Masahiro Tanaka has pitched well for the New York Yankees so far this spring. He has thrown in three spring training game so far, two against the Philadelphia Phillies and one simulated game start. In his two games against the Phillies Tanaka has looked strong. He has thrown five innings allowing just one run and racking up four strikeouts. Another strong stat to see is that in his two appearances Tanaka did not allow a walk. It was also a nice sign to see that of the 31 pitches Tanaka threw total 28 of them ended up being strikes. Tanaka’s only run given up came off of a home run from Freddy Galvis in the 3rd inning. The next appearance in spring Tanaka made was a start in a simulated game on Tuesday. Tanaka looked very impressive in this start. Tanaka threw four innings total allowing three hits and striking out nine of the 18 batters he faced which is very impressive. Once again Tanaka was very strong on command throwing 49 strikes out of 63 pitches total, in fact at one point he threw 16 consecutive strikes. The one down side for Tanaka is that he gave another home run this time to Yankees minor leaguer Jake Cave.
Photo courtesy of: Facebook.com/Yankees
Tanaka’s pitching in spring training so far is a very encouraging sign for the Yankees. Many people were curious to see how Tanaka would pitch and wanted to see if he would live up to the $155 million dollars the Yankees gave him. Even though it is still very early and only Spring Training and not the regular season the early signs are good. One thing that is most impressive has to be Tanaka’s command so far this spring. He has shown great command having a great ball to strike ratio and showing he can go on a streak of consecutive strikes. Another impressive thing is that in his simulated start he struck out nine of the 18 batters he faced. This is always impressive when you strike out half of the batters that you face. The one thing that could be a little concerning so far could be the home runs. In two of his three appearances he has given up home runs. This is a little concerning because in a place like Yankee stadium has always been considered a hitters park. So as long as Tanaka can keep the home runs down there is a good chance that he could have a very successful season in the Yankees starting rotation.
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