CC Sabathia: Stamina is 'better'

TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia is feeling stronger after losing 25 pounds during the offseason.

The New York Yankees ace reported to spring training at 290 pounds after surgery in October to repair a minor tear in his right knee.

"My stamina, especially coming out of the bullpen and going straight to the mound, I feel good," Sabathia said. "I just don't get tired. Early in spring training years past, I would get a little gassed in my bullpens getting later into the 'pen."

After warming up on a bullpen mound, Sabathia threw 25 pitches during his first batting practice session Thursday.

"Thirty, 40 pitches in and I feel pretty good, and I was able to keep my mechanics together and work on stuff I needed to work on," he said. "My pitches weren't doing anything different. It's all the same. My stamina is a little better."

New catcher Russell Martin praised Sabathia's latest session.

"He's got a nasty two-seamer. I boxed one pretty bad there today," Russell said. "He's good, man. He stays down nice, he's got a good changeup, he's got good command of his off-speed pitches, he works both sides of the plate really well, he's not afraid to go inside on lefties. He's gonna be fun to catch this year.

"And from what I've heard he's the same guy on the day that he pitches. Every day he's got that very consistent attitude. He'll be easy."

Sabathia, who went 21-7 with a 3.18 ERA in 34 starts last year, has had no problems with his knee since throwing off a mound at spring training last week.

"After the first bullpen, I didn't feel anything," Sabathia said. "All that went out the window. It's fine."

Sabathia, 30, would like to pitch another eight to 10 years.

"It was the knee and just me getting older, not feeling the same I did when I was 25," he said. "Combination of both of those things and trying to pitch as long as I can in my career and not have that affect me is the reason why I tried to lose the weight."

Sabathia doesn't plan on losing additional weight.

"I'm good right now," he said. "We'll see how the season goes. I'll try and maintain this and see how it goes."

Sabathia is scheduled to make his first spring training start Monday against Detroit.

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Wallace Matthews and The Associated Press was used in this report.