Sabathia, taking next step, heads south

June, 21, 2014
Jun 21
11:37
AM ET
NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees are sending CC Sabathia to Tampa, and Sabathia couldn't be happier.

Sabathia is set to leave town Sunday, but only because he's ready for the next stage of work as he tries to come back from the right knee injury that has sidelined him since early May. He threw another bullpen session Saturday at Yankee Stadium, is scheduled to face hitters Tuesday, and hopes to throw in some sort of game next weekend.

The Yankees still don't expect Sabathia back in the major leagues for quite a while -- general manager Brian Cashman has said August -- but the 33-year-old left-hander seems to be getting more encouraged by the day.

"I'm trying to go as fast as possible," Sabathia said. "Hopefully it's not five starts [in the minors]. I feel good. I'm optimistic."

Sabathia is wearing a brace to stabilize the knee, and said the results so far have been good. But he also knows that there are bigger tests ahead.

"I got after it a little [in Saturday's bullpen session]," he said. "This is the time to test it. I will in Tampa."

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .770
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135