TAMPA, Fla. -- He is making the four-hour drive across Florida to pitch against the Mets and their ace, Matt Harvey, on Sunday. But when asked to express his level of excitement over this preseason meeting of aces, CC Sabathia barely worked up the energy to shrug.
“We talked about just wanting the competition," Sabathia said to explain making the kind of road trip rarely made by a 14-year veteran. "I haven’t pitched since May, so just thought this would be the best option.”
Sabathia, who made just eight starts last season and had knee surgery last July, has made one start this spring, allowing two runs in two innings against the Blue Jays on Tuesday. The Yankees have deliberately taken it slowly with the 34-year-old Sabathia, limiting his appearances before that game to some live batting practice sessions and a couple of simulated games.
"I think that has gotten me to this point healthy, so I’m ready to take the next step and that’s getting actually ready for the season,” said Sabathia, who has still not been anointed the Opening Day starter this season.
Neither has Harvey, coming off Tommy John surgery, by the Mets. Still, his is the arm everyone is excited to see.
Well, almost everyone. Asked if he had seen much of Harvey, Sabathia said, “Not really. I saw he started the All-Star Game and stuff, but no, sorry.”
“Not really," Sabathia said. "He’s not on my team. I’m curious to see how [Masahiro] Tanaka looks. That’s my guy.”