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MLB Roundup: Sabathia throws from mound, Napoli has good MRI

The SportsXchange

New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia and Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli continue to show progress in their respective injury rehabs.

Sabathia, left-handed ace for the Yankees, threw from a mound for the first time since having arthroscopic surgery last October to remove a bone spur in his left elbow. Sabathia threw 29 pitches in Saturday's effort, including a combination of fastballs and changeups.

Sabathia's next bullpen session is Tuesday. The team is bringing him along slowly, so he likely will not pitch in an exhibition game right away.

As for Napoli, he will continue to increase his baseball activity after an MRI showed that the condition of his afflicted hips has not worsened. He has a medical condition called avascular necrosis, which can lead to bone death and degeneration. Both of his hips are affected by it.

However, WEEI reported on Saturday that Napoli can increase work on a treadmill and take grounders from his knees because of the positive MRI result.

In other MLB news:

* Free agent pitcher Carl Pavano said in an interview that he almost died when he had to have his spleen removed after a snow shoveling accident in January. "I'm just lucky to be alive," Pavano told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune during the week. Initially, Pavano did not believe he was seriously injured when he fell at his home in Vermont. After visiting three hospitals, he had his spleen removed on Jan. 19. Doctors told Pavano he was living on "borrowed time" after having 6 1/2 liters of blood drained from his chest cavity. "I was hours away from going into cardiac arrest and probably wouldn't even be here," said Pavano, 37, who is not sure when he will be able to resume his career.

* The Cincinnati Reds and right-hander Homer Bailey avoided arbitration by a agreeing to a one-year contract worth $5.35 million according to reports by the Cincinnati Enquirer and CBS Sports. Bailey asked for $5.8 million and the Reds offered $4.75 million when the two sides exchanged arbitration figures in January. Cincinnati has contractual control of Bailey through next year, but general manager Walt Jocketty reportedly is interested in possibly offering Bailey a longer-term deal in the future. Bailey was 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA and a 168/52 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 208 innings last year, including a 3.21 ERA after the All-Star break. He also tossed a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sept. 28.

* Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said left-handed ace Clayton Kershaw will take the mound Opening Day against the San Francisco Giants on April 1 at Dodger Stadium. Kershaw will start the Dodgers' season-opener for the third straight year.

* Free-agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez plans still plans to pitch for Venezuela in next month's World Baseball Classic, CBS Sports reported. Rodriguez, who pitched for Venezuela in the 2006 and 2009 tournament, does not have a major-league job. He struggled last year with a 2-7 record and 4.38 ERA with just three saves for the Milwaukee Brewers in a set-up role.
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