OAKLAND — It’s official: Wednesday will be Tanaka time at Safeco Field.
Masahiro Tanaka will make his long-awaited return from the disabled list against the Mariners, throwing 80-85 pitches in his first big-league start since April 23.
Tanaka has been out with wrist tendinitis and a mild forearm strain, but the ace convinced Joe Girardi Friday that those issues are behind him and he’s ready to come back and help the Yankees. “I wanted to make sure he felt good, that he felt he was ready to go,” Girardi said. “He felt good about it.”
“I want to make the best out of it,” Tanaka said through his translator. “I’ll try to go out there and do my best.”
Tanaka will be starting on Chris Capuano’s scheduled day, and while the veteran lefty is expected to lose his spot in the rotation, Girardi warned not to read too much into anything.
“A lot can happen between now and Wednesday, and I don’t want any of our players ever looking over their shoulders about spots,” Girardi said. “Everyone knew he was coming back, so it’s no surprise.
“We’ll put him in Wednesday, and then we’ll have to make some decisions after that.”
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