The New York Yankees’ pitchers and catchers reported to camp this week and manager Joe Girardi wasted no time announcing the teams opening day starter. Unlike last year when the Yankees did not announce their opening day starter until late March, Girardi announced Masahiro Tanaka the starter during his first media session Tuesday. This should come as no surprise as Tanaka has arguably been the Yankees’ best starter over the past three years.
During his media session Girardi said, “Our plan is for him to be the Opening Day starter. You’ve got to see where he’s at, but I don’t really see him being not our Opening Day starter unless something was to arise that I wasn’t expecting. He’s been the guy that’s made the starts and that’s kind of our plan.”
Tanaka, 28, will be making his third consecutive opening day start for the Yankees. Tanka will be entering his fourth year with the Yankees and can opt out of the remaining three years of his contract following this season.
Tanaka is coming off a successful 2016 campaign where he finished with a 14-4 record and a 3.07 ERA in 31 starts. In his three years so far with the Yankees in 75 starts has a 39-16 record and a 3.12 ERA.
Following Tanaka in the rotation will be CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda. Sabathia despite his 9-12 record last year had a solid year and gave the Yankees quality starts. Pineda struggled in 2016 shown by his 6-12 record and 4.82 ERA. Both Sabathia and Pineda are in the final years of their contracts and will look to have bounce back years. Question marks, however, surround the teams fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. There will be a competition among Adam Warren, Luis Severino, Luis Cessa, Bryan Mitchell, and Chad Green for the two rotation spots.
The Yankees have not won on opening day since the 2011 season and will look to get off on the right foot this season.
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