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Yankees Give Tanaka Opening Day Nod

SI

SI

The New York Yankees have decided to go with their ace on Opening Day.

The team announced on Friday that Masahiro Tanaka will take the mound on Monday, April 6 when the Yankees open their season at home against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The honor is well-deserved for Tanaka, who went 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA as a rookie in 2014 before going down with a partial tear in his elbow. Now a sophomore in the majors, the 26-year-old seems healthy and has looked sharp this spring, allowing two runs in 10.1 innings.

The decision to start Tanaka on Opening Day was not necessarily an obvious one, though it certainly makes the most sense. Michael Pineda shined as well last year and this spring and CC Sabathia had started the Yankees last six opener. Both were possibilities.

Instead, Pineda, then Sabathia, will follow Tanaka in the rotation. Nathan Eovaldi, who was acquired from the Miami Marlins over the winter, will slide in as the No. 4 starter. The Yankees have yet to name a fifth starter, though it appears that Adam Warren is the favorite for the job. He has a 2.70 ERA in 16.2 innings this spring and has allowed just one walk.

Esmil Rogers, Chase Whitley, Bryan Mitchell and Scott Baker are also in the mix for the job.

 

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