TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Masahiro Tanaka knows that first appearance in a spring training game for the New York Yankees will be scrutinized.
Tanaka and Hiroki Kuroda will follow starter CC Sabathia in Saturday’s game against Philadelphia at Steinbrenner Field.
“Obviously, I understand that some of the people are just going to look at the numbers of the game that I’m pitching in, but I’m not really too focused and worried about that,” Tanaka said Wednesday through an interpreter.
All three are expected to throw two innings or 35 pitches.
“I’m looking forward to going out there and pitching,” Tanaka said.
Tanaka signed a $155 million, seven-year contract in January. He was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last year while leading the Rakuten Golden Eagles to their first Japan Series title.
“I feel that I’m getting into the rhythm, used to things,” Tanaka said.
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