Happy Tanaka Day! Prized free-agent singing Masahiro Tanaka makes his fourth start of the spring today in Fort Myers as the Yankees travel down south to take on the Minnesota Twins. Kevin Correia will make the start for the Twins with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 pm ET.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters before the game that he might announce his starting rotation on Tuesday following the team's off-day on Monday, however it might take longer to iron out the final spots in thew bullpen.
Michael Pineda will be making his next spring start tomorrow and it will most likely be his last start to completely convince Girardi that he should be the team's fifth starter this season.
Pitching in today's game is Tanaka, and you all know the story on him. He's great, he's got a filthy splitter and he's going to be a big part of the team's success this season, Tanaka is likely to open the season against the Toronto Blue Jays in the Yankees' fourth game of the season.
Tanaka will be facing a Twins lineup that is filled with pretty much all of their likely Opening Day players, and he'll also be stretched out to about 90 pitches today, so it'll be his biggest test so far in his major league career.
Today's lineup against Minnesota:
- Brett Gardner DH
- Eduardo Nunez SS
- Kelly Johnson 1B
- Francisco Cervelli C
- Scott Sizemore 3B
- Dean Anna 2B
- Zoilo Almonte RF
- Zelous Wheeler LF
- Antoan Richardson CF
The long two and a half hour bus ride down to Fort Myers kept the Yankees from bringing a lot of the regulars on the trip today. The Yankees are going with a pretty young outfield today with Wheeler, Richardson and Almonte, while Gardner is in the lineup as the DH. Johnson is making his second start at first base today, with Anna, Sizemore and Nunez rounding out the infield.
Sizemore, Nunez and Anna are actually three of the players currently fighting to win one of the two backup infield spots with Brendan Ryan likely starting the season on the DL.