TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia threw 20 pitches Tuesday during his first batting practice session since a heart procedure in December.
Sabathia, expected to miss his first two or three regular-season starts, is slated to throw a simulated game Saturday.
The 38-year-old, who is retiring after the season, had a stent inserted Dec. 11 after a blockage was found in an artery from his heart. He has had chronic right knee problems that required several operations.
“He’s really responded well to everything,” Yankee manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s doing well.”
Sabathia also is suspended for five games for hitting Tampa Bay’s catcher Jesus Sucre with a pitch on Sept. 27.
The 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner with Cleveland, Sabathia is 246-153 with a 3.70 ERA and 2,986 strikeouts in 18 major league seasons. He was 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts last season. This will be his 11th year with the Yankees.
Center fielder Aaron Hicks, who hurt his back during batting practice March 1, got a cortisone shot Monday. Boone said there is still enough time for Hicks to be ready for opening day.
“There’s a level of concern but I’m not too worried about it,” Boone said.
Acquired from Minnesota in November 2015, Hicks has been on the disabled list in all six of his big league seasons, nine trips in all for hamstring strains (three times), oblique strains (twice), shoulder, forearm and intercostal strains, and a concussion.
FARQUHAR SENT DOWN
Danny Farquhar has been reassigned by the Yankees to their minor league camp.
The 32-year-old right-hander, who collapsed in the Chicago White Sox dugout on April 20 because of a ruptured aneurysm and brain hemorrhage, appeared in three spring training games.
Farquhar gave up six runs, four hits and five walks over two innings. He did have a hitless inning against the Philadelphia Phillies last Thursday in his second outing.
“I think he just needs to pitch,” Boone said. “We saw enough that suggest he can get back to where he was. He just needs to go out and not be in a hurry to do it because he’s a lot closer than it may appear.”
Farquhar signed a minor league deal with the Yankees during the offseason.
OF Jacoby Ellsbury (plantar fascilitis) is expected to arrive Sunday. He has been rehabbing in Arizona after not playing last season due to a variety of injuries. “He’s going to be way behind,” Boone said. … SS Didi Gregorius, out until the summer after Tommy John surgery, will start hitting off a tee in the next couple weeks.
James Paxton threw a dominating five-inning, 78-pitch simulated game. The lefty recorded three strikeouts and got a grounder from Troy Tulowitzki. Paxton is to start the Yankees’ second regular-season game with Baltimore.
Yankees opening-day starter Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to start Wednesday night’s game against Philadelphia. Bryce Harper is expected to start in right field for the Phillies in his third spring training game since signing a $330 million, 13-year contract.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)