I will be the first to admit that when the New York Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka, I was skeptical. I was skeptical about giving a player that had never thrown a single pitch in the Major Leagues a contract north of $100 million.
So far, I was wrong.
In the early goings of this the 2014 campaign, Tanaka has been nothing short of brilliant for the Yankees.
in his seven starts in pinstripes Tanaka has cruised to a 5-0 record, many outings looking like a dominating figure. In 49 innings Tanaka has already racked up 58 strikeouts while only walking seven batters and has posted a solid 2.57 ERA and a very good .1000 WHIP.
Coming into the year I assumed that there would be a certainly adjustment period for Tanaka; that he may take a month or two to get used to big league hitters and the routines associated with a five day rotation, as opposed to the seven day rotation often used in the Japanese game, but so far I have been very, very wrong. He has flourished under the bright lights of New York and his appearances every fifth day have become can’t miss television for Yankee fans.
Oh, and he’ll be getting his first taste of the intra-city rivalry next week, he is slated to start on Wednesday vs. the Mets. He has yet to show any problem with delivering with all eyes on him, and with the state of the Mets offense I doubt that he will disappoint on Wednesday with the entire city watching.
Tanaka posted a flawless record last season in Japan, 24-0, I do not expect him to replicate that this season pitching in the big leagues. However, coming into this season I didn’t think he’d have a chance to reach the 20 win plateau in his first season, I’m beginning to suspect he is on his way to that mark.