A year ago, Yankees Ace Masahiro Tanaka was under quite a bit of scrutiny regarding his pitching status after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow.
Heading into this season, Tanaka has received a clean bill of health from Yankees’ pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
“Last year he had that procedure done, so he’s ahead of where he was last year,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said to Erik Boland of Newsday. “He’s already been on the mound a little bit. Coming in, he seems to be in a good place.”
Monday afternoon, Tanaka arrived at the Yankees’ minor league complex for pre-spring training workouts, and is scheduled to throw off a mound Wednesday. A couple weeks ago, he withdrew from consideration in the World Baseball Classic for Team Japan, allowing him to focus solely on preparing for the regular season.
Tanaka can opt out of his seven year, $155 million contract at the end of this season, foregoing an annual salary of $23 million from 2018-2020 to become a free agent.
Through 75 starts in three seasons with the Yankees, Tanaka owns a 39-16 record with a 3.12 ERA.