Masahiro Tanaka allowed his first runs of spring training and the Yankees lost to the Mets, 7-2, at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
This was Tanaka’s final line against the Mets: 4.2 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, 1 BB, 7 Ks and 1 homer. Forty seven out of the 59 pitches that Tanaka threw were strikes. Tanaka allowed a homer to John Mayberry Jr. in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, Tanaka allowed a ground rule double to center to Nick Castellanos and then Juan Lagares hit a homer to center off of Dellin Betances for Tanaka’s second earned run.
Tanaka now has a 1.74 ERA in three starts (10.1 innings) during spring training with 12 strikeouts, six hits and only one walk. After the unearned run scored off of him in the first, Tanaka really improved his effectiveness until Mayberry’s homer. Also, after allowing his first walk of the exhibition season in the first, he then bounced back to strike out Mayberry on a swinging slider and then struck out Kirk Nieuwenhuis looking to end the first. His seven Ks and only walk proves that he is ready for the regular season.
Cole Figueroa and Didi Gregorius scored the only Yankees’ runs. Chase Headley, who is now hitting .316 in spring training, hit a two-out double in the third to drive in Gregorius for the first run. Gregorius has proven that he deserves to not platoon since he has been able to hit lefties and righties.
Alex Rodriguez went 1-3 with a single and gave praise to Gregorius in a story by Ken Rosenthal. Brian Cashman said on Wednesday that A-Rod has proven that he deserves to be the everyday DH. According to Bryan Hoch, Cashman said that “A-Rod has shown enough to be trusted as the full-time DH. Cashman had no expectations coming in.” Given Rodriguez’s two homers and .290 average in 31 at-bats he definitely appears ready to be the full-time DH.
Also on Wednesday, Cashman announced that Adam Warren is the favorite to be the No. 5 starter. Warren, who has a 2.77 ERA in four starts (13 innings), has pitched better than his competition for the final spot in the rotation.
“There’s a Secretariat right now in this race for me that’s got a number of lengths ahead of the field,” Cashman said. “Warren has certainly got a big lead in this.” Warren, who dominated in 69 appearances in the bullpen last season and has only made three major league starts, will get his fifth start of the spring on Thursday when the Yankees play in Port Charlotte against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Warren will return to the bullpen when Ivan Nova comes off of the disabled list most likely in the end of May or beginning of June. Warren proved that he is definitely valuable out of the bullpen, but he also could be more effective as a starter than the other options that the Yankees have based on his performance in spring training and his stats in the minors.
In 2012, with Triple-A Scranton, Warren had a solid season with a 3.71 ERA in 26 starts, while striking 107 batters and walking 46.