TAMPA, Fla. -- Friday is not only the last spring training game for 2015 at George Steinbrenner Field, it will also be our last look at New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia before he makes his first start in Game 3 of the regular season on Thursday, April 9 against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. CC's spring has been hard to watch -- his ERA is 11.57 in two spring starts consisting of all of 4 2/3 innings, and he allowed three home runs in one game against the Mets on March 22. He also got hit hard in a minor-league game last Saturday, including surrendering another home run. Still, manager Joe Girardi said Sabathia's spring has been "positive."
"The fact that he was able to pitch on his turns, the fact that he was able to throw a number of pitches, his velocity was better; I thought that was all good," Girardi said.
Sabathia is expected to throw 80-85 pitches against the Washington Nationals, which means his entire spring output vs. major-league hitters will amount to about 10 innings, and an unusually light spring workload.
"He makes one more start in the season and he's where everybody else is," Girardi said. "I don't really consider him that far behind. We chose to do this because we had guys coming off injuries and we said we were going to take it slow. If their pitch count is a little bit less the first start, so be it. We'll deal with that."
Here's the lineup for Friday's camp finale (1:05 p.m. ET, YES):
Brian McCann DH
Chris Young CF
Notes: Alex Rodriguez has a day off, but will play tomorrow in Washington. Same goes for Carlos Beltran, who has been out a couple of days with a stomach virus. ...Girardi said Murphy and Austin Romine will split catching duties Friday and Saturday as he continues to mull his final roster decision. ...Nathan Eovaldi gets the start Saturday against the Nats in DC (1:05 p.m. ET, WFAN).