TAMPA, Fla. -- CC Sabathia kept hearing the speculation, both inside his clubhouse and out of it, that a change in the left-hander's mechanics may have been to blame for some of his troubles last season.
So Sabathia decided to go into the laboratory, so to speak. This offseason, Sabathia paid a visit to the Andrews Institute in Birmingham, Ala., strapping on electronic sensors and submitting his pitching motion for biometric analysis.
As Sabathia was pleased to learn, his delivery looked almost the same as a data set that was taken while he was with the Indians in 2003, except for a minor change in the rotation of his hips.
"It was brought up, and I thought it was a great idea, because I knew they had the data," Sabathia said. "I think they talked a lot about my arm angle and stuff like that, but it's been the same."
That discovery was encouraging for Sabathia, who threw his first live batting-practice session of the spring on Friday. Sabathia explained that his 2012 mechanics were off because he needed surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow.
"I had the bad elbow, so I was throwing a lot different," Sabathia said. "Last year, I think a lot of people brought it up because I looked different last year than I did in 2012. But where I was at last year is where I should be."
Sabathia said that in facing hitters on Friday, his control was a touch off, but he feels a difference compared to last season. He won't know about velocity until games begin, but if Sabathia's fastball sits where it was last year, he still expects to win games.
"I feel good. I feel strong," Sabathia said. "I don't feel any fatigue or anything like that. I'm excited. I didn't throw a lot of strikes today, but the fact that I was able to keep throwing at 100 percent makes me feel good."
Manager Joe Girardi said that Sabathia is "ahead of where he was last spring, definitely." Sabathia said that he has been long-tossing all winter and was able to throw all offseason, which has helped his endurance.
"I'm ahead of where I was last spring, maybe even the spring before, just from all the work I've been doing," Sabathia said. "I'm encouraged by the way I feel. My arm angle seems to be good, getting the ball out. My arm just needs to catch up with the rest of my body."
Yankees giving Nunez a chance as utility infielder
TAMPA, Fla. -- Two years ago, the Yankees sent Eduardo Nunez to the Minors so he could focus on playing shortstop every day, effectively abandoning an early-season experiment of developing him into a utility player.
Now, because of need, the Yankees are giving it another shot. Nunez impressed the club by playing well at third base late last season, and so manager Joe Girardi is willing to consider him at multiple infield positions.
"We will move him everywhere: some third, some second, some short too," Girardi said. "I think it's important that he still plays there too as well. He is someone that we will move everywhere. Obviously he's in competition for third base as well."
Nunez, 26, batted .260 with three home runs, 28 RBIs and a .307 on-base percentage in 90 games for the Yankees last year. He played 75 games at shortstop, 14 games at third base and two games at second base.
"We need him to do that," Girardi said. "Last year, Derek [Jeter] was down and we needed him to play short every day, and [Nunez] ended up getting hurt too. As you saw last year, we moved him to third at the end of the year and I thought he did a pretty good job."
• The Yankees will reveal their first starters of the spring on Sunday, Girardi said. New York opens its spring slate on Tuesday against Florida State University at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
• Alfonso Soriano (flu) worked out in the weight room on Friday, but he was excused from on-field activities. Girardi said that he is hoping Soriano can join the team on the field Saturday.