The Yankees opened their spring training schedule Tuesday with a game against Florida State University. The Bombers, a team of professional baseball players, beat the group of college kids 8-3, and there were a few things worth mentioning afterwards.
* The $175 million man, Masahiro Tanaka, will make his spring training debut on Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies at GMS Field. CC Sabathia will start that game for the Yankees, and Tanaka, along with Hiroki Kuroda, will come out of the bullpen in relief.
The trio of starters are expected to throw at two innings, or 35 pitches, according to manager Joe Girardi.
Girardi also said that he is very curious to how Tanaka pitches in a real game against real hitters, opposed to the bullpens and live batting practice sessions that he’s been throwing.
“I think you want to see him against big league hitters, see how he does and see how he reacts,” Girardi said. “I’m happy with the progress that he’s made and how he has not tried to do too much. I think he’s adapted to what we’ve asked him to do, and I think he’s kind of embraced it. I am looking forward to seeing him out there.”
* After today’s game, the Yankees will get on the bus and travel to Bradenton to face the Pittsburgh Pirates in their first Grapefruit league game of the spring.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran will be among those making the trip for their spring debuts. All three are expected to play 4-5 innings in the field, getting, hopefully, two at-bats a piece.
Ivan Nova will be starting Wednesday’s game — which starts at 1:05pm EST — and will be followed by Preston Claiborne and Dellin Betances, among others, out of the bullpen.Eduardo Nunez will also be making the trip.
* The Yankees were one of seven teams that watched former Mets pitcher Johan Santana throw a bullpen session Tuesday, according to the NY Post. It’s worth noting that the Mets were not one of the teams watching Santana throw.
The report says that Santana topped out at 81 mph, pitched between 77 and 78 mph and mixed in an impressive changeup.
* Fairly quiet day in Mets camp on Tuesday. If anything, we learned that the Mets are not happy with Ruben Tejada right now, and are still looking into signing free-agent Stephen Drew or trading for Seattle Mariners infielder Nick Franklin.
CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reported that the Tampa Bay Rays have joined the discussions for Franklin, and could be a better fit to get a deal done than the Mets are.
OK, that’s all I have on the Mets for you.
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