, and I always tell you guys that I trust myself. I trust God first, then I trust myself. I'm capable to do this. I was expecting this. It feels good. Everything feels good." … Francisco Cervelli confirmed he will not play in the World Baseball Classic in order to stay with the team and attempt to win the starting catcher's job.

Follow Jon Lane on Twitter: @JonLaneNYC

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