TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia has done his share of making professional hitters feel uncomfortable over the years. But on Saturday morning, it was the Yankees' ace whose nerves seemed a bit jangled.
Sabathia admitted to some jitters as he climbed the bullpen mound for a 29-pitch session, the left-hander's first time back on the hill since having arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow in October.
"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."
Sabathia joked that he "probably didn't throw a strike" in the session, which included several bounced fastballs and changeups, but said that lack of command is normal for this point in the spring.
"[It takes a] couple of bullpens, two or three, before I'm starting to feel a lot better with the delivery and making sure I'm doing everything to keep the ball down," Sabathia said.
Sabathia's next bullpen session is scheduled for Tuesday, and he said that he will begin throwing breaking balls on flat ground before sprinkling them in off the mound.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Sabathia is not expected to appear in a Grapefruit League game until the first week of March.
"To me, the big thing is that he feels good [on Sunday]," Girardi said. "CC takes his bullpens always a little bit slow. He's in no hurry."