CC Sabathia made his spring debut yesterday against the Marlins and it went about as well as the Yankees could have hoped for. In his first game action since October surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow, Sabathia allowed two runs over five innings while walking one and striking out a pair.
Sabathia was touched up for two runs on three hits and a walk in the first inning, but he kept the Marlins off the board the rest of the way. He was clocked around 90 mph, down a little bit from his usual velocity, but the veteran southpaw told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that he is satisfied with where he is at this point of the spring. Of course, the most important thing is that his elbow wasn’t an issue.
“I started letting it go early and didn’t have any problems. I felt good,” Sabathia said. “I’ll just keep building in the bullpen, make sure my fastball command gets better and just go from there.”
Sabathia is projected to make two more Grapefruit League starts leading up to his Opening Day assignment against the Red Sox on April 1.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.