CC Sabathia took the next step toward a return to the Yankees' rotation on Saturday, throwing his first simulated game of the spring after previously having thrown bullpen sessions.
Sabathia is working his way back from a heart procedure and knee surgery. He won't be ready for Opening Day -- and must serve a five-game suspension to begin the season -- but his trajectory seems to put him in line for a mid-April return.
The veteran lefty threw 32 pitches on Field 2 while facing DJ LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki and Kyle Holder.
"I thought CC was good, and I thought he was better in the second inning," Boone told reporters. "I thought his secondary pitches were good. I thought he threw some good sliders, some good changeups. I thought the ball was coming out good, and in the second inning, he tightened up his fastball command a little bit, made some good pitches to the lefty (Holder) with some two-seamers in."
It hasn't yet been determined if Sabathia, who will retire after this season, will next appear in a Grapefruit League game or another simulated game.
"We're obviously monitoring him really closely, so I know he's in good hands," Boone said. "I watch and try and pay attention to the knee as much as the heart. I feel like in my conversations with him since the start of all this, he's in a good place. He's trekking the right way and on pace to join us maybe a couple of weeks in."