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MLB notebook: Yankees' Sabathia returns to mound

| Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, 7:39 p.m.
REUTERS
Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws from the bullpen during a spring training workout in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Feb, 16, 2013. REUTERS/Scott Audette

CC Sabathia wasn't surprised his first pitch was well inside off the plate. The important thing was the New York Yankees' ace felt good.

Sabathia threw off a mound Saturday for the first time since arthroscopic surgery Oct. 25 to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. The left-hander made 29 pitches during the session, which was watched by team officials including pitching coach Larry Rothschild and spring training instructor Billy Connors.

“No problems,” Sabathia said. “Probably didn't throw a strike, but that's normal for my first bullpen.”

Bailey, Reds agree to deal

Right-hander Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a $5.35 million, one-year contract, ensuring baseball will set a record low for salary arbitration hearings.

No cases have been argued before three-person panels this year among the 133 players who filed for arbitration last month and just two remain scheduled for hearings next week: San Diego left-hander Clayton Richard and Baltimore reliever Darren O'Day.

BoSox alter medical staff

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington hopes a reorganized medical staff leads to less controversy about injuries.

Former closer Jonathan Papelbon, who left after the 2011, told ESPNBoston.com last weekend that he and several of his former teammates were regularly injected with the legal painkiller Toradol, an anti-inflammatory drug that is not banned by Major League Baseball. Papelbon singled out Mike Reinold, Boston's former head physical therapist.

Twenty-seven Boston players spent time on the disabled list in 34 stints last year, according to STATS LLC.

Grandal apologizes again

Reading from a prepared statement, San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal apologized for a second time following his 50-game suspension for a positive test for testosterone.

Grandal was suspended Nov. 7 and issued a statement then through the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Kershaw to start opener

Clayton Kershaw was selected as the Los Angeles Dodgers' Opening Day starter and will become the team's first pitcher to start three straight openers since Derek Lowe from 2005-07.

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