Mar 16, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Will Face Masahiro Tanaka In Home Opener

Well Toronto Blue Jays fans, for those of you who were wondering just how good Masahiro Tanaka is going to be and how well he will adapt to Major League Baseball, you won’t have to wait long to get a front row seat. According to New York Newsday, Tanaka is slated to make his Major League debut for the New York Yankees on April 4th, just in time for the Blue Jays home opener.

Of course, Blue Jays fans are still bitter that the team didn’t make a concerted effort to land the Japanese import, who was easily the best available pitcher on the market this winter. The hang-up for Toronto was the length of a deal, with the Blue Jays refusing to go past five years for the 25-year-old right-hander. As soon as it became known that the bidding would go past that point, the Blue Jays withdrew and never made a formal offer. Tanaka wound up signing with the division-rival New York Yankees instead, inking a 7-year, $155 million deal.

Tanaka has looked good thus far this spring, appearing in 3 games (2 starts) and posting a 1.93 ERA and a 5.00 SO/BB ratio against an opponents quality of 9.0. In his last outing, a start against the Atlanta Braves, Tanaka went 4.1 innings, allowing 3 hits and an earned run while striking out 6 and walking a pair.

He’ll be opposed by Brandon Morrow, who will start the season as the Blue Jays fifth starter. The spring has not been quite as friendly to Morrow, who has posted a 10.80 ERA and just a 3.6 K/9 over 5 innings of work this spring.

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Tags: Masahiro Tanaka Toronto Blue Jays

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  • Rui Hanazawa

    This will be a great game. 2 possible lessons will be learned afterwards. One, Tanaka smokes us and looks like a stud – AA will really look like a loser twice after the Darvish thing. The other will be Tanaka getting crushed by the power bats in our line up for his debut – a lesson he will learn about MLB power in a hitting friendly ball park. Jays, stay away from his split on a two strike count and watch out for the high inside heat on a full count. Best approach to Tanaka is going aggressive early in the count. X factor will be Bautista, Lind and Rasmus clearing the fences with their golf swing approach if Tanaka leaves his splitter over the plate. Looking forward to this game. I respect Tanaka’s stuff but I respect the Jays line up even more. We win this easily, all it comes down to is our pitching.