Tuesday, February 25, 2014

It seems like not a day has gone by this spring where you don't hear anything about how impressive Masahiro Tanaka looks during his bullpens and live batting practice sessions.

Today won't be the first.

Tanaka threw another simulated game early Monday, tossing 35 pitches, the most he has thrown so far in an session. He obviously wasn't throwing at full effort, but that didn't make his stuff anything below great, according to the hitters that saw him first hand.

Sizemore: “For me just missing time and not seeing live pitching for a while, you're obviously just kind of trying to see the pitches well and pick it up out of the hand. But even some of the curveballs that he threw me that I saw well were so sharp that it still kind of fools you and you can't pull the trigger on it. I was definitely impressed, one with his command, and two with his stuff.”

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.”

Wheeler: “I saw one splitter, but the splitter was really nasty. Very nasty. If he throws it like today, he’s going to be successful. That was the one I swung and missed on. It’s a good pitch. … (Tanaka and Hiroki Kuroda) have got the slow delivery, take a while to get to the plate and the ball jumps off. But you know, they've got very good stuff. Fastball, slider, everything that pitchers need to get outs.”

And from Cervelli, who caught him: “I think I saw the real stuff today, and it is nasty. If that’s not the real stuff, whoa. He’s got a lot of pitches and he’s able to throw every pitch in every count."

I know that were still in the early weeks of camp, and he's not even throwing at max effort, but to here all of this about Tanaka only gets me more excited to see what he's going to do in real games once the season starts.

The Yankees spent a lot of money on this kid -- $175 million to be exact -- and for good reason. He's good. Very good. And it's a good sign that everyone that has watched him pitch feels the same way.

Yankees links worth sharing:

* The Yankees are keeping an eye on Joel Hanrahan as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery.

* Only time will tell if David Robertson is fit for 9th inning roles, replacing Mariano Rivera.

* Jameis Winston, who will be part of the FSU team facing the Yankees Tuesday, said that he's starstruck to be facing his favorite team growing up.

* MLBPA chief Tony Clark said that Alex Rodriguez is back on the Union's good side after the ugly legal stuff this offseason.

* What Brett Gardner's contract extension could mean for Robertson -- or not.


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


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