3/5/2013 11:40 P.M. ET
CC prefers to avoid facing AL East foes in spring
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia feels like his stuff is ready to pitch in a game situation, but that doesn't mean the Yankees' ace wants to show it off to an American League East rival.
Sabathia threw 33 pitches in two simulated innings on Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. His next outing is also expected to come in simulated form on Sunday, since the Yankees are playing the Blue Jays that day.
"I will try to face these guys as [few] times as possible," Sabathia said. "If I don't have to face them in a Spring Training game my first start, I would much rather try to wait until the season. I'll wait."
That suggests Sabathia, who is coming off October surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow, will not pitch in his first Grapefruit League game until March 15 against the Marlins.
"I think the pitcher always has an advantage if the team hasn't seen him yet," Sabathia said.
Sabathia threw 15 pitches in the first inning on Tuesday and 18 pitches in the second, facing the equivalent of 10 hitters. Sabathia said he feels that his fastball location is improving.
"Now, it's just worrying about pitches and making sure the actions are right and velocity's getting there," Sabathia said. "I worry about normal pitching stuff, now. It feels good."
Cashman has no regrets after skydiving injury
TAMPA, Fla. -- Brian Cashman arrived at George M. Steinbrenner Field in time for Tuesday's game, outfitted with a pair of hospital-issued scrub pants, a fresh hard cast and a new pair of crutches that will be by his side for the next eight weeks.
Though the Yankees' general manager fractured his right fibula and dislocated his right ankle in a skydiving stunt with the U.S. Army Golden Knights, he had no regrets about agreeing to participate in Monday's event at the Homestead Air Force Base outside Miami.
"We did this to build awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project, which we certainly did," Cashman said. "So that's a good thing. You like to take a negative and turn it into a positive."
Cashman said he knew he was injured immediately upon landing in his second tandem jump, having made a rookie mistake of letting his leg dangle as the ground approached. He joked that his landing looked like one of Paul O'Neill's ugly slides into second base.
"I'm just not as Army Strong as I needed to be at that moment in time," said Cashman, who needed a plate and eight screws to be inserted surgically on Monday. "At least, my fibula wasn't."
Cashman said that while he was recovering from surgery, he thought about what the phone call to Steinbrenner would have been like.
"I had George in the back of my mind saying, 'You've got to get back to Tampa,'" Cashman said. "So I'm here and we've got work to do."
Cashman said that he imagines Steinbrenner would have ribbed him mercilessly about all of the times The Boss jumped from airplanes and never suffered an injury, given his military background.
With that in mind, Cashman also is certain that The Boss would have stamped his approval for the GM to participate in Monday's event.
"For the Wounded Warrior Project?" Cashman said. "No question about it. No doubt about it."
Yankees set sights on Saturday for Mariano
TAMPA, Fla. -- Mariano Rivera is slated to return to the mound this weekend for his first game action since sustaining a season-ending knee injury last May.
"We're going to shoot for Saturday," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the YES Network on Tuesday night. "We're not going to rush it. We have plenty of time."
Earlier, Girardi hinted that Rivera could make his debut against the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic entry on Wednesday. Rivera will not accompany the Yankees when they play the Cardinals and Marlins on Thursday and Friday in Jupiter.
Rivera threw a simulated inning on Sunday and said that he feels prepared to pitch in a game.
"I think that we are ready to do that," Rivera said.
Rivera hasn't pitched in a game since April 30 of last season, when he shut down the Orioles in a scoreless ninth inning at Yankee Stadium for career save No. 608. Rivera injured his right knee in a batting practice mishap on May 3 in Kansas City and underwent surgery in June.
"I'm waiting for 10 months, I can wait another few days," Rivera said on Sunday. "I just wait patiently. It will be exciting when I'm there, but I've been waiting for a long time, so no rush."
Additionally, Girardi added that Derek Jeter could play on Sunday, which would be the Yankees captain's first appearance in a game since he fractured his left ankle in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
Jeter said this week that he has yet to run the bases at maximum effort. The Yankees plan on using Jeter as a designated hitter when he does begin playing in Grapefruit League games, though they expect him to be ready to play shortstop by Opening Day.
"I've been more under the impression we take it day by day and see where he's at," Girardi said. "He's doing well. He's progressing the way we want, so we'll see where he is this week. We should know in the next few days if [Sunday is] a real possibility."
Top prospect Sanchez among eight reassigned
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have reassigned eight players to Minor League camp, including top prospect Gary Sanchez.
"I think the kid has a lot of talent," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's a young man that needs to go down and play every day and continue to develop his skills, but I think his ceiling is really, really high."
The 20-year-old catcher is expected to begin the year at high Class A Tampa. He batted a combined .290 with 18 home runs and 85 RBIs in 116 games at low Class A Charleston and Tampa in 2012, and Girardi said that he has seen improvement in Sanchez's game from last year.
"All around, he catches the ball better, he's got an outstanding arm, he blocks the ball better, his swing is more consistent," Girardi said. "It's just a guy you want to go play every day and see where he can get to."
The Yankees also reassigned infielders David Adams, Greg Bird, Cito Culver and Rob Segedin; outfielder Tyler Austin and catchers Francisco Arcia and Kyle Higashioka. The Yankees have 66 players currently on the camp roster.
• Yankees reliever David Robertson was scratched from his scheduled appearance on Tuesday because he had trouble loosening his right shoulder in the bullpen. Cashman said that it is a "low level concern" and that Robertson has no tests scheduled. Girardi said he will try to have Robertson pitch on Wednesday instead.
• Yankees outfield prospect Adonis Garcia has a broken left hand and is scheduled for surgery on Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla., with Dr. Douglas Carlan.
Garcia fractured the hook of the hamate bone in his hand while taking batting practice on Sunday in Fort Myers. Garcia, 27, was a non-roster invitee to camp after playing at Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton last season.