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Sabathia throws off mound

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Yankees' ace CC Sabathia threw 35 pitches during his first spring training bullpen session on Saturday.

The expected opening day starter threw fastballs and changeups to catcher Jorge Posada.

"The first time out, I felt good," Sabathia said. "My body feels good. I just worked getting off the mound."

The left-hander, 19-8 with a 3.37 ERA in 34 starts last season, will make his first spring training start on March 3 or 4.

"It's good to see him up there," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Sabathia took three weeks off after the Yankees won their first World Series championship since 2000 in November before resuming his throwing program.

"I can't take too much time off, my arm gets into a funk," Sabathia said.

Sabathia threw 230 innings during the regular season in 2009.

"I'm not worried about saving my arm," Sabathia said. "I'm good to go. You've got to use it while you got it. Anytime I get the chance to go out there and take the ball I want it."

Also, Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner met with Girardi in the manager's office before Saturday's workout.

"We talked about players and our club," Girardi said. "Talked a little bit about last year."

Steinbrenner was not made available to talk with reporters.

"When Hal comes down the conversions are very meaningful and go right to the point," Girardi said. "We talk a lot of baseball. It's great."

Girardi is in the final season of his three-year contract. The Yankees have a policy of not negotiating new contracts until the current deal is completed.

"My biggest concern is what we do this year," Girardi said. "I've said all along I feel fortunate to be one of 30 managers in the big leagues. I don't get too caught up in my contract, I really don't. I've been through it as a player and been through it as a manager. It's where your faith comes in."