Masahiro Tanaka did something yesterday that he hasn’t done since October: go through a mound session without any setbacks/problems.
Tanaka threw a twenty-pitch mound session on Saturday and reported no problems to Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Tanaka underwent an arthroscopic procedure earlier this off-season to remove a bone spur in his right elbow that dated back to his days in Japan.
”He didn’t try to push it too much, but it was good,” Rothschild said. ”He wasn’t mid-season form, but he was where he should be. His arm worked well. Didn’t look like there were any problems. Today he felt good, which was more important.”
Rothschild also confirmed that Tanaka could have another mound session in the next few days to keep progressing in the right direction. The Yankees are expecting that Tanaka will be ready for his first start of the year, which will likely be Opening Day.
Tanaka went 12-7 with a 3.51 earned run average in 2015, striking out 139 batters over 154 innings of work. Tanaka has five years remaining on the seven-year $155 million contract he signed with the Yankees back in 2014 if he doesn’t opt-out after 2017 when he can.
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