CC falls ill; A.J., Joba throw
Burnett works vs. Yanks, while Chamberlain tosses simulated innings
TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia missed a scheduled live batting-practice session and left the team's Spring Training camp Saturday with the flu.
Sabathia, the Yankees' expected Opening Day starter, had been scheduled to pitch to hitters for the second time this spring on Field 2 of the George M. Steinbrenner Field training complex.
"He said he wanted to throw his BP, and he ended up throwing up again," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He just said, 'I'll wait until tomorrow.'"
Sabathia told Girardi that his children were sick and that he had probably picked up the virus at home. Sabathia, who signed a seven-year, $161 million contract in the offseason, is scheduled to throw BP on Sunday and remains on track to make his first start of the spring on March 6.
Right-hander A.J. Burnett, who inked a five-year, $82.5 million deal, threw his first live batting-practice session on the main field, while Joba Chamberlain worked two simulated innings on Field 2.
Chamberlain threw 20 pitches to catcher Jose Molina, sat down on a dugout bench, then threw another 20 pitches. He said that his focus was on throwing his fastball for strikes on both sides of the plate.
"I threw everything," Chamberlain said. "For Feb. 21, I feel all right. It feels good. I'm excited to get in a routine of every five days."
The workout brought a rare day in camp without an Alex Rodriguez-related distraction, as the focus was largely on baseball. That pleased Girardi, who said that his players have done a good job blocking out distractions.
"I think our practices have been quality, crisp," Girardi said. "Guys are doing what they're supposed to be doing. I see pitchers throwing strikes, I see hitters doing a lot of work, I see defenders doing what they need to do to get ready. I'm extremely pleased."
Exhibition games start for the Yankees on Wednesday, when the club's few remaining position battles will begin.
Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher are vying to be the Opening Day right fielder, while Melky Cabrera turned down a chance to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic to fight Brett Gardner for the starting job in center field.
"The one thing you can't predict is, you can't predict how we're going to come out of Spring Training," Girardi said. "It's something that I have to balance and juggle and make some possible tough decisions when Spring Training ends."
Designated hitter Hideki Matsui is set to resume light jogging on Monday and will not be ready for the club's Grapefruit League opener. Girardi said that the Yankees expect Matsui to be ready for Opening Day and that Matsui will not play the outfield in the spring.
The Yankees took the field for their workout without Bernie Williams, who had spent two days with the club while using the facility to prepare for joining Puerto Rico's roster in the Classic. Williams is expected to return on Monday.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.