TAMPA, Fla. (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 80 mph 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.
Pettitte threw 30 minutes of batting practice and couldn't stop from laughing when talking about the distance of a couple home runs Aaron Judge hit off him.
Who asked about a comeback, the 43-year-old Pettitte smiled and quickly said ''No.''
Pettitte said the prospects asked him about topics that included how to handle adversity. He also stressed the need to be a great teammate.
''The talent is one thing, playing the game is one thing, being successful is one thing,'' Pettitte said. ''But the big thing is, I would want them to learn how to be great teammates, to care for one another.''
Armando Galarraga has joined the Yankees as a pitching coach in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League.
He is best known for losing his bid for a perfect game while with Detroit against Cleveland in 2010 with two outs in the ninth inning on a call that first base umpire Jim Joyce later admitted he missed.
Galarraga, who retired after last season, says the topic still comes up ''all the time'' and that he can use as teaching tool.