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CC prefers to avoid facing AL East foes in spring

TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia feels like his stuff is ready to pitch in a game situation, but that doesn't mean the Yankees' ace wants to show it off to an American League East rival.

Sabathia threw 33 pitches in two simulated innings on Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. His next outing is also expected to come in simulated form on Sunday, since the Yankees are playing the Blue Jays that day.

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"I will try to face these guys as [few] times as possible," Sabathia said. "If I don't have to face them in a Spring Training game my first start, I would much rather try to wait until the season. I'll wait."

That suggests Sabathia, who is coming off October surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow, will not pitch in his first Grapefruit League game until March 15 against the Marlins.

"I think the pitcher always has an advantage if the team hasn't seen him yet," Sabathia said.

Sabathia threw 15 pitches in the first inning on Tuesday and 18 pitches in the second, facing the equivalent of 10 hitters. Sabathia said he feels that his fastball location is improving.

"Now, it's just worrying about pitches and making sure the actions are right and velocity's getting there," Sabathia said. "I worry about normal pitching stuff, now. It feels good."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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