A lighter CC Sabathia threw his first live batting practice of the spring this morning in front of an audience that included manager Joe Girardi, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, and the left-hander was pleased with the results.
“In years past I would get a little gassed in my bullpens once I got 30 to 40 pitches in, but I felt pretty good,” Sabathia said. “I was able to keep my mechanics together and work on stuff that I need to work on.”
Reporting to camp at 290 pounds – 25 pounds less than last year, thanks to an improved diet that included laying off entire boxes of Cap’n Crunch cereal – Sabathia said that the weight loss should help him keep stress off his surgically repaired right knee.
“Just after the first bullpen, I didn’t feel anything. I was fine,” Sabathia said. “It shouldn’t take me as long to get ready because my bullpens are a lot better, because I can stay tall and keep on throwing the ball downhill nice and tight.”
Sabathia said his workout program over the winter included cardio sessions twice daily, with exercises on a fan bicycle to get his heart rate up, and also running outdoors or on a treadmill.
“It was the knee and just me getting older, not feeling the same way as I did when I was 25,” Sabathia said. “The combination of both of those things and trying to pitch as long as I can and not have that affect me was the reason why I tried to lose the weight.”
Sabathia said that he’ll try to maintain his weight around 290 pounds, but it fluctuates depending on which cities the Yankees go to. He said his danger weight gain cities will be Kansas City, Chicago and Boston, so keep an eye out.