Sheffield had left shoulder surgery Nov. 30

TAMPA, Fla. -- New York Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield hit 35 balls off a tee Tuesday in his first batting session since undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.

Sheffield had surgery on his left shoulder Nov. 30 and is taking part in early workouts at the Yankees' spring training complex. He expects to start taking batting practice Feb. 22 when New York holds its first full squad spring training workout.

"It felt OK," Sheffield said. "I'm just getting the feel of
it. They wanted to see where I'm at. I don't think they want to
rush me."

Sheffield hit .290 with 36 home runs and 121 RBIs in his first season with New York. He finished second to Anaheim's Vladimir Guerrero in voting for the AL MVP award.

Because of his bad shoulder, Sheffield often had trouble raising his glove above chest level to catch fly balls last year. The eight-time All-Star also had less power when it came to hitting to the opposite field.

"When you know that you can swing in all areas, then you become a more aggressive hitter," Sheffield said. "You can handle more areas of the strike zone or out of the strike zone and not be one-dimensional."

Sheffield has been working out indoors at the Yankees' complex since early last month.