Girardi added Tanaka will be followed in the rotation by
“We feel that’s the way it works the best. We feel that gives everybody a chance to be pretty ready,” Girardi said, per the New York Post. “Tanaka will be on a little bit of a pitch count the first time. We just like the way it works for our guys.”
The Yankees have not yet officially announced a fifth starter, but general manager Brian Cashman indicated earlier this week
Tanaka and Sabathia were considered the top two candidates to start Opening Day. However, Girardi held off in making the decision as he wanted to see how both pitchers responded this spring coming off injury-plagued campaigns in 2014. While Sabathia is coming off knee surgery, Tanaka did not undergo surgery last season for a partially torn UCL. Although, he did miss a few months due to the elbow injury.
Tanaka is 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA in three spring starts. He also has 12 strikeouts to just one walk in 10 1/3 innings.
"He's a guy that has a chance to get better and better as long as he's heading in the right direction," Rothschild said. "And that's what he's doing."
"You can't expect much more," Girardi said. "We're really excited to have him in camp with us as one of our starters. We think he can do a really good job for us."
Pineda, who was making his spring debut, opened the game with two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit and racked up two strikeouts.
"I like the command and my offspeed pitches," said Pineda, who threw 17 of 25 pitches for strikes, per MLB.com. "My changeup and my slider are very good today. I'm excited because the command is there and everything is good."
Eovaldi, who was making his second spring outing, pitched three innings in relief. He allowed three hits, but he also recorded five strikeouts. Eovaldi lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 1.80.
"I felt like I did pretty good," Eovaldi said. "I ran into some trouble in the second inning, but I was able to get out of a jam. I felt good for the most part. It felt like I was rushing a little bit on some of my offspeed pitches, but other than that, I felt pretty good."
"It's definitely special," Eovaldi said. "It's the same game. You're just in a different uniform. That's the mentality I was trying to take out there to compete."
Eovaldi is building his relationship with Brian McCann as he looks to be a workhouse in the rotation.
"Everything has been good," Eovaldi said. "I got to throw one bullpen [session] with him previously. He's awesome back there. Today, I told him I just wanted to work on moving the ball in and out and work on the split. He said, 'Let's go.'"
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