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In terms of health, so far, so good for most of Yankees' rotation

New York Yankees' Michael Pineda throws from the

New York Yankees' Michael Pineda throws from the mound during spring training at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. on March 1, 2015. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

TAMPA, Fla. - Most of the 47 Yankees still in major-league spring training were scheduled to board a bus early Sunday morning and travel about 160 miles across Florida to play an exhibition game against the Mets in Port St. Lucie.

Unlike their seemingly snake-bit neighbors from Queens, the Yankees have had a relatively pleasant spring training.

While the Mets have lost Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin to Tommy John surgery, the Yankees are assured only of not having No. 5 starter Chris Capuano and his injured hamstring ready by Opening Day.

Both teams hope an injured position player will be ready for the season. But the Mets' Daniel Murphy (hamstring) seems to be a better bet to begin on the disabled list than the Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury (oblique).

Even Alex Rodriguez's headline-grabbing return to the fold has not made the atmosphere at Steinbrenner Field any less mellow.

The Yankees' biggest questions marks -- the health of key starting pitchers CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda -- have been answered as positively as could have been hoped.

So far, anyway.

Sabathia will pitch against the Mets and Matt Harvey on Sunday at Tradition Field. The lefthander chose to drive himself to Port St. Lucie Saturday night rather than take the bus Sunday morning.

He could have avoided the whole thing and stayed behind to get his work done in a minor-league game in Tampa. But Sabathia, who hasn't pitched in a regular-season game since last May because of knee surgery, preferred to face major-leaguers in his second spring training start.

"We talked about just wanting the competition,'' he said. "I haven't pitched since May, so just thought this would be the best option.''

If Sabathia is healthy enough to start the season, he probably will slot somewhere behind Opening Day favorite Tanaka, who has passed every test in his quest to pitch with a small tear in the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Tanaka will pitch Wednesday against the Mets in Tampa. That puts him in line to start the season opener on April 6.

And Pineda seems to have put his shoulder problems to rest as he attempts to pitch his first full season since he was an All-Star as a rookie in 2011 with Seattle.

On Saturday, Pineda gave up his first two runs of spring training in the Yankees' 3-2 victory over the Astros. Chris Carter hit a two-run homer in the first off Pineda, who threw five shutout innings in his two previous outings.

Pineda allowed four hits, walked none and struck out six in 32/3 innings. He threw 56 mostly crisp pitches.

"I feel very strong,'' he said. "I like it.''

Yankees starters have a 2.92 ERA in 20 spring training games with five walks and 45 strikeouts in 521/3 innings.

"I think a lot of the concerns were health,'' Sabathia said. "That was our big concern, and everybody's been healthy throwing and hitting and doing everything pretty good. It's going to be exciting.''

So is Harvey against the Yankees, even if it is only spring training. So Sabathia must be curious to see how the Mets' ace looks in his return from Tommy John surgery, right?

"Not really,'' Sabathia said. "He's not on my team. I'm curious to see how Tanaka looks. That's my guy.''

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