Yankees

Yankees’ Tanaka Likely To Debut In Game 3 Or 4 Of Regular Season

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Masahiro Tanaka (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Masahiro Tanaka (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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TAMPA, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka could make his first regular-season start in the New York Yankees’ third or fourth game.

The Yankees complete a three-game series at Houston on April 3, then have a day off before a three-game set at Toronto. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Friday “I think that’s pretty safe to say” the Japanese right-hander will start game three or four.

Tanaka is to make his first spring training appearance Saturday against Philadelphia at Steinbrenner Field. Tanaka and fellow Japanese right-hander Hiroki Kuroda are to follow starter CC Sabathia. Each is expected to throw two innings or about 35 pitches.

I understand there’s going to be a lot of attention on the results, the numbers of how I do out there,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “But for me, I’m not looking at it at all. I just wanted to go out there and pitch my style. I just want to see how the batters react.”

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.

NOTES: Closer David Robertson threw 22 pitches in his second batting practice session. … Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson arrived at camp, where he is a spring training instructor.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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