NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia lost about 25 pounds over the winter, though it's tough to tell with that baggy uniform.

He's 30 now, in the third year of his seven-year, $161 million contract with the Yankees. That deal includes an opt-out clause, which gives him the right to test the free agent market again next offseason, and many think he'll use it, especially if continues to pitch well.

Sabathia made the Yankees start on Opening Day, last Thursday, and held the Tigers to three runs over six innings. Tonight will be his 31st start against the Twins, counting the postseason.

They first faced him on June 6, 2001, when he was a 20-year-old rookie for Cleveland. He hasn't lost a game against Minnesota since 2007, two years before he came to the Yankees.

He got the win in Game 1 of last year's Division Series at Target Field. Two things stood out to me from that start: I remember him throwing a brush-back pitch to former teammate Jim Thome early in the game, and I remember Michael Cuddyer's two-run homer into the since-departed pine trees at Target Field.

Sabathia was headed for a loss before the Yankees rallied against Francisco Liriano in the sixth. The Twins get another chance tonight. It's been raining here today, but it's supposed to clear up in time for the game.

Update: Justin Morneau is getting a day off. Not a surprise that Manager Ron Gardenhire would choose tonight to do it, with a tough lefthander on the mound. Jason Repko will be making his first start of the season, in right field, with Cuddyer filling in for Morneau at first base.

"He's starting to feel really good and that's good," Gardenhire said. "Keep his confidence up and give him a break today, [then] get him back out there. We have a lot of games at the beginning of the season. If we're going to give him a break, [Sabathia] is probably not a bad guy to give him a break against."

Update: Gardenhire said Joe Nathan would get the call if there's a save situation tonight. This assumes Nathan feels good warming up in the bullpen on a cold, damp evening.

Update: Fox Sports North is televising 150 Twins game this season, at least 34 more than in any previous year, but subscribers to Charter Communications, Mediacom, Cable One and Dish Network are currently slated to see only 105 of those games.

An FSN spokeswoman said in a statement that "negotiations are ongoing," adding, "customers may wish to contact their cable provider to request these additional games."

TWINS (1-3)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
6. Jason Kubel, DH
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Jason Repko, RF
9. Alexi Casilla, SS
Starting pitcher: LH Brian Duensing (Season debut)


1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Nick Swisher, RF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Jorge Posada, DH
7. Russell Martin, C
8. Andruw Jones, LF
9. Curtis Granderson, CF

Starting pitcher: LH C.C. Sabathia (0-0, 3.00 ERA)

Yankee Stadium. First pitch: 6:05 p.m. TV: FSN. Twins Radio Network