CC Sabathia pleased with spring debut

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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.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.