Yankees counting on slimmed-down Sabathia

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TAMPA, Fla. — CC Sabathia’s weight is down, and the New York Yankees are counting on that to help his performance.

The five-time All-Star said Sunday he’s shed 10 to 15 pounds and reported to spring training weighing about 290 — the same as a year ago when he pitched brilliantly early in the season but not nearly as effective down the stretch, when he appeared to be much heavier.

After winning 13 of his first 17 decisions, Sabathia finished 19-8 overall with a 3.00 ERA. The Yankees rewarded him with a contract extension that added $30 million and one season to his existing contract.

General manager Brian Cashman later arranged a meeting with Sabathia to discuss the importance of the 31-year-old watching his weight as he gets older.

“CC’s never let us down. He’s the type of person that’s fully committed,” Cashman said. “So the only hard part really is to have these conversations. The easy part is watching him follow through.”

The general manager stressed the discussion was more about trying to maintain what’s helped Sabathia perform at a high level in the past than trying to force Sabathia to lose weight.

GIANTS: San Francisco right-hander Ryan Vogelsong strained his back earlier this month while lifting weights and said Sunday he will miss at least the first 10 days of spring training workouts while he recovers.

“It’s not too bad but we want to make sure we’re cautious,” Vogelsong said before Giants pitchers and catchers went through their first workout at Scottsdale Stadium. “I’d say probably, cautious side, 10 days maybe just to make sure I’m feeling good and don’t go out there and try to throw and tweak it again and come back in here. We’re just going to go really conservative right now.”

Vogelsong said he was squatting on a balance ball with 70-pound dumbbells on Feb. 7 when he got hurt.

PHILLIES: Philadelphia right-hander Kyle Kendrick agreed to a two-year, $7.5 million contract.

Kendrick, 27, went 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 34 games for the Phillies last year.

NATIONALS: Mike Cameron has told the club he is retiring after a 17-season career in which the center fielder won three Gold Gloves.

The 2001 All-Star played for eight franchises, hitting .249 with 278 homers and 968 RBI.

Last year Cameron hit .203 in 78 games for Boston and Florida.


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