TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia kept hearing the speculation, both inside his clubhouse and out of it, that a change in the left-hander's mechanics may have been to blame for some of his troubles last season.
So Sabathia decided to go into the laboratory, so to speak. This offseason, Sabathia paid a visit to the Andrews Institute in Birmingham, Ala., strapping on electronic sensors and submitting his pitching motion for biometric analysis.
As Sabathia was pleased to learn, his delivery looked almost the same as a data set that was taken while he was with the Indians in 2003, except for a minor change in the rotation of his hips.
"It was brought up, and I thought it was a great idea, because I knew they had the data," Sabathia said. "I think they talked a lot about my arm angle and stuff like that, but it's been the same."
That discovery was encouraging for Sabathia, who threw his first live batting-practice session of the spring on Friday. Sabathia explained that his 2012 mechanics were off because he needed surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow.
"I had the bad elbow, so I was throwing a lot different," Sabathia said. "Last year, I think a lot of people brought it up because I looked different last year than I did in 2012. But where I was at last year is where I should be."
Sabathia said that in facing hitters on Friday, his control was a touch off, but he feels a difference compared to last season. He won't know about velocity until games begin, but if Sabathia's fastball sits where it was last year, he still expects to win games.
"I feel good. I feel strong," Sabathia said. "I don't feel any fatigue or anything like that. I'm excited. I didn't throw a lot of strikes today, but the fact that I was able to keep throwing at 100 percent makes me feel good."
Manager Joe Girardi said that Sabathia is "ahead of where he was last spring, definitely." Sabathia said that he has been long-tossing all winter and was able to throw all offseason, which has helped his endurance.
"I'm ahead of where I was last spring, maybe even the spring before, just from all the work I've been doing," Sabathia said. "I'm encouraged by the way I feel. My arm angle seems to be good, getting the ball out. My arm just needs to catch up with the rest of my body."