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Pettitte backs Sabathia for success

AP

Andy Pettitte is confident former New York Yankees teammate CC Sabathia can be successful this season with a diminished fastball that normally tops out in the upper 130 kph range.

“I am just because I know what he can do,” Pettitte said Monday. “I watched him too many times and the command that he has, and stuff like that. I say that because I felt like I was able to do that, and I think he’s better than I was. It makes it easy for me to say that.”

Pettitte was a guest speaker at a camp for top New York minor leaguers. He was 256-153 in 18 big league seasons, including 219-127 in 15 years with the Yankees.

The 35-year old Sabathia missed the Yankees’ loss to Houston in the AL wild-card game last fall when he entered an alcohol rehabilitation program. The left-hander was 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA last year, when he was slowed by his surgically repaired right knee. After returning from the disabled list and using a tighter brace, he went 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his last five starts.

“He seems to be doing good,” Pettitte said. “He’s got a great support group with his family, I know that. I just want to see him be successful, not only on the baseball field, but as a husband, as a dad and in life.”

Sabathia has been throwing off a mound in New York. He also addressed the Yankees’ minor league camp two weeks ago.