TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees have said that they expect Austin Romine to begin the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but the catching prospect intends to change those plans this spring.

"Definitely, I don't want to go to Triple-A," Romine said. "I want to be on this team, I'm here to show them that I can do it and I'm going to earn it."

Romine, 24, missed most of last season due to a back injury, appearing in just 31 games across three Minor League levels. He said that he lost 13 pounds over the winter and worked hard on core training to avoid similar problems this year.

"I tend not to dwell on the past," Romine said. "I'm here now; I feel great. I missed a lot of ball for a while there. I'm back, and I'm itching to get going."

Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are also bidding for New York's Opening Day catching nod, which manager Joe Girardi has said will be an open competition.

"Every year, I'm coming in and I'm trying to be on the team," Romine said. "That's what I'm trying to do. I want to be on this team, helping them win a World Series.

"I'm not changing my mindset; I'm going to work hard, show them that I can do it, and wherever they see fit to put me, that's where I'm going to go."

CC feels strong after offseason elbow cleanup

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees ace CC Sabathia said that he can already feel the difference in his left elbow after having offseason arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur.

"It feels pretty good," Sabathia said. "I've been playing catch; I've been throwing. I played catch today and felt great. I talked to [pitching coach] Larry [Rothschild], and I think I'm going to throw a bullpen [session] on Thursday."

Sabathia said that he will stick to fastballs and changeups for his first mound session. He expects no restrictions this spring and should be close to his usual timetable to prepare for an Opening Day start.

"I definitely feel a relief, just having that range of motion back and not having that ache at the end of my extension," Sabathia said. "I felt that right away, so hopefully, I can just continue to get better and continue to feel less.

"After last year, going through what I went through pretty much the whole second half, playing catch so far, it feels a lot better."

Sabathia said that he weighed in at 290 pounds on Tuesday, about 10 pounds lighter than he was when the Yankees finished the 2012 season.

"No Cap'n Crunch," Sabathia said, with a laugh. "Same thing I did last offseason; just worked out and watched the diet. I worked out every day and just made sure I watched what I ate.

"I feel pretty good. This is [the weight] I came into camp last year and I pitched at last year, and I felt real good. This is the ideal weight."

Yanks may mull Gardner-Grandy position swap

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees manager Joe Girardi hasn't ruled out the idea that Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson could flip positions this season, but a decision hasn't yet been made.

"If you were going to make a change, you would make it pretty early in Spring Training," Girardi said. "As of today, we haven't really decided that we're going to make a change. We haven't had a lot of discussions about making a change."

Granderson said on Monday that he would be on board if the Yankees decided to shift him to left field, installing Gardner in center field.

Girardi said that one reason the Yankees may not make a change is their concern that a move could impact Granderson, either defensively or offensively, as he adjusts to playing a relatively new position.

"I know that idea was thrown up during the offseason, about moving Grandy to left," Girardi said. "But you're talking about a guy who's extremely important to our lineup. Do you want to? Some people think a position change affects a bat. Do you want to do that? That's something we would have to think about."

Girardi said that, as of right now, his outfield would have Gardner, Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki from left field to right.