Over at Grantland, Ben Lindbergh weighs in on Masahiro Tanaka’s first start and concludes:
Although on the surface the box score seems like a confirmation of Yankees fans’ worst fears, it’s possible to put a positive spin on Tanaka’s inaugural outing in 2015. Aside from his voluntary renouncement of the four-seamer, Tanaka’s stuff seemed almost the same as it was before we were worried about his elbow. He stills throws hard enough to get swings and misses with his off-speed stuff. And while Tanaka doesn’t have a great sinker, his forsaken four-seamer was worse. It’s probably too much to hope for addition by subtraction, but if Tanaka’s partially torn ligament doesn’t hurt his command,1 the new Tanaka should be a useful starter (if not an ace) for as long as his ligament lasts, even if he nibbles too much to go deep into games. Tanaka has already defied one of our fears — and his own — by avoiding surgery and surviving the spring UCL reaping so far. Now he has a chance to chart the non-fastballs frontier.
[Photo Credit: Charles Wenzelberg]