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Sabathia’s fastball velocity dropped from 93.9 mph in 2011 to 92.4 in 2012 to 91.3 last year, according to fangraphs.com. Following elbow surgery in October 2012, his fastball average barely topped 90 in the first two months of last season.

“I’ll stay within myself,” Sabathia said. “Not try to overthrow. At times last year I got caught up in that. Wanted to overthrow, and that’s when things started changing. Arm angle and different things like that. If I’m healthy, I’ll just stay within myself and use what I have.”

“After having a bad year last year and not helping the team, we want to get back to the playoffs, and I think it starts with me,” Sabathia said.

NOTES: Nova threw 35 pitches and Kuroda 25. … 1B Mark Teixeira, returning from right wrist surgery last July, said he’s about a week away from taking batting practice against a pitcher and hopes to play in spring training games starting sometime in the first week of March. … OF Alfonso Soriano missed his second straight workout because of flu but worked in the weight room, according to Girardi. … Pitching coach Larry Rothschild normally ends BP with a pitcher throwing two pitchouts. He had a different twist for Nova, having him throw two intentional walk pitches.