Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The moment we've all been waiting for has finally been announced. Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced after the team's game against FSU that Masahiro Tanaka will make his spring debut on Saturday, March 1st against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Adding to that, CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda will also make their first appearances of the spring on Sunday, according to Girardi.

All three are expected to go three innings, or 35 pitches, and plans to bring each of them into a new, clean inning.

"That's a big thing for them, to come into a clean inning," Girardi said. "That's the way (pitching coach) Larry (Rothschild) drew it up."

Tanaka has been getting a lot of praise for the way he has been throwing the ball this spring in his bullpens and live batting practice sessions. Here's quote from infielder Dean Anna:

“A lot of pitches, a lot of movement and really deceiving. … I've seen a lot of (different types of pitches from him). I don't know which ones sometimes, but his splitter is really dirty. His curveball’s really good. His fastball gets on you. It’s definitely tough to face him for sure, with all his pitches and how good they are."

Girardi also just as ready as anyone else to see the 25-year-old pitch in person.

"I think you want to see him against big league hitters, see how he does and see how he reacts," Girardi said. "I'm happy with the progress that he's made and how he has not tried to do too much. I think he's adapted to what we've asked him to do, and I think he's kind of embraced it. I am looking forward to seeing him out there."

For those of you that won't be able to make it to the game on Sunday, the YES Network and MLB Network will be broadcasting it live.


Gavin Ewbank is the Lead Writer of Yanks Beat Blog and you can follow him on Twitter @GavinEwbank.


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