Slimmed-Down Left-Hander Confident New Weapon Will Help Him Rebound

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — CC Sabathia may have lost a lot of weight, but he’s gained some pitching knowledge.

Looking to rebound from a lackluster 2013 season, the Yankees’ ace left-hander has added a cut fastball to his arsenal, compliments of spring training special instructor Andy Pettitte.

Pettitte, who retired during the offseason, threw batting practice this week at Yankees camp in Tampa, Fla.

“I always have conversations about pitching [with Pettitte],’’ Sabathia told the NY Post on Thursday. “He showed me the grip for the cutter. I used it [in a simulated game], and I am going to take it into the game.’’

Sabathia is next scheduled to pitch Tuesday against the Washington Nationals in Viera.

The big left-hander, who has reportedly gotten down to 275 pounds, said he discussed the idea of adding the cutter to his repertoire with pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

“It’s something we talked about last year,’’ Sabathia said. “Andy showed me the grip and it felt good.’’

If mastered, the extra pitch would figure to serve Sabathia well, joining his standard fastball, two-seam fastball, curve and change. The soon-to-be 34-year-old southpaw struggled through a very un-Sabathia-like season in 2013, going 14-13 with a bloated 4.78 ERA.

“It’s always good to evolve and get better,’’ Sabathia said. “I am still trying to master the pitches that I throw. The changeup is coming along a lot better this spring. The two-seamer is still a work in progress.’’

Sabathia is 205-115 with a 3.60 ERA during his 13-year career.

Pettitte told WFAN’s Sweeny Murti earlier in the week that he enjoys working with the club in Florida, but added he has no desire to come out of retirement for a second time.

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