BRADENTON, Fla. - His numbers may not have been great, but CC Sabathia said his mechanics were significantly improved from his previous start.
"I felt a lot better," said Sabathia, who allowed three runs and three hits in 41/3 innings in yesterday's 10-5 loss to the Pirates. "I felt more together. Fastball felt more crisp. Cutters were good, down in the dirt. Changeup was a lot better. I'm definitely pleased with the progress I made today. "
Two of the runs charged to Sabathia were scored with Jonathan Albaladejo, who has a 45.00 ERA, on the mound.
Sabathia's 57th and final pitch was lined up the middle by Andy LaRoche, and it skimmed Sabathia's glove hand. Trainer Steve Donohue went out to check on him but the ball hit only his glove.
On Tuesday, Sabathia used words such as "tough" and "terrible" after his second exhibition outing in which he allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings. His major issue was his back side "collapsing," which caused his pitches to flatten.
"Today it came together a little bit," Sabathia said. "I still have some work to do, but I felt a lot better out there from pitch one to the end."
"At some point you usually hear everyone in spring training saying they have a dead arm [or dead legs], but you have to fight through it," Girardi said. "We need him to fight through it and we'll help him fight through it."
Girardi said he talked to all of the contenders for the fifth rotation spot Friday. "We told them, now you have to pick it up a little because now we're getting to the point where your next couple outings are going to be evaluated much more seriously than the first two," he said.
Nick Johnson, who has been working on pulling the ball, took Vinnie Chulk deep to right for his third homer of spring training . . . The Yankees reassigned RHP Zach McAllister to minor-league camp, leaving them with 54 players in major-league camp . . . Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Javier Vazquez had the day off and did not travel or report to the facility. The entire team is off today.