The Good News And The Bad News From Masahiro Tanaka’s Yankees Debut

  • Jake O'Donnell

As far as anticipated outings go, Masahiro Tanaka’s Yankees Spring Training debut against the Phillies was about as hyped as they come. Yes, we know it’s not technically a game and closer to a simulation than anything meaningful, but still — you’d be interested if you found out he got shelled, wouldn’t you?

Of course you would. He didn’t.

In just two innings, Masa “Hero” (we’re calling dibs on that nickname) gave up two hits, no earned runs, no walks, and three impressive strikeouts. Here was his first (of many, we’re willing to guess):

Tanaka’s good command of his fastball, which topped out around 94 mph, was a positive sign for the 25-year-old Japan native, seeing as many worry the lack of umph on that pitch could be his undoing. More importantly, his go-to splitter looked nasty, which is what everyone will be talking about when all is said and done.

In other Yankee pitching news, C.C. Sabathia’s fastball topped out at 88 mph today, thanks in part to his dramatic weight loss for some really sad movie we’re unaware that he’s preparing for. Though he did end up managing a strikeout, that kind of diminished velocity is not a good sign for the Yankees rotation.

By the way, where does all that skin go?