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CC Sabathia sees big upside if Yankees can stay healthy

CC Sabathia walks the runway at the Inaugural

CC Sabathia walks the runway at the Inaugural Blue Jacket Fashion Show to benefit Prostate Cancer Foundation at Pier 59 Studios on Feb. 1, 2017 in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images / Rob Kim

The next model stood at 6-7 and took his turn walking the runway. It was CC Sabathia, wearing a big smile and a hooded blue jacket designed by John Varvatos.

The Yankees lefthander was participating in the inaugural Blue Jacket Fashion Show at Pier59 Studios in Manhattan Wednesday night. The custom-designed jackets worn by 14 male models from the sports, entertainment, media, health and fashion worlds were destined for auction to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

“I wanted to be a part of it,” Sabathia said.

In about two weeks, he will be modeling baseball clothes again at spring training. Sabathia sees the Yankees getting younger, yet still capable of exceeding expectations and contending for the playoffs.

“I think we have a tremendous amount of talent in the room,” Sabathia said. “We are very young, but I think we have a chance to be able to open up some eyes and kind of surprise some people, I guess.”

Sabathia underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Oct. 11, but he feels ready for Tampa.

“I won’t throw a bullpen before I get down there, but I’ll be ready to go right when we get down there,” Sabathia said. “ . . . I feel great right now. My arm feels good. So I’m excited.”

After posting a 2.37 ERA over his final eight starts and his lowest overall ERA since 2012 at 3.91, Sabathia is entering the final year of his contract. The 36-year-old six-time All-Star said he wants to pitch beyond this season.

“I pitched healthy last year and I had good results,” Sabathia said. “So if I can stay healthy again this year, I’ll look to have a good year and see what happens after that.”

The way Sabathia views it, the same goes for a rotation dotted with question marks.

“If we can stay healthy,” Sabathia said, “we’ve got the arms and the talent in there to be a really good staff.”

There are two open spots. Luis Severino will be in the running. The righthander went 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA in 11 starts, but he’ll turn all of 23 on Feb. 20. Sabathia is high on his upside.

“I think he’ll bounce back,” Sabathia said. “ . . . He’s working really hard. He had a tough year last year. But that kid has so much talent and so much confidence that I think he’ll come back and be fine.”

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