Today was Masahiro Tanaka's final spring start before he pitches his first Yankee Opening Day next Monday, and to be fair to all those who've been creating and buying into the injury/velo hype this spring I'll say that today was a more important start than his previous ones. With the games counting starting next week, today was the day you wanted to see good everything. Good mechanics, good velocity, good movement, good command, and good results. It's always better to go into the season on a high note, and so to see Tanaka come out and dominate the Twins this afternoon would have been great.
It didn't exactly happen that way, as Tanaka got hit a little bit in his 4.1 innings of work, mostly the last 2.1. He gave up a run in the 3rd on a 2-out double and follow-up single, another in the 4th on 3 more hits, and left in the 5th after giving up a leadoff homer to somebody named Eduardo Escobar and a 1-out base hit. He wasn't great, and there was plenty of good contact off of him, but he wasn't as terrible as some people on Twitter are trying to make it seem.
He didn't get much help offensively today, not that he should have been expecting much from a lineup that featured 1 starter and only a few more Major League bats (insert Brendan Ryan joke here). The lone run came on a Ramon Flores 2-out ribbie single in the top of the 4th. Flores was also responsible for the only XBH hit of the day.
- If you want to draw some positives from Tanaka's outing, you could point to his high number of GB outs and no walks. If you wanted to be a Negative Nancy, you could talk about his high 80s fastball velocity and the solitary strikeout. The choice is yours.
- Rob Refsnyder started the bottom of the 1st with another throwing error, his 6th of the spring. If you aren't convinced that the Yankees made the right move by signing Drew and giving Refs more time to work on his D in Triple-A, I don't know what to tell you. Dude needs some serious help in the field.
- Major Leaguers Brett Gardner and Chris Young each had a hit today, with Young scoring the only New York run and Gardner also drawing a walk and getting caught stealing. Garrett Jones went 0-3.
- Austin Romine also went 0-3 and is hitting .143 this spring. The Yanks have been trying to showcase him to teams as much as possible in the last week, but there's just not much there to showcase. The guy can't hit.
- Chris Martin looked good with 2 perfect innings in relief of Tanaka, and Dan Burawa threw a scoreless frame. I keep forgetting he's around. Too many relievers.