Why Yankees aren’t rushing Tanaka into spring training game

Written By kom nampuldu on Sabtu, 07 Maret 2015 | 18.18

TAMPA — Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to throw a simulated game Sunday, when the Yankees are in Kissimmee, Fla., playing the Astros.

While Tanaka is getting closer to pitching an exhibition game, pitching coach Larry Rothschild is a proponent of the simulated game to get pitchers the required work.

"Some of these guys are doing simulated games to start because it's a more controlled environment, and you can build them up,'' said manager Joe Girardi, who hasn't scheduled CC Sabathia or Michael Pineda for a game yet.

"Thursday was a [batting practice] for CC. I believe he has a [simulated game] planned, and you could very well see him the next time,'' Girardi said.

Just because a starter graduates from simulated games to exhibition games doesn't mean he has put the simulated games away.

"Sometimes Larry, when you are trying to get their pitch count up, he prefers to do it in a heavy sim day because you don't have 30 pitches in one inning and then you worry about them," Girardi said. "You can go 17 pitches an inning, four or five innings and it works better.''

A year ago, Tanaka was eager to face hitters in his first camp. Now, after suffering a small tear in the right ulnar collateral ligament in July and going the rehab route instead of having Tommy John surgery, the plan hasn't been as aggressive toward facing batters.

"He wanted to feel what it was going to be like. We will do what's best for him,'' Girardi said of the right-hander, whose health will determine a big part of what happens to the Yankees this season. "Last year we were trying to learn him, and he was trying to learn us. This year we feel it's important we do what's best for him.''


The Phillies have an interest in Yankees catcher Austin Romine, who is out of options, to back up Carlos Ruiz.

Romine has to stick with the Yankees or any of three things can happen: The Yankees can outright him, release him or trade him. If he is outrighted, Romine has to go through waivers and likely would be claimed. If that's the case, Romine has to go on that club's 40-man roster.

The Yankees could opt to send Murphy to Triple-A to play regularly and keep Romine as McCann's backup. That scenario provides depth in case of an injury.


Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout in his second game of the spring, a 3-1 loss to the Pirates on Friday night. Might Girardi play Rodriguez at third Sunday against the Nationals at George M. Steinbrenner Field?

"He will play Sunday, obviously,'' Girardi said. "Do I play him at third? It's possible.''


Carlos Beltran played his first spring training game in right field, against the Pirates, and went 0-for-2 with a walk.

Carlos Beltran strikes out in the fourth inning Friday night.Photo: Charles Wenzelberg

"The good thing is that I am physically fine. Now is the time to get better and good at-bats,'' said Beltran, who added he doesn't feel any discomfort in his surgically repaired right elbow. "I am not concerned at all.''


Chris Capuano, the leading candidate for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, worked two innings in which he gave up two runs and three hits and absorbed the loss to the Pirates.

"I was a little sloppy with fastball command,'' said Capuano, who gave up a two-run homer to Tony Sanchez in the second.


Having managed a 4-1 win over the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla., during the afternoon and against Pirates at night, Girardi admitted the day was long.
"It was a lot of baseball, but it was a good day,'' Girardi said.


Bryan Mitchell threw two scoreless innings against the Phillies in which he allowed one hit and fanned two.

Mitchell is in camp working as starter but is a long shot to crack the rotation unless an injury hits.

"We continue to see progress from him,'' Girardi said of the 23-year-old right-hander, who was taken in the 16th round of the 2009 draft.
Mitchell appeared in three big league games last year for the Yankees and made one start.


Eric Jagielo, the Yankees' first-round pick in the 2013 draft, entered as a pinch-runner for Chase Headley in the fourth inning against the Phillies. He went 0-for-2. Michael O'Neill, a nephew of Paul O'Neill, was a replacement in left field and hitless in an at-bat.


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